Preparation and Installation Tips for GunSkins Gun Wraps
GunSkins Gun Wraps are easy to install. In a nutshell, it's as easy as peeling the material, sticking it on, and trimming the excess. However, there are some tools that can make installation much easier. These include the following:
- Gun-specific degreaser, brush, & towel
- Sharp hobby knife
- Heat gun
We'll go through each one in order and explain why they can help make the installation of your GunSkins camo wrap as smooth and long lasting as possible.
CLEAN THE GUN
The vinyl for our GunSkins kit (like any other adhesive) will not bond with a surface if it's not clean. Anything that can get in-between the gun and the skin pose a threat to solid adhesion. For example, try taking a piece of tape and sticking it on a dusty shelf vs a clean shelf. It's no surprise which one will remain bonded to the surface.
We recommend using FrogLube Cleaning Solvent or GunScrubber and scrub the entire weapon with a brush. Guns are very porous and the gun oil is designed to settle into these areas. This will be particularly evident with a newer gun as they are generally excessively lubricated from the factory. Then wipe clean with a lint free cloth. Rubbing alcohol is a great optional step to remove remaining residue but does not cut through gun oil.
TRIM MATERIAL WITH A KNIFE
After the gun has been properly cleaned, it's time to install the camo kit. Even with pre-cut pieces, chances are there is going to be overlap and excess. When the material is positioned and pressed on the surface there may be a bolt, notch, lever, or edge that requires trimming the vinyl to make fit. This is where the Do-It-Yourself nature of these gun wraps is the most obvious.
GunSkins are made from high-performance vinyl. It's very durable and you'll find difficult to rip. That also makes it difficult to cut and trim unless you use a sharp blade. We recommend using a hobby knife, like an xacto knife, with plenty of replacement blades. From our experience, 5 blades is enough for a single install. When using the knife, always angle it away from you.
Most of our camo kits will require trimming to make fit to your gun/gear. No two rifles are exactly alike, and our kits take this into consideration. We provide enough material to cover any rifle, and then some. Proper installation does require work and time. It's very common for a single install to take 2 or more hours to complete, especially for first time installers. The more time and care you put into the skin, the better it will look in the end and the longer it will last.
One of the most important factors of whether or not a GunSkins install will last a long time and look great is whether or not enough heat is used. We recommend using a shop style heat gun if you can. A hair dyer works, too, if you don't have any other alternative. The vinyl material becomes soft and flexible when heat is applied. That's what makes the material easy to stretch around curves and edges. The heat creates a temporary separation between the skin and the adhesive, and when cooled, it holds together extremely well.
Heat should be used during the actual installation and afterward too. The post heat should be applied to the entire weapon for at least 10 minutes. Pressing with your hands and fingers while the material is warm can also help the skin to really look great and stick as close to the grooves and contours of the weapon. We cannot stress enough the important heat plays in the installation process.
DO IT YOURSELF & DO IT RIGHT
If you know someone with experience installing vinyl or vehicle wraps, they can help oversee proper installation. However, unlike wrapping a large vehicle, guns are small and very intricate. Therefore, attention to detail is more important and it's important not to rush yourself. Keep in mind that proper preparation prior to installation can make the install process go much smoother for you, especially if you use the right tools. If you need any more information, watch our installation video tutorials for each kit to get a good understanding of what this looks like in practice.
"A clean gun makes for a clean install. Take your time and do a good job."
That's Protection in Camouflage®
Posted on March 10 2015