Resources - Vinyl How To Guide

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Working With Vinyl

When working with the Parts Express vinyl, I usually find that it works best to cover each face of the speaker individually. However, in a case like this project, where I was doing 5 small cabinets, I felt that cutting each cabinet face individually would be too time consuming. So, I decided to use a wrapping technique that would cut down on the number of cuts and trims I had to do. I found that this method worked quite well, and I would use it again for a similar project. Hopefully the pictures and descriptions below will provide some insight into the overall process of working with the vinyl. It really isn't too bad, and with some patience and practice, can produce very professional results.

Step 1: Cut the vinyl to length just like you were cutting wrapping paper for a present. Allow a couple inches overlap at the ends just to be safe.

Step 2: Cut the vinyl to width, allowing enough overhang for comfort. Remember, if you start your wrapping crooked, by the time you get to the end, you may not have enough overhang. If you are a first timer, I would allow several inches extra on each side, as you gain experience you can leave less and less.

Step 3: Peel off the backing starting at one end.

Step 4: Begin applying the vinyl to the cabinet, starting near the middle on the bottom. Work the vinyl down in one direction, forcing any air out of the working end of the material.

Step 5: As you work, slowly peel the backing off and press small sections into place. If you peel back too much paper at once, you increase the risk for bubbles and imperfections.

Step 6: When you reach a corner, use your thumb or fingers to actually crease the vinyl by pushing it around the edge. This will allow you to create a nice, tight corner without trying to stretch around the edge.

Step 7: Once you get past the corner, continue pulling back the paper and applying pressure.

Step 8: Continue the same process around all sides of the cabinet until you get back to the bottom. Lightly overlap the two ends of the vinyl on the bottom side.

Step 9: Using a razor knife, cut a seam through both layers of vinyl.

Step 10: Remove the excess material from the top side of the seam.

Step 11: Remove the excess material from the bottom side of the seam.

Step 12: Re-apply the vinyl and you should have a perfectly flush seam.

Step 13: Trim the majority of the excess with a pair of scissors. This makes it easier to trim with the knife, as it makes the scrap more flexible.

Step 14: Now, trim along the edge of the cabinet using a long-blade razor knife.

Step 15: Work all the way around both edges until the sides top and bottom are all trimmed.

Step 16: If the corners are not tight enough, use a hair dryer (or a heatgun-- but be careful!) to help tighten them up.

Step 17: As the corners are still hot from the hair dryer, apply pressure with your fingers to make it nice and tight.

Step 18: After applying vinyl to the remaining face of the speaker using the same methods as above, trim the edges flush.

Step 19: Cut around driver opening using a narrow-bladed knife.

Step 20: For trimming driver recesses, breaking the tip off of your knife may make it easier.

Step 21: Carefully trim around the edge of the recess, being careful to keep the blade perpendicular to the surface.

Step 22: Continue until the cabinet is done.

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