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Will layering chrome vinyl wrap leave "seems" on the finished product? Answered

I'm making helmets that will require a mirror-like chrome finish. I've done a bit of looking, and have found spray paint (wont work, as the mirror finish is not there), actual chroming (WAY too pricey for me), or vinyl wrap. 

From everything I have seen, this [chrome vinyl wrap] will work wonderfully. However, the issues is that I do not know if I will have "seems" when/if I layer the vinyl. I'm sure I can avoid having to put seems on the helmets, but I would like to have my bases covered before I spend the money on the wrap itself.

Also, on a related side note: will it [vinyl wrap] chip if applied to a car? I have another project that would require a decent chunk of vinyl wrapping on my car, and again, I would like to know everything before spending the money.

thanks in advance! 

7 Replies

rickharris (author)2015-04-05

If you intend to wrap a car I would suggest you get a pro firm to do it as a perfect finish takes practice and BIG sheets of plastic.

is what your looking for.

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DoctorWoo (author)rickharris2015-04-05

I've seen a few videos of the wrap process on a car (not that one, though. It was interestin to watch!). I have a '97 Subaru legacy, so (if I understand the process) I won't have too big of a piece. But, again, I am still looking. Right now, the car wrap is between either a wrap, or plastidipping it.

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rickharris (author)DoctorWoo2015-04-05

Last car I changed the color on i hand painted with a brush.

Trick - Stand your paint in a bucket of HOT water. Makes the brush marks fade right away.

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Downunder35m (author)2015-04-04

Be aware that such reflective materials are not legal to use on vehicles that are on normal roads.

If you layer the foil it will cause a seem, depending on the thickness of the foil it is more or less visible at the right angle.
You get special wrap for cars and trucks that is "stretchy".
There are two types I know:
a) the foil shrinks up to 25% when heat is applied, which is good for curved objects
b) foil that can be expanded a bit with heat, which is good for indentations and similar

Krylon for example has glass mirror paint in the program, some brands for car paint and decoration paints have similar products.
If you can handle a spray can it should work quite well, but you need to use a white pre coat for plaistic so the mirror paint can stick properly.

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DoctorWoo (author)Downunder35m2015-04-04

Thanks for the heads up. Should have cleared that up a bit: the chrome vinyl is for a helmet (that would be used for costume purposes) and the car would be getting a wrap in a matte white vinyl.

I'll be getting the shirnking kind, that much I do know. the helmets have very few concave parts. And, the few concave parts it does have, I will do in a different piece[s] of the vinyl wrap. That is actually what led to me asking this, as I would want to overlay pieces to ensure complete coverage of the helmets.

As for the Krylon mirror paint: I've seen it and use it. I might be a touch picky, but it doesn't quite give me the right look. Plus, I need a silver chrome for one helmet, and a gold for the other. If it gives you a better handhold on what I'm doing, I'm making the helmets worn by Daft Punk.

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Downunder35m (author)DoctorWoo2015-04-04

I have done a bit foil work in the past, mostly car tinting though.
When I had to align two overlaying pieces I did the old "match the shape trick".
As most car windows are curved in at least one dimension these days (similar to your helmets just not as bad), you could try to keep the foil on the bottom a bit bigger - a mm or two of overlap can start to peel easy, 5-6mm not so much.
But I never liked this way as you always end up with a bump in the foil indicating the layer underneath.
Instead I cut through both layers of foil once aligned properly and remove the cut off bits.
The result is that both foils are stitched together with no overlap at all.
Only downside is that in a car you are unable to see the fine line between the two pieces, on a shiny helmet you might see it.
But if you keep the cuttin line slightly inside the concave area it should almost invisible.
You might have to use water with a bit of dishwashing liquid to prevent the foils from sticking until you are finnished.
When done use a hair dryer and press the remaining water out.

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DoctorWoo (author)Downunder35m2015-04-05

The overlapping bump was what I was concerned about (thats what I meant by seem, but the word bump eluded me at the time of asking the questiion...)
I was thinking that doing a butt-up of two pieces would work as well, but I'm a touch paranoid that I somehow won't get complete coverage. Is doing the buttup hard, or is it a pretty easy skill to pick up on?

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