Smart car door wrapping: Don’t judge recessed area by size

It looks easy to wrap a door on a Smart car with vinyl film, as it is primarily flat, and the door handle is easy to work around. There is only a tiny recessed gap in the middle and another small one around the door handle.


Some installers might bridge the vehicle wrap over the gap and force the material in because it is so tiny. However, the size of a recessed area never determines the difficulty of installation.


It is more about the depth and angle of a recessed area. By bridging and pushing the vinyl into the gap simply because you think it is small, you will overstretch the material.


Here is how you should do it:


Secure the panel

The door of a Smart car is plastic. Thus, you need to use masking tape to secure it onto the body. Make a horizontal one across the middle, where it is about two-thirds the way up, which will separate the vinyl film into the top and bottom sections. And add a few more pieces on the left and right to ensure it is locked in place.


Create a permanent hinge

You can now cut off the backing paper of the film in the top section with a safety cutter. Squeegee across the masking tape to create a permanent hinge. And you are safe to squeegee down the material incrementally towards the top.


When getting to the mirror, make a relief cut underneath. Remember to leave enough material to tuck underneath the molding. And you can leave the area around the door handle till the end.


Once the top section is wrapped, you can remove the masking tape, take off the rest of the backing paper, and get the bottom section done with overlapping squeegee strokes.


Handle the recessed area

Do not force the material in when reaching the recessed area because it will overstretch the vinyl film. Instead, pick the vehicle wrap up loose at a 90-degree angle, and feed the film into the gap bit by bit.


When reaching the end near the front bumper, you can make a relief cut to better fit the material in. The process will take time, so be patient until everything looks uniform.


Then, run your finger along the gap to tighten the film in place. Carry on squeegeeing the material down at the bottom. There might still be tension, so make sure you read the wrinkles and shift the stress away as you wrap.


Deal with the door handle last

Lastly, it is about tackling the recessed gap around the door handle. First, cut away the excess vinyl, and leave yourself around three or four centimeters of material.


Pick up the extra material from the upper corner for this area, and make a tiny relief cut there. As your free hand holds the film loose, you can easily feed the vinyl into the gap.


Get the upper part done first because it is steeper than the bottom. Once the most difficult part is dealt with, you can finish the rest without stress. And cut the excess when the vehicle wrap is fed in.


Cut on the side of the door handle, and you will have enough extra material to tuck underneath the door handle for full coverage. As soon as everything is done, cut off all excess film, and seal all edges.


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Smart car door wrapping: Don’t judge recessed area by size