Applying graphics on exterior walls presents significantly greater challenges than interior walls. Before wrapping any exterior wall, it MUST be properly tested for media compatibility. Not only will this help you select the right media, but it will also determine
if the wall can actually be wrapped Relatively smooth exterior walls may share the same installation procedure as interior walls; but how about textured walls? To achieve a paint-like finish, the graphic has to be installed in a way that it follows the wall’s texture. Begin by thoroughly cleaning the surface and removing excess grout and large imperfections. Prepare your tools: a heat gun, Snap-off blades, WrapGlove, a foam roller, IR thermometer, and a high tack masking tape. Although a torch is more convenient than a heat gun, it is harder to control and will most likely burn the film given the installation rate for textured walls. It is vitally important to make sure that all of graphic panels for the job properly prepared off-site. For details on this preparation, see the Wrap-it-Right video on Tiling Wall Graphics. For wall graphics with partial coverage, you can use any of the horizontal joints as a reference for level, because during construction these joints of are often checked for level. However, it is important that NONE of the panels’ edges actually go on top of joints and grout lines. Apply small strips of masking tape to serve as guides to offset the graphic’s top edge a couple of inches from the grout line. Line up the first tile with your guides, anchor the top with the high tack masking tape, and let the graphic hang loose. Remove the 2-inch liner strip and apply lightly with hand pressure. Next, remove the release liner ABOVE this anchor point and apply this small section using the same light pressure. Continue setting the graphic from top to bottom using light hand pressure, peeling the liner in 2 foot increments. With the whole panel set, use a foam roller and a heat gun at a rate of approximately 4 inches per second to seal the top, left, and bottom edge to prevent the film from shrinking. Proceed with the same application rate starting from the top, applying from left to right, starting and ending beyond the graphic, and overlapping each stroke by 50%. The optimum film temperature during the
application and textured surfaces is between 200 and 230 degrees Fahrenheit Once the first tile is installed, anchor the next tile on the top two corners with masking tape. With the panel hanging loose, use the registration marks made of blue masking tape to properly align the two tiles. Have somebody help you check the alignment of the remaining blue tape and adjust when necessary. Once the alignment is set, apply using the same method as the first tile. As you work your way from top to bottom, keep checking your overlap and alignment. Repeat this process for all panels until you reach your desired coverage. Printed exterior wall graphics can achieve amazing results that paint simply cannot. So wrap it right the first time, on
time, every time.