Vinyl wrapping is a great way to visually transform almost anything ranging from furniture and cars to entire buildings. Having been in the wrapping game for some 25 years now, I’ve been asked to wrap some unusual items. Wrapping either with a digital print or self-coloured material will renew the look of almost anything. The range of self-adhesive, self-coloured vinyl is huge, from carbon fibre and mirror effect to pearlescent and multi-colour change.
Vinyl wrapping methods
The self-adhesive wrap is the more typical vinyl wrap which is mainly associated with vehicles. This is when a smooth surfaced object is wrapped. Typically, it could be a vehicle, but also boats, furniture, white goods and storage doors can be vinyl wrapped. The list is endless. Note the surface needs to be smooth and sound otherwise the vinyl will not stick properly. If it needs to be removed, then it could also remove the original surface if it is not sound. With the advances of vinyl’s and laminates the vinyl film can be stretched in many directions know a 3D wrapping. This is useful when wrapping complex shapes like van panels, car bumpers and mirrors.
Mesh or PVC wrap
Other methods of wrapping are building wraps where part or whole of the building or object will be wrapped using a mesh or solid PVC material. When vinyl wrapping a building a subframe is required in order to stretch the mesh around. The print is tensioned using shock cord (bungee).The subframe is installed using standard scaffold poles and Allen key clamp fixings.The sub-frame can be made into complex shapes covering various elevations. Mostthe of the time the mesh or solid PVC is digitally printed on a super-wide large format printer. The print machines are a maximum of five meters wide but can be welded together to make huge sheets. The maximum size in one section is 1000 meters 2 so around 50 meters x 20 meters.
Other types of wraps
A rigid material could also be used to ‘wrap’ a building or structure. Typically, we would use a 3mm thick aluminium composite panel but Foamex, wood or acrylic sheets could be used. We have two exampled below where we have decided to use aluminium composite panels which are laminated with an anti-graffiti film. This method of wrapping is useful when the area is prone to vandalism.
The best vinyl wrapping
Certainly, in my opinion the best vinyl wrap we have done was for an artist. The graffiti clad bedside tables were inspired by the walls of Juliet’s House, in Verona, which are covered with declarations of love from people of all ages and from all over the world. High resolution photographs of the walls were printed onto vinyl and then wrapped onto the carefully prepared tables.
This is a wonderful example of creative thinking and use of modern technology.
Some of the vinyl wraps we have done include James Cracknell’s Lucozade sport racing boat and photos below.