To wrap up a vehicle section in one piece of vinyl wrap film can be very challenging sometimes. Even if you manage to do it in the end, the quality might not last as long as you expected. In a situation like this, wrapping with overlapping pieces can save you from many potential problems.
However, it is not just a question about making overlaps, but what kind of overlaps you should make according to different circumstances. In some cases, creating an inlay in a section can help the finish look relatively better. Other times, making an overlay can ensure a high-quality and long-durability result. Thus, a wrapper must think of all factors to decide what type of overlap you need.
Here are some examples you can refer to:
Some vehicles have deep recessed areas on their front bumpers. The best solution for this is to wrap up the inside of the recessed area with an inlay first, as there will be tension. Then, wrap the outside (the main bumper area) with the vinyl wrap film overlapping the inlay.
The main surface is generally flat, and there is not much tension. Thus, by doing this, the main piece can help keep the inlay well. Also, because the overlap is going towards the inside, the edge can be well hidden.
A back bumper can usually be seen as two sections: the main area at the bottom and the upper portion near the trunk. Some installers might tend to wrap them in one piece, but it might not be good for the performance of the vinyl wrap film, as the upper section often has a few steep angles. And wrapping in one giant piece is just not enough to hold them well. So creating an overlap is crucial in this section.
But should you make an inlay or overlay? You might want to consider these: The overlap can blend with the vinyl wrap color better if you wrap the upper section with an inlay, and overlapping it from the main bumper area.
However, the upper section usually tends to get scratched and damaged as people take their luggage out from the trunk. So you might have to replace the film there quite often. And an overlay would be a better choice in this case, which means you should wrap the main bumper area first, handling the upper section at last.
There are mirrors with a steep angle on the backside. If you wrap this mirror in one piece of vinyl wrap film, there will be a huge amount of tension on the wrap, which will lead it to bounce back over time. An overlap can save you in this situation as well.
There are two factors to consider before deciding whether to make inlay or overlay: the backside is hidden from your direct view; and there will be tension building up as you wrap around the main surface area. Following this logic, you can easily conclude that an overlay will be much better.
This means you have to wrap around the main mirror area first (wrap it around to the backside for about one centimeter). Then, create an overlay on the backside with the vinyl wrap film overlapping the main piece.
Although there is a steep angle between the main area and the backside, the backside is generally flat, while there is tension on the main piece. So by doing this, the film on the backside can help hold the main piece. Also, because you cannot see the backside from direct view, the overlap will be hidden well in this case.
In short, no matter what section you are wrapping, when you have to make an overlap, think of the tension point to figure out how you can make the film more durable, and know to take advantage of the bodyline to help you hide the edge better, you will then be able to achieve a seamless-looking, high-quality, and long-durability finish.