After doing the DIY Xpel PPF for the top of the rear bumper and rear rocker panels by cutting a standard Xpel roll myself, I decided to try the mirrors, hood and front bumper. Arguably a lot harder, and required lots of patience, learning on the fly and attention to details was key. But it is done and I am happy with the results, specially for a DIY project.
|DIY Xpel on Hood - Bikini Cut|
I bought my pre-cut kits at a discounted price, compared to OEM pricing listed on the Xpel website, by contacting Chad Baker. Paid via PayPal and got the Fedex shipments in 2 days. I took my time and did this over 2 days in the garage.
Here are some tips:
First watch lots of YoutTube videos on solutions and techniques. I bought the following at a local target:
Start small then go big. I used this video to mix my solutions concentrations. I only used the slip and tack solutions. I did not need the gel.
|Slip and Tack solutions ready|
1. Car washed and dried. Microfiber cloth and detailer spray used to clean the car after drying
2. Work area cleaned so as to eliminate dirt and dust. It was pretty humid out and about 70 degrees so I kept the garage door closed, which is a good idea for dust elimination anyways.
3. Cleaned the area where the film was applied with the rubbing alcohol first to remove any wax or chemical from washes.
4. Used plenty of slip solution on the surface and back of the film before applying it to the car.
Cut the various sections out from the roll around the shape to be able to deal with individual pieces. The kit included 2 options for mirrors and door handle covers too.
|Sections cut out|
I peeled the various pieces and applied them one at a time. Took extra care to not have the film stick to itself. Slip solution on the back as you peel the backing is a good trick to avoid that from happening.
The hood piece went on first and I was able to practice good movement and squeegee technique. Lined up the logo cut out and squeegeed out from the center to both sides. Took extra care to not to allow a section to become dry or get dirt underneath.
|Working out from center logo to sides|
Extra care to finish the edges then sprayed the tack solution on top and wipe to see the fitment and any pockets of fluid or air, squeegee again.
Once the hood bikini cut was done, worked on the fenders around each headlight.
|Fenders after hood.|
|3 piece applied to mirrors|
|Front bumper completely covered|
With the $ saved thanks to the purchase price and DIY work, I can definitely redo it next year with another piece depending on how dinged up this piece gets over time.