Every time you see a wrapped vehicle on the highway or neighborhood street it catches your eye, doesn’t it? Brightly colored and customized vehicle wraps are one of the easiest ways to advertise your business or display your credentials everywhere you go. If you’re interested in installing a custom vehicle wrap you probably have a lot of questions before you started like how long does it take to wrap a car?

While we can’t give you an exact amount of time or hours that your wrap will take, we can look over the wrapping process and how long each step takes to give you an idea of how long your vehicle will be in the wrap shop. Don’t worry, even complex wraps don’t require much more than a couple of days – let’s learn why.

How Long Does It Take to Wrap a Car?

Three Steps to Wrap a Vehicle

The Design Process

Before you begin any prep or wrap work, you and your wrap company’s art department will come up with a custom design for your vehicle. Using specialized design software, a wrap company can upload a model of your vehicle to help discuss what graphics will go where and why.

You and your vehicle graphics company will use a combination of budget, practical design rules, and even your own pictures to come up with a great looking wrap that fits your budget. Depending on the complexity of the wrap the design process can take 1-2 hours for a simple one- or two-color wrap or up to several hours for a complex and customized design. Both you and wrap company will sign off on the design before wrapping begins.

Preparing the Vehicle for Wrapping

After you’ve come up with the wrap’s design it’s time to prep your vehicle for the vinyl wrap. Before wrapping your vehicle should undergo a two-step cleaning process that includes an initial cleaning provided by the vehicle owner and a secondary cleaning by the wrap company.

To prepare your vehicle for a wrap you should give it one of the best hand washes it has ever seen. You’ll need to work and wash all parts of the vehicle including wheel wells to clean out as much dirt, grime, and road gunk as possible. Depending on the size of your vehicle and work ethic, a thorough car wash could take approximately a half hour to two hours.

You’ll need to let the vehicle dry completely before the next step which might add a few more hours depending on the time of the year. To let it dry, it’s recommended to wash your vehicle the day before your wrap is scheduled. Simply park it after washing to avoid any new grease or grime.

Once you’ve given your vehicle an initial cleaning your wrap company will use alcohol and other agents for a secondary cleaning to fully prepare for a wrap. Depending on the size of your vehicle it could take your wrap company approximately a half hour to three hours to prep. If you don’t wash your vehicle before dropping it off, be prepared for some extra charges for prep work.

How Long Different Wraps Take to Apply

Wraps are giant vinyl stickers that are applied to vehicle with heat, plastic razors, and great hand eye coordination. One of the biggest factors in how long your wrap will take is the size and scale of wrap and the vehicle it’s being applied to.

Your Vehicle and Time to Wrap

Partial wraps like hoods and customized lettering don’t take very long for an experienced wrap company. You can expect partial wraps and lettering to take approximately a half hour to two hours. The more lettering and graphics, the longer the job will take.

Time for Full Wrap vs Custom Paint Job

A custom paint job takes much longer than a vehicle wrap. Because every paint detail must be laid out, applied by hand, then allowed to dry – custom paint jobs can take several days or even weeks. A custom paint job with more than a few colors will take at least a week. With wraps you can get much more customization and detail at a much better price. On top of that, your vehicle won’t be in the shop nearly as long.

Figuring Out How Long a Wrap Takes

Getting your vehicle wrapped requires designing the wrap, prepping the vehicle, and application of graphics. There are many steps in the wrap process, but it can generally be completed in entirety in as little as a few hours and a week at the most. The wrap application only takes a couple hours for partial wraps and generally two days at most for a full wrap.

If you’re ready to turn your vehicle into an outdoor billboard you can start with the peace of mind that you won’t be without your vehicle for more than a few days. Great graphics without much time in the shop? That sounds good to anyone. Don’t wait and lose leads, call The Artworks to get the wrap process started today.