Wrapping around side molding can be very difficult because of the tricky corners, especially when you have to do a color change project. Some installers like to make a small overlap on the corners to handle in two pieces of vinyl wrap film to deal with the potential problems and achieve full coverage.
However, there are times when you have to do the whole thing in one piece. For example, some clients just do not like it to be done separately. So even if you prefer doing it in two pieces, it is good to learn how to handle it in one piece as well.
Here are some tips for you to master wrapping around side molding in one piece without having the vinyl wrap film bunching up or wrinkling on the corners so that you can get full coverage in this way.
For the upper and bottom parts of the molding, they are flat, so it will not take you too much effort. In other words, you should be focused entirely on the corners. Deal with the corners on both sides first, and handle the middle last.
You can first apply the vinyl wrap film (a giant one piece) to the front door section. Squeegee it down to the upper section of the side molding. Pick up the film (on the bottom section) from the bottom and hold it away from the body of the car with one hand, while the other hand uses the corner of your squeegee to glide the material into the upper groove of the molding, and tuck the film in all the way from the front upper corner to the back upper corner (the empty side of the door).
(The higher you hold the vinyl wrap film up and away, the tighter you can tuck the material into the groove.)
Now it is to deal with the corner on the backside. It should be easier if you release the door slightly. Pick up a little bit of the material from the bottom on the side, and use your squeegee to lock the film down at the bottom corner of the backside by squeegeeing towards the bottom section.
Make a relief cut at a 10-degree angle from the upper corner on the molding (If you are not confident enough in cutting on the body of the car, use knifeless tape instead) to relax the film.
By doing it, you can swing the material towards the side of the corner. Use heat gun to heat it slightly and take the hard part of your squeegee to squeegee the material down on the side of the door.
Next, make another relief cut from the point where your last cut stops (where two relief cuts would create a triangle shape by now). Pick the triangle shape up from the middle of the molding so that it does not touch the molding, and tuck the material into the side of the molding with the hard part of your squeegee. By making the relief cuts, there is no longer tension when you do this.
As for the material on the side, you can either wrap it behind or cut it away. If you have to cut it, do not forget to angle your blade away from the edge. And once you pull out the excess film, you will have full coverage on the side.
The following is to use the tip of your blade to cut from the groove on the top of the molding. Make your cut at a point around 2cm from the corner of the backside, angle your blade out when you get to the upper corner, and continue cutting with the tip of your blade all the way to the bottom corner.
You can release a bit of the material from the upper corner by now, and pull the film of the triangle shape away, then you can use your squeegee to seal the side down.
For the bottom part of the molding, make your cut at a point around 2cm from the corner of the backside as well. Make sure your blade is parallel to the molding. And seal the material down by working away from the corner with the hard part of your squeegee.
Once the two corners of the backside of the door are dealt with, you can handle the corners on the front side following the same principle (as well as for the rest of the doors).
As soon as all the corners and both sides of the molding are set, you can make your cut all the way across – first from the top of the molding, then the bottom. After you pull the excess film away, do not forget to seal the edge down with your squeegee.
In this way, the area around the side molding on a door should be wrapped seamlessly with full coverage with very promising quality.