Prepping an Vehicle for a Vehicle Graphics Installation

You’ve bought some vinyl for your vehicle (vinyl decals, stickers, or a company logo for your vehicle or fleet trucks. You’ve washed the car or truck and let it dry. Is there anything else you should do before applying the graphics?

Preparing a vehicle for graphics or vehicle wrap installation isn’t complicated, but if you leave a step out, the outcome can be disastrous.

The Steps to Prep — It’s As Easy as 1-2-3

1. Clean the vehicle using Isopropyl alcohol, and be sure to use lint-free rags. Use one rag to apply the alcohol, and another to dry. If the vehicle is really dirty, you might consider washing the car first with soap and water, then cleaning with the 50/50 mix.

2. If graphics were removed from the vehicle, some residual adhesive will remain on the surface. Use a citrus based cleaner to remove the adhesive, then follow up with alcohol to eliminate the citrus.

3. Before applying the decal, inspect the surface for debris, lint, or moisture.
Pro Tip — For your final pre-installation step, coat deep grooves or harsh channels with 3M 94 Vehicle Graphics Primer.

Using the correct adhesive vinyl, properly applying the graphics, and following these simple preparation steps ensures your vehicle graphics or vehicle wraps will work as intended. If you’d like more on vehicle graphics, check out our how to videos.

Interesting in a vehicle wrap?  Check out our vehicle wrap page for more information