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542 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wanted to do a quick write up on wrapping the front grill. I try to always take images since this is a new vehicle, and there isn't that much content on the site. Appreciate those that have done the same! After you do vinyl successfully you'll feel confident and try to DIY paint protection film which is much easier IMO. Since you can slip and slide it.

Not sure what the shops do, for a project like this. Full disassemble or cut on paint. I prefer not to have a knife cut into my paint.

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Highly suggest watching several youtube videos on vinyl wrapping beforehand. CK Wraps has excellent ones.

Tools needed

- Removal tool for clips (I used a stubby screwdriver, flat head and some trim removal tools
- Vinyl install kit (Squeegee, sharp utility knife)
- 2x5' piece of vinyl of your choice (Avery Dennison Satin black (freezer ziplock back thickness) is what I used, it is more workable than 3M (freezer ziplock bag x2)
- Harbor Freight Moving blankets to protect bumper
- 3M painters tape (to product the fender when reinstalling bumper yourself
- Zip ties (to temporarily hold the bumper on the top holes, so you can re-align the tabs

  1. Remove bumper, there are about a dozen plastic clips on the bottom side of the bumper, and one in each fender well. You do not need to remove the triangular piece in front of the tire
  2. Unplug Fog lights (if you have them)
  3. Set bumper on the ground and remove grill
  4. Remove grill trim with screwdriver for the hardare, and a plastic prying tool for the tabs
  5. Clean grill surround and wrap it, and trim to tuck under, I left 1'' or so to wrap under the back side
  6. Reinstall

Things you should watch out for
  1. Overstretching the film too much on one side, you'll be left with the excess on the inside opening to hide later
  2. Smooth even tension is best (hence my PVC/sweater method below), pull too much and you'll create finger impressions permamently on the film.

Things I'd do different if I were to try do it again.

Method is up to you, but I feel like big smooth motion/pushing on large surface area will yield better results than 10 pointy fingers. Basically mimicking this device

  1. Remove vinyl from backing, and attach to PVC pipes or a rectangular PVC pipe grid (should cost under $5)
  2. Elevate the grill surround and do a ''vacuum form'' or ''hydrographic'' technique over the grill. Smooth even pressure over the entire area, is much better than your fingers with varying amounts of pressure.
  3. using a cylindrical object close to the size of the inside hole, rolled up sweater or cut pool noodle to apply even prressure on the inside hole to do the ''vacuum'' part
  4. Paint protection film on the headlights at the same time


542 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Subaru owes you a commission check lol. Saw your pics a couple months back and immediately wanted an Ascent.

Ended up getting a white premium. Did you wrap the chrome piece on the rear also?

No I didn't, I might add some red film to the tail lights though! I did the grill because it was a large chunk of chrome around a black grill on a white vehicle. I left the accents near the fog lights because I felt it tied the fogs into the headlights a bit more.

I will wrap the windows and low portion when I get some free time again...
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