Wash prep for Paint Protection Film

Preparing a vehicle for paint protection film is a highly underrated process.

Without the proper steps in the prep stages of paint protection film the installation will not be as discreet in appearance and may not last as long.

If you are preparing to purchase paint protection film, you NEED to be asking about the prep process. It will be a great indicator of the quality you can anticipate receiving.

So, let us share some of the vital components in our process that lead to outstanding results, beginning with the wash process we will cover in this post.

Even a lightly driven vehicle can conceal dirt, dust, and grime that can become trapped between the surface and the film.

It important to understand that the prep process can be limited to areas that film will be installed, along with its nearby panels. But, in many instances a full wash can be the best course of action.

With a full crew at our disposal we are able to tackle multiple phases of the wash at once. If it were a one man wash, it is best to begin with the wheels, tires, and wheel wells. The tires and wheels wheels accumulate all kinds of grime and debris, from tiny rocks to dirt.

Then a pre-rinse of panels is essential, removing the heavy soiling from the surfaces. This leaves behind a film sticking to the paint that will need a hand wash to remove. Also lurking are all sorts of undesirables in cracks and crevices.

We load up the foam cannon with proper dilution to help emulsify dirt as well as provide lubrication for specialized brushes that will attack panel joints, around trim pieces, and detailed areas like grills.

Foam from the lance can be added as needed. We now have what we need to get into those nooks and crannies without damaging the surfaces. It is important to note that this requires a specialized brush as well as proper technique.

The hand wash is a process we use in all detailing jobs in our facility. A two bucket method is used for maximum protection against adding scratches and swirls. We use a two wash mitt method as well. A red mitt is used on the higher panels, while the gray mitts are used on lower panels like the rockers. Once again, this reduces the chances of adding swirls to the painted surfaces.

The mitts glide across the paint without any pressure added. Then the vehicle is rinsed.

The paint can then be hand dried with a clean microfiber and all panel edges will be blown dry.

The paint can then be clayed to remove any particles bonded to the paint. Although the vehicle is now clean there will be several more phases to cleaning to removing any dust that settles on the paint prior to each piece of film being installed.

This process can be time consuming, but is absolutely essential, laying the foundation for a clean paint protection film installation.

Use this article as reference when asking your installer about paint protection film installation.

If the prep is followed an experienced installed will be able to produce extraordinary results.

Here are a few photos of the team working on this installation. Joe begins to float the film into position.

Edges are expertly aligned.

Areas where film can wrapped are extended and then wrapped over.

The final results are hardly noticeable even to a trained eye.

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