So decided to wrap the centre console of the Civic just for something to do. This was my first time ever doing this so it was a learning process. There is an entire barrage of tutorials on the internet but I thought I would do a quick one on here just for the sake of it. This is not perfect, but I am happy that with a bit more practice, it would be.
- Difficulty Level:
This was an enjoyable little project to will away an afternoon whilst watching far too much Netflix.
- Something to clean the plastic with - I used isoproyl alcholol
- Utility blade
- Heatgun or hairdryer
Wipe down the trim with some isoproyl alcholol to remove all traces of oil and muck.
Measure the trim against the vinyl and cut the sheet a bit larger obviously.
Peel away the sticky back, and grabbing the plastic at the rear of the trim, turn it upside down, align it so its straight and put it onto the wrap. The wrap is really incredibly sticky so watch your fingers. Once its attached, just trim the vinyl down further to allow around an inch of so of excess.
Grab the missus hairdryer, turn the trim over, turn the hairdryer and heat up the area. I used my hand as a guide, I found that the vinyl became really pliable pretty much at the point where the hot air was pretty much as hot as my hand could handle. I appreciate that this is subjective, but it took around 10 seconds or so, holding the hairdryer from around 6 inches away. As the vinyl becomes pliable, it sags down into any holes. Get your finger and just trace the outline of any holes. It takes a few seconds for the vinyl to cool down and hold onto the edges so you need to be relatively quick.
I decided to wrap around the edges of the trim as the vinyl kept getting caught as I was worried about the constant grabbing and letting go affecting its sticking ability. Grab the hairdryer again and heat up along the edges of one side of the trim. Do it one side at a time due to the speed at which the vinyl cools down. I started at the top, heat up around the edges and you will see the vinyl start to sag again. Grab the excess and pull it taunt and over the edge. Run your fingers along the top of the trim, pushing slightly outwards to ensure that there are no wrinkles on the edges and then stick the vinyl excess on the back of the trim, pushing it in all the little crevices as possible, then trim any further excess away.
CORNERS - This was suprisingly quite easy. With the vinyl nice and hot, pull the vinyl at an angle to the corner and pull it over it, forcing the trim to want to puncture the vinyl and therefore moulding it to the corner. With this done, just stick it behind the trim as above.
Grab your utility blade and make star cuts in the holes. Make the cuts approximately 2 cms from the edge of the hole. This is where I made my first mistake. I cut a bit too close to the edge of the hole so that when I stretched the vinyl over, it showed the cut. The gearlever shroud will cover this so its not the end of the world, but its still not right. So, make the cuts, the more cuts you make, the easier it is to cover tight corners.
Wrap the vinyl using the hairdryer and pulling each strand taunt and sticking it onto the trim behind as described above. As you pull it taunt, run your finger on the inside of the hole to ensure that the vinyl is sticking to it correctly and that there are no air bubbles. With a bit of care and patience, you end up with this: (Red circles show where I cut the slits a bit too close to the outside of the hole and when stretched, can now see the trim below it. This will be covered by the gearlever trim)
Do this to the rest of the trim. The centre console was really challenging as it is obviously not flat, but it bends in all directions so the vinyl kept wanting to wrinkle. Ideally, you want to shrink the wrap in order to eradicate any excess and prevent the wrinkles, but the heat only makes it pliable.
I worked out that by cutting a slit where the double din goes, it gave the vinyl enough flexibility to force the wrinkles into the double din and allowing the trim to stick properly.
The dials are only there to see how it looks. I will put on the correct ones from the EP2 when I change the trim over.
Wrap the stereo surround using the same method. Secure the edges first, then cut the slits in the hole, and secure the wrap around the back of the trim and remove any excess.
The end result looks like this:
MISTAKES I LEARNT:
- Use a hairdryer/heatgun for every single edge that you pull the wrap over
- If you get any wrinkles, reapply heat, pull the vinyl free and reapply.
- If you get any bubbles, reapply heat and push the bubbles out using a squegee or a credit card (which is what I used)
- don't cut too close to the edge, it will show when you pull the wrap taunt.
- don't cut too much excess of when its stuck into place at the rear of the trim - try to find a nice balance. Too little left will result in the wrapping unpeeling, too much means that it just won't fit on small trim pieces.