... Continued from previous post.
Here's a tutorial I put together for somebody a while back with some updates included.
For simple flat surfaces, it's self explanatory. Preparation of the surface is key - it must me flat and smooth. I will typically use a Swiffer cloth to remove any dust and then pass my hands over the surface a few times. It may sound obvious but it's best to work on an elevated surface if possible to avoid any debris being picked up from the floor. Take your single piece of wood, cut the vinyl to size and apply. Over cut the vinyl by a sensible amount, to ensure that the whole piece is covered, draw back the backing paper by a few inches and start working from one end. Use your hand to start smoothing from the middle of the piece initially and then smooth towards the edges. Continue to draw back the vinyl a few inches at a time and repeat the process until covered (the bumps in this picture are due to holes drilled in the panel): Once covered, flip the piece over, Place on a large piece of scrap wood and trim the excess the a sharp knife - a blade which extends beyond the thickness of the panel should be used: For panels which have screws embedded or are uneven, make sure these are filled and sanded. Avoid regular filled as this tends to crack and shrink. I use car body filler (p38): Apply liberally to fill the holes: Sand with a 180 grit sandpaper until smooth: You can now dust and apply the vinyl. For more complex pieces across multiple planes where a single seamless stretch of vinyl is to be applied, I usually create some bracing to give the piece rigidity. Taking the front of the shifter pod as an example Create some internal bracing to ensure the whole piece is well supported: The panels can then be glued together along with the bracing. Wood strips are added so the bracing can be screwed to the outer panel: Once you have your piece prepared, use filler and sand down: For vinyl covering of a piece like this, it may be sensible to start in the middle rather than one end. Here, I have drawn back the backing paper and applied it to one of the middle angled sections. Be sure not to let the vinyl pick up any debris and reattach some of the backing paper if necessary. Apply the vinyl close to one of the edges and attache to the first surface. Work the vinyl around the edges pressing really firmly with your thumbs as you do so. This may well start to hurt after a while! Continue to cover the piece by drawing back the backing paper: Important note: If wrapping around angles greater than about 70 degrees, round off the edges by sanding very lightly. This will ensure that the vinyl doesn't bubble at the edges. Once you reach the underside of the piece, starting in the middle, pull the vinyl firmly (it will stretch very slightly) and stick into place. Then do the same in sections working towards the outsides. Again. this avoids any unsightly bubbling. You can then trim the vinyl. Work in sections if necessary if it's being wrapped around the ends of the panels: You should end up with a nicely covered piece: For larger sections, it's best to enlist the help of another pair of hands. Preparation is key so use filler as required and sand to a nice sharp angle: Dust off and start to apply the vinyl. I go overboard with excess on larger complex surfaces. It's best to waste more vinyl here than ruin the piece and have to cut another large section and throw the original away. Here I started applying the vinyl at the top. Line the vinyl up, attach to the first surface and press very firmly with your thumbs - I cannot stress enough the need to be very aggressive with this. Again, working slowly and drawing the vinyl backing paper a few inches at a time, apply the vinyl: It will end up looking something like this: If there's a lot of excess, rough cut some of it away with a blade, keeping a reasonable distance from the edges: For a large immovable shape like this, a sharp blade and a length of wood can be used: Place the wood on the top of the vinyl and cut from the underside, working in sections: Continue around the edge until complete: I will then usually paint the edges of the MDF black (water based blackboard paint) to ensure that no wood is visible once any side pieces are attached. As the side is painted, a piece of kitchen towel can be used to ensure any paint making its way onto the vinyl surface can be wiped away. A few more pictures of the wrapping process for a more difficult piece - the front section of my desk. This really hurt my thumbs! The finished piece: Hope this was useful.