We have heard a lot of times that it would help you make the better cut and cleaner wrapping if we remove the hardware first. However, when it comes to fender wrapping, especially with a car that has chrome with a tight rubber molding, removing the hardware might be risky, as you would probably damage the hardware during the process. So today we will show you a way where you can leave all the hardware on but get as much of the quality as you remove them.
For case study, we will be wrapping a section of a fender of a white car, which is particularly tough one this time, as there is a tight molding at the top as well as at the bottom, and there is a gap between the headlight – The gap between the bumper and fender is always tricky especially on a white car.
In this case, most wrappers would first think about taking off the molding at the top/ bottom of the fender, as well as the headlight, because it is a white car, surely we want to wrap it perfectly with color change. But what we will do this time is to simply loosen the screws of the molding – we are not going to take them off, just taking it “out”. (However, we still have to do the cleaning thoroughly before that)
As for the headlight, it is always tempting to take it off too. But this will take you a longer time, and it is usually hard to put back properly as well. So again, we are going to just loosen the bolts. Get your paper towel with the squeegee in it, and then lift the headlight just enough.
When it comes to the molding, it is tricky to take off, especially in this case we mentioned above – it would very possibly bend. So what we need to do is to clean it thoroughly. Three strokes would be enough, and it is way quicker than taking it off.
Once all the edges are clean, do the cleaning of the surface as well before the actual wrapping. The prep here is very straight forward, and it takes only around six to seven minutes – loosen everything.
Here we have come to the wrapping process at last. First, get the material deep under the headlight. And we can run a design line right there from the edge. The trickiest part of fender wrapping is actually by the light. So make sure the material is tucked in with zero tension there.
Starting with the hardest part there, like we wrap a door handle with cold pre-stretch. And once the material is set there, then we can come to the corners. It is crucial that we create glass in between the section of what you are wrapping with corners.
Here we can start from the bottom corner, lock the material in, use cold pre-stretch and just make it flat. Then bridge the material right along the body line at the top – If you have any kind of adhesive line, it is going to be on the body line. And we work right to the corners, lock the material in and squeegee it down. It takes an even shorter time than prepping it.
Next, we can finish around the molding. The first one is the molding at the top. Make sure you click your blade beforehand – and if you are worried that it would cut through and touch the molding, you can always run a masking tape before doing the cutting. Here we go without the tape and cut about a quarter inch on one side of the molding, remember to cut with 45 degrees away from the corners. As soon as the cutting is done, you can remove the excess film.
As for the bottom molding, it is already loose so we can pull it with our free hand and tuck the material behind – around a quarter inch (about half a centimeter). It is enough to get full coverage for the car. So there is no need to take it off completely.
When it comes to the rocker panel, it is crucial to lock the material in the corner, and then cut it around a little bit. We can cut on the side of the door first with a 90 degrees angle, pick the material up and pull it away just as much. And then we can finish off this side later as it is the easiest part. We are going to continue with the harder part here, which is around the bottom molding.
We pull the molding away, cut the material behind, and tuck it in deep enough. Once is it entirely behind the section, we can make a relief cut where it is flush to the edge. As soon as the cutting is done, we can put the screws back in now and lock it tight.
And then we go back to the top section here where the fender is wrapped around. Work the material to the edge then make a relief cut. But make sure you do not make the relief cut beforehand because it might split into the body sometimes. Make sure your blade is parallel to the side with 180 degrees angle.
We are now going to work at the top around the headlight. First, we are going to form a body line on the material, pick it up and tuck it into the rubber molding. But before making any next move, we will first release the knifeless tape. This is cutting around a quarter inch past the edge where the headlight is going to go.
Next, we can pull the headlight as it is already loose. Squeegee the material behind. The liner of the knifeless tape keeps the material away from the headlight here. So we can slide about with our squeegee very easily. And then we can tighten the bolts up there.
Then we have the gap between the bumper and fender, which is wide. Remember to angle your blade away from the fender and cut on the bumper side. It is essential to use a micro squeegee for the corner here, heat it and relax the material at the same time. Once everything is done, we can seal the deal and work around, shifting the tension from behind. Squeegee it and lock it.
Last but not least, we can come back to the molding that we have not finished. Make a relief cut with a ten degrees angle of the blade here, and make sure you cut on the chrome side of the molding. Then release the material. Tuck it into the base with your squeegee. And then come back with a micro squeegee. Do not use micro squeegee before making that cut though, because it will tear the material.
As for the easiest part that we have not fully finished, cut on the side of the door, then heat it and round the empty edge. Squeegee it down so that we get a wrinkle-free corner, then seal it.
Once everything is completely done here, we can go over the wrapped section with heat, double check if there are any bubbles or edge lifting. And we can get the same quality of finish like we took the hardware off here.