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Question Training to install Wraps

Discussion in 'Vehicle Wraps' started by funnyb0nz, Mar 16, 2020.

  1. funnyb0nz

    funnyb0nz Member

    Apr 1, 2019
    Where is best place to go get trained to install Vinyl? I just ordered an Epson SC 40600, and looking to design my own Wrap for my 1996 Baja Outlaw, and my 2016 Ford Transist Van then install it. Where is best place to get trained here in the states? Also should I get 3M certified or Avery?
    I already have a few customer's that want their vehicles done however I figured be better if I got trained and learned the required skills versus just trying it out myself in my shop.
    So curious to see where you guys went and what you recommend. I was looking at Geek Wraps, however seeing a lot of you on here jumping ship from 3M and moveing to Avery.
    I am in NW Ohio, so closer would be better, however if need to Travel no big deal.

    Thanks in Advance for responding.
  2. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

    Jun 10, 2016
    Port Coquitlam, bc
    Hoping you bought a laminator also? Can't wrap a vehicle without a laminator. (Printed wraps anyways... if your doing color changes with colored vinyl, you can)

    3M installer training is useless - It's just teaching you about the vinyls in level 1, level 2 is them showing you 10 different stations and you get to practice - level 3 is just a test.

    Avery install course - never taken it but I hear it's pretty good.

    You can't just take a course, do 1-2 vehicles and expect to wrap vehicles for customers though - It takes years of practice to do a vehicle properly. Starting on your two vehicles is smart, but if you're just learning to wrap... I wouldn't touch a customers car for a full wrap without doing at least 10-15 partials. Practice on your vehicles a lot, and you might get there - some pick it up quick, some never pick it up. But the last thing you want is for your customers vehicle to start peeling in 6 months and the reputation of your company will be ruined and never recover... lots of wrap shops go out of business within a year because they think it's easy to do and start up a shop, without realizing the proffit is very slim, so any screw ups pretty much negate a whole wrap job.
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. BluetailGFX

    BluetailGFX Journeyman

    Dec 3, 2018
    I had been working in sign companys since the early 90's, when I first began wrapping in 2001. At that time, it was pretty much 3M only for any formal wrap training. At the time it cost 5K to get certified with a trip to Minneapolis.

    So after being trained, having my first large printer, and Oce Arizona 180, I started to do my first wraps for clients........luckily just on some circle track race cars because.............Man I SUCKED at the start LOL........ Not just the installations, but also learning the printing and file prep aspects, the Color Print Training from Onyx was a help but a separate training was needed, which I also re-learned again, in 2005 after changing machines from the Oce to the Seiko Colorpainter (which was a big advancement with wrap printing at the time).

    The learning curve is pretty high. You should be prepared to spend some money on waste.

    But at this time, I would definitely just suggest to get training from Avery or Geek Wraps first, then 3M eventually.

    Eventually you will get some techniques nailed down....... but even me, being born into the sign business and applying vinyl since the late 80's, found the switch to wrap films challenging.

    Remember, cold stretch is good, heat stretch should be avoided when ever possible. Dont use 3M primer on Avery films, and the primer can and does affect the vehicle paint over time. So its best to not even use it......took me years to figure that out in practicality...

    Attached Files:

  4. 204SignGuy

    204SignGuy Assistant to the Regional Manager

    Mar 5, 2020
    Manitoba, Canada
    Our guys have done a one day Arlon training session, and they picked up a lot of information from that. Much more cost effective than the 3M courses, and unless you're using 3M vinyl that certification doesn't take you very far. I agree with ikarasu, lots of practice is far more valuable than any two day course. Start by watching Wrap Institute videos on YouTube and practice the techniques on your own vehicles. Much more cost effective training.
  5. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    +1 on the theory that introductory training plus practice makes perfect is the best way to get feet wet. Perhaps start on your own shop vehicle and personal vehicle, partial wraps and then work your way up. Stay away from auto 'restyling' unless you are really good and patient with finicky customers. Have had several employees go through the Avery wrap class (for installers with basic vinyl installation experience) About $1K plus travel and you get a half wrap kit and tools. Justin Pate's Wrap Institute video site is great and lots of free video out there also. Arlon videos also pretty good.
  6. funnyb0nz

    funnyb0nz Member

    Apr 1, 2019
    Thanks for info, figured like anything else, more practuce the better. I just thought that maybe the places giving training actually did a great job.
    I have plenty of my own stuff to practice on. I will have to watch Wrap instute videos on youtube if those are the best.
  7. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    The training places mentioned above do a good job. The problem is you can only absorb and understand so much at one time. With 10 to 20 students you won't get tons of one on one time, but they will help you at your level.

    It is best to get some training early on so you don't develop bad habits, then practice on your own vehicles. After you have done a few, get some more training. The industry is always evolving so going to a class or trade show every couple of years is a good idea as well.

    The Avery 2 day classes are really good @ $800 with about $600 worth of free media and tools. You get what you put into it and you can use as much vinyl as you want. Also, Avery is the easiest and most forgiving vinyl to install.

    The best training would be to work for an installer that knows what they are doing for 6 months. Then you'll to understand that you need alot of different stratagies to tackle a vehicle and each vehilce is slightly different...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. BUCKY

    BUCKY Member

    Jan 15, 2018
    I am pretty sure Geek Wraps was bought up by 3M when they were doing free You Tube installation training videos and designing all their wrap tools.
    Geek wraps training videos and tools was way ahead of 3M's program, (no surprise there).... thus the buy up.
    Go with the Avery training. The 3M training school was a waste of money, then you have to pay them more to get certified on top of it.
  9. Mike the Laminator

    Mike the Laminator New Member

    Apr 8, 2020
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks so much to everyone who gave such great advice here. I wish I read this before asking my newb questions in another thread. I am more curious about wrapping now, but even more nervous to even try. I am wondering if for someone that will end up doing as little of it as I will if I should just find someone with experience to do that for me. In my previous business I really didn't farm things out often enough. I think that is where I failed. Don't want to make the same mistake twice.
  10. Reveal1

    Reveal1 Active Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    Another thought. When we started 10 years ago, my Fellers rep put me in touch with an installer in St. Louis who I hired to come down to do our first wrap. It was expensive (I paid travel) but worth it as I learned a lot just watching them and picking their brains on best practices (and also witnessed a few thing not to do). There is a wrap installer guild https://apps.sgia.org/pdaa/installerSearch.cfm now and also check 3M or Avery certified, They might be able to connect you with installers depending on location.
  11. Jester

    Jester Slow is Fast

    Dec 2, 2019
  12. XtremeXccessories

    XtremeXccessories Member

    May 18, 2012
    Layton, UT
    I'm an Avery Certified Wrap Installer and I've never heard this, Justin Pate was the instructor in my certification class and he said Primer 94 is perfectly fine (used sparingly and only when necessary, of course). That was a few years ago, is it a recent change? When I took an Orafol training class about a decade ago they said absolutely do not use Primer 94 with their films, as it has an adverse reaction with their adhesive formula and will break it down over time.
    • OMG / Wow! OMG / Wow! x 1

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