In this article, we will be looking at a technique to wrap a mirror to the edge in one piece without getting any fingers, distortion, or long term durability issues, which is a great tip for both intermediate and advanced installers who always strive for high-quality wrap job.
Before we do anything, it is good to use our way to feel our knife in the groove of the mirror without any material on it. Once we get to handle it well, we will be able to make a good cut there, because it is always tricky to cut those edges clean without getting bad cut or the material turning out shorter, even worse, cutting the molding on the outside. And as we are doing in one piece, as soon as there is one bad cut, it would be a re-doing. So spending a little time to feel it and warm-up will make a big difference during your install.
As usual, before the actual wrapping, we will have to get the material clean and prep. So make sure to have our squeegee and towel ready for it, and get the film degreased. Then it is all about starting at the right point on the mirror for wrapping to minimize as much tension at the edge as possible.
For a case study, we have a gloss carbon film in this case. So it is especially important to not overstretch it on edge, because it will shrink back overtime for sure. Now we are going to use the body line on the mirror as our guideline. Once we relax the material on the area and lock it onto the body line, we are going to use minimum heat for the corner.
Corners are always tricky. We are not able to create hyper glass there, but we have to feed the material to the corners. Make sure when we heat it, we heat the area outside of the part we are applying. What we are doing is to soften the outside. And we are going to spread the material just to the edge.
Once it is spread and relaxed, get our soft squeegee ready to confirm it. As soon as we get to the edge, try as much possible as we can to minimize any distortion in the carbon print. Picking the material up then - The crucial thing is though: to pick it away from the molding on the edge of the mirror, then tuck it into the base. Here at this point, the top of the mirror is set.
We can then focus on the bottom, which we will do the same thing here. Spread the material out evenly to the edge with as little heat as possible – remember, we are heating it away from the section that we are applying. And make a relief cut so that the material can relax in the base.
Then it is all about reading the wrinkles, picking the material up, and heating it. We are going to heat it three or four inches below the section that we are applying. And then we can squeegee it down well right to the rubber molding.
We are going to do the same thing on the corner as well: picking the film up, giving the material as much space to relax as possible, heating it just a little bit – do not raise the temperature too much but just enough.
Next, we spread the material out, go lightly straight for the corner. By doing this, we are relaxing the material right there on the side. And with this gloss carbon film, we can also take advantage of its air regress feature and squeegee it down very well.
Once the material is on the main surface area, we are going to heat it before doing anything. However, it is NOT post-heating yet. We are just heating all the edges right now – to heat all the adhesive on the entire mirror, and letting it flow into the paint. But the trick is to wait 30 minutes after the heating before we do anything.
After about 30 minutes, we can come back and post-heat. This 30-minute is to help the adhesive settle underneath the film before we post-heat it. Once we post-heat it, we are going to let the mirror cool down for about another half an hour before cutting.
Half an hour later, we can pick the material up and tuck it in one more time. We are wrapping a wide mirror in this case. We are going to relax the edge right now. But because the film has been post-heated, every time we pick it up, do not forget to tuck it in (best with a micro squeegee) again. And here we are not going to feel any tension on edge anymore. We start at one point doing it, and we are going to do 360-degree to make sure all edges are perfectly tucked in clean and tight.
It is crucial to tuck in tight before we make the cutting because if we cut before tucking it, the material might turn out shorter, and we are going to see a little white on the area. But by picking the material up and tucking it in with no stress on the film, the material goes entirely to the edge now, and it is now 100% full coverage.
Next, it is all about more complicated on the right side. We are going to cut on the molding side, which we will get around 60 inches material that wraps around the edge - Remember to use our micro squeegee to squeegee it down afterward. The tip of our blade should be barely in between the groove.
Do not forget to click your blade before cutting and make sure it is sharp enough. This is to make sure your knife goes steady enough, and the setup is tight enough so that your knife would not jump out. Once the cutting is done, pull the excess material carefully away, then seal the edge with the micro squeegee.
NowHere we have good full coverage and high-quality wrap job with a mirror. But of course, we have put a lot of effort and time into it. Some wrappers might use knifeless tape or edge seal tape to help with mirror wrapping. But at the end of the day, you will meet clients who want a mirror that is wrapped to the edge. This is a different setup here.
But for sure it is not that much more difficult than a usual mirror wrapping. We have to do some extra steps here. And we hope this article will give you some insight. Happy wrapping!