Once upon a time when you wanted to make a cosmetic alteration to your car, the options you had were limited. Paint was the the main option and as time went on, some undesirable to many but still creative options were devised due to the cost and desire to spend the money elsewhere in the build
|Although not the first choice for many, if done tastefully alternative finishes can be cool...|
|The ability to create multi color schemes is possible with plasti dip, but it is time consuming and takes multiple coats to achieve the desired effect. Photo borrowed from the plasti dip forums|
As technology progressed and different options became available, the realm of creative you had at your fingertips to change the appearance of your vehicle became wide and all encompassing.
I've played around with just about all the options through the years. This year, since my real project car is just that, a project and might see the outside of the garage if only just to move something in there I decided to try and clean up my daily driver. Or at least have a little fun with it so I called up Josh at Art City Signs to mull around his thoughts on my car.
Plain, white, looks good from 30 ft but has some very undesirable characteristics up close, like the hatch....
|Banged up, rusty, duct tape holding the license plate tub in. Tsk tsk......|
After commiserating with Josh for a bit, I decided to go with a winter camo theme as I didn't want to do the whole car (I am really digging having a white car) and it would be a relatively clean blend into the white of the car. I decided to cover the hatch and just follow a theme through the rest of the car.
|What color do you want? From solid color, metal flakes, carbon fibre prints, and tints. I've learned vinyl has an almost infinite list of possibilities for color.|
|First step in the miserable Wisco winter is to let the car warm up and thaw out|
So after pulling the car in to thaw out, we went about making the product for this application.
The wrap material is vinyl, and it is as specialized as anything else out there. There is a material for just about any application out there. They have the formulation down to the point that there are materials for flat smooth areas, compound curves all with a combination of different thicknesses and laminates to provide the greatest success in the venture. Shortly into my investigation of wrapping, I realized that the people who do these applications have tips, secrets, and proprietary techniques just like any other professional tradesmen. It is not just putting a big sticker on a car.
|Capable of printing a 52" wide piece with infinite length, this is cool stuff|
The next step is the laminate and is one of those "proprietary" things I mentioned earlier.
So with the vinyl ready, and the car warm, the next step is a little basic breakdown of the car to help with a smoother trouble free application.
|I took that license plate tub out, but of course forgot to take a picture. oops....|
|Done! How's it look?|
|Start at one side and work your way across, it's taking shape.|
There are alot of nooks and crannys and detail features on a car. Things most wouldn't think of unless embarking on a project like this.
|Heat, roll, tuck, heat roll, tuck over all the features. Clean is a must as this is sticky, and dirt will not be a desirable application surface.|
|I'm not going to lie. At this point after standing back and looking I was getting giddy like a kid at christmas.....|
How about some more photos?
|My humble contribution. I worked on this while Josh did the rest haha. Well, I had to start somewhere...|
About Art City Signs:
Josh Marquardt is a 3M certified installer. He opened Art City Signs in 2007. With a shop large enough to accommodate just about any job, and a creative eye for design and style, no job is to big for him. You can contact him for quotes for all of your sign or vinyl needs either via his website:Art City Signs Or by the phone number or email listed there.
I'd like to thank Josh for his time and patience putting up with me and all my questions while he did this. Awesome stuff. We are working on a program for Dubs In the Valley customers, stay tuned for details on that.
Till next time! Joe D