Guide to Working Smarter, not Harder, in Installations (Part 2)

Marking graphic installation with a grease pencilOver the last seven years as the sole owner-operator of WrapStar Pro, I have developed methods that benefit solo installations. Some of these questions pop into my head, asking how I can work smarter, and not harder:
  • How do you properly execute an install without extra hands?
  • How can you make the vinyl work for you and not against you?
  • Time is money, so how can you wrap a van in four hours alone?
I will share with you some tips on how to make an install work for you without the assistance of others. If you missed part 1 on establishing a game plan and how to pre-seam and pre-hinge panels, here's your chance to catch up. The following will cover how to install large panels. 
The key to installing large panels alone is lots of magnets or tape, depending on the installation surface and the judicious use of a grease pencil. Magnets become your best friend; let them do the work for you.

On a van, after leveling the vinyl where it needs to be, I mark the vinyl and the body of the vehicle with a grease pencil on both ends. This will tell me where the vinyl needs to fall when I peel back the paper. I put a few magnets on both ends and a row of magnets at the middle of the panel to hold the vinyl in place.

Using magnets for a van installationI then choose a side, fold back the vinyl at the row of magnets to peel back the backing paper, and trim the paper. After doing this, I grab the vinyl and flip it around and match up my grease pencil marks and begin laying the vinyl. Then, I do the same for the other half. I will lay the full sheet completely then come back and finish my edges. 

I have found that having a game plan and using magnets and a grease pencil can offer significant savings in install time. Now, I’m more productive while working smarter, not harder. 
Kristin Lanzarone-Scribner
Kristin Lanzarone is the owner-operator of WrapStar Pro, a vehicle wrap and wide-format printing company. Her diverse background includes in C+ Cisco Networking, Criminal Justice & Interior Design, a Local Sheriff Academy Certificate, website building, media & marketing and graphic design. She found her passion in vinyl graphics starting in the local Motorsports industry, through which she worked with teams in NASCAR, Indy Lights, Formula Mazda and local grassroot racers. In 2015, Kristin suffered a rough season of divorce and a business buyout that resulted in her hitting rock bottom as a single mom with a vinyl business that had to be created from scratch.

Today, WrapStar Pro is thriving, and will be launching a new training facility and certification program for grassroot installers that includes motivational speaking to empower women in business and help women in crisis rise from the ashes.