Top questions from The Garage Project | Avery Dennison | Graphics

Top questions from The Garage Project

The Garage Project

Welcome to The Garage Project! This is a new and exciting production from Avery Dennison where we recently concluded Season 1. Peter Wright, our Technical Marketing Manager, experimented with wrapping unique objects and shared vehicle wrapping tricks and tips within his garage. This also included interviews with special guests - world-renowned wrapping experts Justin Pate, Rainer Lorz, and Nick Caminiti. 

With eight live episodes under our belt for Season 1, there have been lots of questions from the audience. So here are the top questions from The Garage Project for 2020, ranging from cleaning techniques to how to be successful in the industry!


Questions on cleaning techniques:


Can we use masking tape instead of the fingernail test before wrapping an item?

The fingernail test is ideal for identifying if all contaminants have been removed from the surface before application commences. You could use masking tape as an arbitrary means to test for adhesion. But the fingernail test is far more effective, as you can feel if the surface is clean or not. When you drag your fingernail across the surface, a properly cleaned surface should feel as if there is resistance against the nail, as opposed to a surface which still has contamination present, which will feel slippery. 

Can you use Surface Cleaner for the final clean?

Our surface cleaner contains solvents, similar to Isopropyl alcohol. If you use a solvent on PVC film, it strips the film of all the beneficial products we put in during the manufacturing process. Instead, we recommend using the Avery Dennison sealants and cleaners which are water-based, and designed to work harmoniously with our films. A soap and water solution would also be suitable as long as it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals and is pH neutral.

Does a paint protection film or wrapping film need to be installed on a perfectly prepared surface?

Yes, we recommend that our films are only applied to sound OEM paint systems because damaged, repaired or old weathered substrates can impede the adhesion and cause issues with the film.

What’s the main benefit of Avery Denison’s Surface Cleaner?

The key benefit is that it’s designed by installers for installers. They wanted a product that would degrease and clean in one swift action. There is no need to use the two rag method, you can spray it, allow it to dwell and then wipe it off. That’s the Avery Dennison Surface Cleaner!

How often should we replace the squeegee?

It’s basically a visual assessment, so for the blue squeegee, if the edge is damaged and not perfectly straight, it needs to be replaced. For the red squeegee, if the felt is worn or there is debris in the felt, then the felt needs to be replaced. Generally, if you use the squeegees for the right purposes, they will last you a reasonable amount of time. But you should get in the habit of regularly replacing the felt buffer to reduce scratching etc.

The Garage Project

Questions on wrapping a car:

 If I forget to hook the material onto the corners when I’m wrapping the front guard, can I hook them towards the end of the installation?

It’s not ideal because when we pull and hook to the corner we don’t want to concentrate stretch in one area, we want it distributed over a larger amount of material.

How do you determine the stretch of the film?

To determine the stretch needed, simply lay a piece of masking tape across the surface to be wrapped and mark the highpoints or start and finish of the recess on the tape. Using this same tape, lift one end up and lay the tape into the recess and mark the highpoint once again. Measure the distance between the two points, then divide the smaller length by the larger length and you have the percentage of stretch required. This is nearly always less than 20%.

What’s the most important consideration when wrapping bumpers?

Take lots of photos, clean the surface well, and identify the trouble points, areas where you will end up with too much material, particularly around the curved edges. It’s a combination of knowing when to spread the material out, but also knowing where to bring it back in. Also use inlays where you feel the tension will be too high.

How do you decide between a squeegee and a glove when wrapping a bonnet?

It comes down to what works best for the shape of the substrate. I recommend using a squeegee for anything that’s flat. But when you start to hit compound shapes or recesses, then I like to switch to the glove as it gives control and feel when applying the film.

What about wrapping around shark fin aerials on roofs? 

There will be an upcoming video on this, but essentially you template the area first to create a hole in the material. Then apply masking tape to the fin which allows you to slide the film down over the fin, tucking the edges under the aerial’s rubber seal.

 How do you wrap a roof and side that are in one piece, and the join isn’t hidden with a garnish?

Use tape to set the line of the wrap along the edge of the roof and do the same for the side wrap with some slight overlap.  

How do you decide if a wing mirror needs heat?

It comes down to the shape of the mirror. If there’s a large return, the heat helps the film to relax around the edges. In short there will always be some level of heat required, but avoid using the heat to stretch the film around the object where tension ends up on critical edges.

The Garage Project

Questions on wrapping special objects:

What’s the weirdest thing Justin Pate has ever wrapped?

He’s wrapped a coffee maker and a mannequin! 

What item is Justin most keen to wrap?

Justin says that he has always wanted to wrap a big commercial airliner!

How did Pete create the template for the graphics on the lawn mower?

He printed the graphics on paper, applied them to the wrapping film and then cut through the paper onto the wrapping film. Then used the cut wrapping film as the graphics, then applied these as overlays to the film on the lawn mower. 

How complex was wrapping the lawnmower?

Peter gave it a complexity of 7 to 8 out of 10 because it was a complex share that required three pieces to reduce tension around the complex shape and severe recesses.

What material did Pete use to wrap the snowboard?

I used MPI 1005 EA RS, this was printed using a HP L560 printer with HP Latex inks and then after the film was installed, I applied the newly launched highly durable and scratch-resistant polyurethane paint protection film. To ensure the graphic is robust and remains in place, the edges were sealed with Avery Dennison Edge Sealer.

The Garage Project

Questions about being successful in this industry: 

What skills do you need to get into the sign industry?

You need to be both nimble on your feet and a creative thinker and problem solver. Be willing to learn new techniques and approach every new challenge with an open mind and develop a solid plan.

What do Justin and Rainer prefer to wrap?

Rainer looks for challenges with lots of curves, whilst Justin likes the transformative power of turning something boring into something awesome!

Who would win a speed wrapping competition between Justin and Rainer?

Neither – because they work as a team!


The responses from our customers and Facebook community have been overwhelmingly positive. Once again, thank you for your support. I hope you enjoyed the recap of top questions asked via The Garage Project!

You can find all the episodes here:


This story first appeared in Avery Dennison Insider Newsletter.
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