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Old 01-10-2021, 06:28 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Paint vs vinyl wrap.

Does anyone have any experience with diy vinyl wrap instead of exterior paint? From what i have been reading about vinyl auto wraps, it sounds very doable...but when i speak to friends i am getting lots of negative feedback on the diy part. Appreciate any input, advice, or personal experience. Thanks.

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Old 01-10-2021, 07:00 PM   #2
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If you've never done a vehicle wrap, it might be in your best interest to get a few tips from the pro's before jumping into it?

Many wraps are computer generated, along with the vinyl printer being a specialized piece of equipment.
I have no idea how expensive the buy-in of equipment would be, but if you can foresee a future in producing vehicle wraps perhaps it would make sense to bite the bullet money wise, and get yourself setup to actually do a DIY wrap on your bus?

Good luck and post pics of your bus before and after wrap, if you go for it...
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Old 01-10-2021, 08:03 PM   #3
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So...i wasnt thinking about any special design. There are solid colors in 3M brand and it looks like total cost would be under 1k. No special equipment...hair dryer or heat gun...i have both. You can order the material on line. I have ABSOLUTELY zero experience with this. But i have watched a fair number of videos and it does look reasonable. Time consuming if done correctly. But with patience i THINK it could work out. Just looking if anyone has any experience with it. Thanks for the input✌
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Old 01-10-2021, 09:08 PM   #4
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I've got no experience with application, but I've had to remove it...because eventually it will start to crack and shrink. At least here in Arizona, that happens sooner than paint will. Scott Crosby, YouTube's "Bus Grease Monkey" just did a video about his VW Thing, which had been wrapped and as the wrap aged it allowed water to penetrate. The wrap actually trapped a bunch of water, which froze into large ice blisters.
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Old 01-10-2021, 10:06 PM   #5
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Wow...i had no idea. I will definitely look into that aspect. Thank you rossvtaylor.
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Old 01-23-2021, 10:12 PM   #6
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There are a few things to consider.

Wrap sticks best to a good paint job, if youíve got a good paint job wrap is a good idea.

If you have a bad paint job, wrap wonít stick great. Paint wonít stick great either, but, a DIY paint job can be touched up. A wrap job will start peeling and patches / splices will be noticeable.

Wrap is less durable, but, exotic finishes are less expensive than with paint.

Wrap is easier to remove than paint (if you want to redo it later)

Laying paint is messy. Wrap, you can do in any clean room. (You can safely wrap your bus in your living room or kitchen while your dog and infant child watch)

If cash and time > quality of result. Maco paint shop might be your best investment.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:18 PM   #7
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I'm thinking the huge amount of screws or rivets would prevent a decent job from being achieved. They might be square and flat but that's a lot of pimples on the kid!
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
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I'm thinking the huge amount of screws or rivets would prevent a decent job from being achieved. They might be square and flat but that's a lot of pimples on the kid!
Yep. Lots. You might be able to make a pusher stick thatís got the shape. Still lots and lots of work and itís never going to be perfect, so thatís where the cracks will form.
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Old 01-23-2021, 11:33 PM   #9
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I looked into DIY wrap. Not too expensive. Available on the Internet. I think it would be hard because a bus is pretty cut up, it to mention the screws and rivets. If you want to find out if you got what it takes, order a little bit or find a local who’s got scraps to try out.


I read that hot sunny climates make the stuff craze and blister pretty quickly.
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tentacles View Post
There are a few things to consider.

Wrap sticks best to a good paint job, if youíve got a good paint job wrap is a good idea.

If you have a bad paint job, wrap wonít stick great. Paint wonít stick great either, but, a DIY paint job can be touched up. A wrap job will start peeling and patches / splices will be noticeable.

Wrap is less durable, but, exotic finishes are less expensive than with paint.

Wrap is easier to remove than paint (if you want to redo it later)

Laying paint is messy. Wrap, you can do in any clean room. (You can safely wrap your bus in your living room or kitchen while your dog and infant child watch)

If cash and time > quality of result. Maco paint shop might be your best investment.

I went to Macco and the estimate was 6-8 thousand dollars. Just went there 5 days ago. I almost fell over. Going for another estimate next week. Not feeling hopeful😟
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Old 01-24-2021, 12:36 AM   #11
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I appreciate all of the input. Still mulling things around. I need to do something soon as i am currently driving him multiple times per week. Definitely will keep you posted. Thanks.
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Old 01-24-2021, 07:49 AM   #12
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Get some film and try it out. And here’s some professional advice

Rivets - Two 'Right' Ways
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:36 AM   #13
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Get some film and try it out. And hereís some professional advice

Rivets - Two 'Right' Ways
Danjo...very informative article. Thank you🍻
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Old 01-24-2021, 08:43 AM   #14
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I still think single stage paint is the way to go
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Old 01-24-2021, 09:22 AM   #15
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I still think single stage paint is the way to go
Me too.
I'm trying to decide between acrylic urethane or enamel.
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Old 01-27-2021, 04:27 PM   #16
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I used vinyl to cover sheet metal that I put over the windows, and Hunter Green Rustoleum for the bus.

I found the vinyl to be difficult to work with even on flat sheets of metal. I wound up removing the metal and putting the vinyl on in my living room then re-attaching the panels. I used vinyl that looks like carbon fiber.

I watched the same videos and was considering doing the whole bus, but would never attempt it now, they make it look easy.

If you do paint, I found I could use the old "coach" method of painting. It's what they did on the old Fords and early cars before spray painting. I chose this method because I did not want to spend days taping up the bus and then doing a newby's job spray painting.
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Old 01-27-2021, 04:52 PM   #17
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WRAP IT!

My next paint job will continue to be a "WRAP"!

Today's wrap technology has changed exponentially over the last 10 years. The materials are much better and most importantly the UV technology available in the material has changed significantly for the better. These changes in material technology has also changed installation methods.

Installation is a matter of experience. You can watch all the Youtube CRAP you want however until YOU have experience installing the wrap material yourself wrap longevity will be a function of your installation talent which will not be very good for your first rodeo!

The second issue concerning the quality and longevity of a wrap is the condition of the vehicle paint surface upon which the wrap is installed. A quality wrap material WILL NOT replace good body work and a properly prepared paint surface to ultimately provide a nice looking wrap. Do not expect to install a wrap over bad paint and bad bodywork and git a great result. It don't work that way!

As far as longevity of a properly installed wrap with the best material available at the time. My Featherlite enclosed car trailer had the wrap installed in 2003 and has sat OUTSIDE everyday for 17 years. Still looks pretty damn good after all the years.

The color that faded the most?

White!
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Old 01-27-2021, 05:54 PM   #18
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Vinyl wrap, on a school bus? Without experience?

I worked in a sign shop for a couple years, doing printed graphics and cut vinyl graphics for vehicles, among other things. There is a lot to keep in mind/understand about vinyl wrap/vinyl sign material.

1. I did this for a paycheck, and I wouldn't want to do any wrap on a school bus. City bus, with flat sides? Sure thing. But all those ribs... no way. It's a set-up for failure of the wrap. An experienced individual is going to have a hard time getting the wrap to lay down without wrinkles and bubbles. Every channel and seam is an area where you'll need to stretch the vinyl to get it to lay in without a void. When it's stretched too much, the eventual thermal cycles will cause it to lift in these areas--and if there is a seam across it, there will be water intrusion. Rivets? More of the same issue on every one of those. We typically allowed for 50% more material than needed, in the event a panel needed to be re-wrapped.

2. There are different grades of vinyl, cheaper grades typically don't stretch as well, stick as well long term, and aren't rated to last as long. Higher grades can be significantly more expensive.

3. Someone also mentioned how well vinyl sticks to paint: good, flat paint it'll stick to better. Older, oxidized paint, paint repairs, ripples and overspray not so much. Typically, the vehicle would need to be washed well, every crack and seam, then wiped down with denatured alcohol. And, yes, it can be removed and rewrapped. Sometimes it comes off okay, but let me tell you about the time I spent about 10 hours cleaning old adhesive off a fire truck that only had about 10 square feet of vinyl on it.

Sorry, I don't mean to rain on your parade, but there are some real serious things to consider/understand if you go down the wrap road, so to speak. If you want a way to make it look good, and do it yourself, and you can manage to do a decent job, it'll look okay for a couple years, maybe. But it will start to lift due to issues mentioned above.

I've seen wrapped school busses (food trucks), and every one had issues with vinyl lifting on seams, rivets, and/or ribs. I don't think it's a question of if that will happen, but more when. It's just not the right application for a wrap, unless there is an over arching business objective, like signage, that is going to require re-doing at some point, but it's a cost of doing business.

My two cents--sorry if it's not what you want to hear.
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Old 01-27-2021, 07:06 PM   #19
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I've wrapped a car before, it was not too horrible to do having never done it before and it turned out fairly decent. If you've never done a proper paint job on a car before, it's definitely less work and can turn out nicer, easier. That's if you're just doing a single color. Same year I did that I painted my first full car as well. I already knew how to do the prep and application, so the paint turned out better than the wrap.

For a bus because of the fairly flat sides vinyl wouldn't be too bad, no compound curves like on a car. Would I vinyl a bus over paint? NOPE. I'd hook up a big sprayer and primer/paint. Vinyl will only last 2-3 years really so it's a no brainer for me.
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Old 01-27-2021, 09:03 PM   #20
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used vinyl to cover sheet metal that I put over the windows, and Hunter Green Rustoleum for the bus.

I found the vinyl to be difficult to work with even on flat sheets of metal. I wound up removing the metal and putting the vinyl on in my living room then re-attaching the panels. I used vinyl that looks like carbon fiber.

I watched the same videos and was considering doing the whole bus, but would never attempt it now, they make it look easy.

If you do paint, I found I could use the old "coach" method of painting. It's what they did on the old Fords and early cars before spray painting. I chose this method because I did not want to spend days taping up the bus and then doing a newby's job spray painting.


Hi there Henninger. I really appreciate your input. The videos sure do make me confide t that i could do it. But videos always make it look easier than it is. And i would hate to waste all of that time and money on a futile effort. I am really looking i to the paint option more. And i will look up this "coach" method. Your bus looks great! Thanks so much. Elizabeth
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