Full Coverage: Window Install without Removing Molding
When wrapping around windows with vinyl wrap film, it can always be frustrating for some wrappers in terms of whether taking off the molding or not.
Certainly, it is much easier to wrap when the molding is off. For some cars, the molding is just rubber, and it is fine. But for some vehicles, there is metal inside the rubber molding, so there is a high chance of bending the metal if you decide to take the molding off just so that you can have full coverage.
For some the side window of Jeep, it kinds of have the both cases. So let’s use this as an example to answer this question: Is there a way to do a full coverage without removing the molding?
For most installers, Jeep probably has one of the most challenging windows to wrap around with vinyl wrap film (If it is a white car, it can be even trickier). There are two parts of the window, one is fixed, and the other can be open.
The upper portion and the side of the molding is just rubber, so the installer can easily pull it off and tuck it behind the window. It is the bottom part of the molding that has metal inside.
To achieve full coverage around the window, you have to first start with cleaning and prepping – as you would do to any installation. Do a thorough cleaning with alcohol, and make sure it is 100% clean.
As soon as you finish cleaning, you can start prepping the molding. First, put masking tape along the bottom molding, where there is metal inside in order to lower the surface energy. For the particular upper portion and side molding around the fixed window, run knifeless tape around it at a point around half an inch from the edge.
These two are the parts that the installer should handle at last. For the other side molding which is around the open window, rip it off and tuck it behind the window.
Once the prep is done, you can apply a big panel of vinyl wrap film to cover up the whole window. Secure it around the window, and start creating glass. And then you can start making a relief cut. Trim the panel back for around two to three inches from the side. You will then end up with enough material to work around.
Apply heat to the material around the edge as you use your finger (make sure you have application glove on though) to feed the material into the recessed area. Starting from the upper portion of the open window, you should be going towards the bottom section.
When you have come to the bottom portion, use squeegee to feed the material into the gap. After this, make a second relief cut. It is going to be a cut on the side of the bottom section (at the end of the masking tape - on the open window side).
The reason for this is to help you be able to pick the film up properly from the side and tuck it in. And it is critical that it should be a 45-degree angle cut to make sure you have enough material to work around all the way through.
When this cut is made, use your squeegee to feed the material into the gap. And make another relief cut at the other end of the side, then tuck the film in with the squeegee again. Just make sure the material is fed in tight enough.
Once it is done, click your blade to make it sharp, as you should now do a sneaky light cut. Make a cut at a point around an eighth of an inch beyond the gap along the bottom portion. There is a low chance that you will cut directly on the paint, as there is masking tape underneath, but it should be a light cut still.
As soon as you finish the cut, pull off the excess piece, and use a micro squeegee to slide the material into the gap underneath the molding for even deeper. Make one last cut to remove the excess material, and seal it with the micro squeegee again. You will then have a fully covered bottom portion.
Now you can handle the section on the fixed window at last. Again, apply heat around the edge as your finger feeding the material into the recessed area. As soon as you finish forming, release the knifeless tape from the bottom, pull off the excess piece, and the green tape.
The rubber molding on this side is usually particularly soft, so you can simply pull it off as you feed the material into the recessed area underneath. Take your time and do it from top to bottom, right to the bottom molding.
When you have finished everything, you can cut off the excess film. Just make sure the film is properly sealed on the edge though.
By now, with enough patience and great technique, you will have a fully covered window that is wrapped without removing the molding, which is safe, and durable.