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[HOW TO] Chrome Grille to Black Vinyl Wrap

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by rokape, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Thought I'd post my pics of my grill & how I did it. As for bumper removal, I am not going to explain that, as there is a good guide here already: Fourtitude.com - DIY: front bumper removal and blackout grille install

    Bumper removal, follow the above guide for this & remember to have something soft to rest it on! And disconnect your fog light plugs!

    IMG_2253.jpg

    I didn't take any pics of detaching the grille surround from the grille itself, but there are a fair load of clips. Just be very VERY careful not to break it & snap it, be patient or you will be very upset with yourself! This was the most stressful part for me. You first detach the grille from the bumper, and then the surround from the grille.

    IMG_2254.jpg

    I then put my bumper back onto the car with the grille, minus the surround. It already looked better & less bling! :)

    IMG_2255.jpg

    I ordered two 100cm x 90cm sheets of Vinyl from Vinyl Depot (Matt Black: Matt black - Vinyl Depot) & Gloss Black (Gloss black - Vinyl Depot). Awesome company, used them before & got a great service again, highly recommended. Very cheap too, it was £10 for two large sheets of vinyl in P&P, VAT etc.

    The reason I ordered two was in case I either messed up one or didn't like Matt. I didn't think I'd like matt black, but it's more satin than matt really. I still have a sheet of gloss untouched. I also cleaned the grille with a damp cloth & then dried it.

    IMG_2257.jpg

    You either need a heat gun (this was a paint stripper one, same thing) or a hair dryer. I did my desk with a hair dryer & this with a heat gun, the gun is better but hair d will work just as well.

    IMG_2258.jpg

    Lay the vinyl out, & then cut it to length. Give yourself plenty of excess to work with, although mine did get in the way, so maybe less - up to you. But remember, you can easily cut it away, but you can't add it back in!

    I then started to peel it, try to have as many creases as possible on it, however some are fine & air bubbles are no biggie yet. Try your best not to get any but if you do, don't worry yet.

    IMG_2259.jpg IMG_2260.jpg

    Flip it over, you can see I had a few creases & bubbles, it also looks like a super man badge!

    IMG_2261.jpg

    Now for the fun part, shrinking it! When this stuff gets warm (NOT HOT!!), it tends to go stretchy, but at the same time it wants to shrink. It is hard to explain, but it's awesome stuff, very forgiving.


    I stretched the inside first, like a drum skin. This is the time you need to remove air bubbles.

    IMG_2262.jpg

    Flip it over & cut the inside out. Without cutting it out yet it will just not work, it pulls on itself & pulls if off of the grille & you can't stick it down & wrap it around. I cut out a big sheet & saved it for another project!

    IMG_2263.jpg
    IMG_2264.jpg

    You'll now need to start wrapping the inside corners. Remember the cuts you made in the vinyl, they most likely have sharp edged. This stuff will tear & look awful if it does, so round the corners out so there is nothing sharp to start a tear when you stretch it around the corner.

    IMG_2265.jpg

    Start stretching around, be very patient. From peeling my vinyl onto the grille to finished wrapping was about 3 hours. Not very quick, so be patient (it pays off!)

    IMG_2266.jpg

    You'll start to see how awesome it's going to look... this is good encouragement! :D

    Then wrap the inside corners one at a time, and then the inside edges & then double check them all.

    Remember to cut the vinyl off of the clips so you can push it back on later.

    IMG_2267.jpg

    Start to trim away the outer vinyl like you did inside. The top corners are big & easy to wrap with no bubbles / creases. The bottom ones are a little harder - stick at it!

    IMG_2268.jpg

    Finally I was finished. Clips clear & all vinyl wrapped & glued to the back. Remember to heat it up to shrink any & make it tight.

    IMG_2269.jpg
    IMG_2270.jpg

    Finished product - very pleased.

    IMG_2271.jpg

    Pushed it back onto the car, bit tough to do but have patience again.

    IMG_2272.jpg

    Low front view - very pleased!! :D

    IMG_2273.jpg

    I think it looks nicer than the gloss would do, as my car is black already, contrasts nicely.

    Any questions / comments, let me know! :)

    Good luck!
    #1
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  3. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    very long way round
    30 min job on the car is all it takes
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  4. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Well I don't quite know how you would wrap it all the way around & shrink it on while it's on the car.. would look shabby.
    #3
  5. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    The last photo looks awesome! Such a nice finish, good job! What would people say are the pro's/con's of using a wrap vs plasti-dip? Does the wrap give a better finish? Going to do some photoshopping to see how it will look but I'm well up for this!
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  6. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    no it dont look shabby if its done right
    its very easy you could have saved yourself a good few hour
    all the wrapping firms would have done it on the car
    #5
  7. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Thanks :)

    I think plastidipping would be easier & might even look better, but I remember someone had issued with it starting to peel on edges even after a lot of coats. I was tempted to buy plastidip in a can & do it & was still going to if this didn't turn out well.

    I also got turned off by the cost if it didn't work.. it was quite cheap until I added on VAT & P&P.. turned me off plastidip.

    I wanted it reversible, thats why I didn't paint it. It could of used a sand down (due to a few chips) but then it wouldn't be reversible.

    Do vinyl, cheap enough to buy one sheet & try it out. Remember you can keep the surround off the car for as long as needed, that was my plan but I ended up doing it in 1 day! Still drive around with it unclipped & off the car. Bumper removal was the main drawback.
    #6
  8. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    I can't see how it would work & look good, unless of course you vinyl stuff all day for a living :)
    #7
  9. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Hmmm Im worried I would mess up a wrap as Im not the most patient of people haha! But it doesn't seem to hard the way you've done it. Am I right in thinking you went with matt black in the end? If I did do it I would also do my fog light surrounds as they are chrome.
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  10. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Yeah I went with matt in the end. It's more satin that true matt, looks awesome.

    I'm not very patient either, but I worked it out.. I'm patient when I need to be, but very impatient when something is being done slower than what it could be done, ie someone taking ages to call me back or do something I'm waiting for, but it patients is needed to do something like this, I don't have a problem taking my time. What have you got to lose? :p

    Small surrounds would be easy! :D DO IT!!
    #9
  11. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Here's my pro and con of each from what I've used and done.

    Plasti dip.
    Pros. minimum prep work, quick, no extra tools needed, no stripping of parts, easy and paint free to remove.
    Cons. Costs more than wrap, limited colours (base colours only), need extra dip if you want to go gloss, Unknown life expectancy.

    Wrap.
    Pros. multiple colours and designs, 10 year warranty on some units, cheap.
    Cons. stripping of parts recommended for better finish (the smaller parts), pain to the remove when want to change, can leave a sticky residue, can be expensive.

    Plasti dip on my roof, grill and window rubbers is still on with no issues. I've done over 1000 miles and its still looks good.
    When I used wrap it started to peel at the edges.
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  12. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Ok cheeky bit of photoshop later to make sure then I'm game! Thanks (for convincing me to spend money) rokape! Hahaha :arco:
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  13. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    So no need to remove parts with plasti-dip? Ok back to stage one :think: Il have a think :happy:
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  14. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    i dont wrap vinyl every day but what your saying unless your a pro in vinyl you could never make it look good ?
    iv done a fair bit and i take my time and never get wrinkles bubbles etc
    #13
  15. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Its up to you.

    I left the window rubbers on, my roof on and the rub strips on the GTI on.
    I just pulled off and cleaned off the over spray.




    I did take my grill off and my wipers off to dip them.
    Wish I left my grill on though. lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  16. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    For around a tenner? Bargain!

    Scott which exact plasti-dip did you get?
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  17. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Another version to convince you :p

    2.jpg
    #16
  18. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    I buy in litres mate.

    last order was 5 litres of black.
    I want to get a bit more but they sold out. :(

    Might buy some glow in the dark and clear though.
    #17
  19. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    I might have to come up & see you one weekend Scott ;) I want to see what my mirrors would look like in matt black. They have a few scratches on them
    #18
  20. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Depending on the depth we might be able to get away with them.
    Can keep them on the car as well. :)

    I'm working on a sanding technique for plasti dip.
    Need to have some good weather to get out there and play but I hate wasting the stuff.

    I'm doing a batch of things this saturday if the weather is nice.
    So you're more than welcome to come up.
    #19
  21. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Scott can you wash plasti-dip easily? I just imagine it coming off when it comes in contact with a sponge?
    #20
  22. Zak0123
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    Zak0123 Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    #21
  23. BigWillyStyle
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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Think i'll be getting some Plasti-Dip for my front grill, i just worry i'll decide to spray everything lol
    #22
  24. ScottD3
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    ScottD3 I want your faulty electronics Supporter

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Yeah its fine.
    I washed mine with a wash mitt and non-wax shampoo and it was fine.
    No issue.

    My window rubbers stood up to a jet washer as well.

    That's my problem.
    I just want to paint everything but I'm running out of things to dip and running out of tip. lol
    #23
  25. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    I think I might get some gloss black and have a go. I have wrapped my interior trim a few months ago and it has stayed looking good!

    This is the colour combo I'll end up with which I fancy ... gloss black on grey.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #24
  26. batch
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    batch Active Member

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    [Aug 15, 2012]
    Mate that looks SO good! Love the satin finish - very mean!
    Excellent work!
    #25
  27. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 16, 2012]
    That combo looks mint.

    Does anyone know where I can buy one of those bumpers? What is it's name or part num? I am dying for one... would make it look so much meaner!
    #26
  28. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 16, 2012]
    Its just an S line Bumper mate. Ads has a huge thread on bumper conversion on here if you search.
    #27
  29. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 16, 2012]
    Yeah but my car is S Line already..?
    #28
  30. TimG
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    TimG Active Member

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    [Aug 16, 2012]
    What year is it? I think the only year that didn't have those bumpers was maybe 2005?

    OT, I just ordered some Gloss vinyl so I'll see how it goes!
    #29
  31. rokape
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    rokape Member

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    [Aug 16, 2012]
    It's 2006, 55 plate. I just rang Audi parts & they weren't very helpful. I will speak to my mechanic & get him to call TPS see if they can help.

    Vinyl, awesome! You'll enjoy doing it! :) Good luck ;)
    #30

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