How To Apply 3M Paint Protection Film


Paint Protection Film

When you reside in a rural area where damages can unexpectedly happen as you cruise on uneven surfaces and come across an unfortunate downpour of bird droppings after you park, taking protective measures is key. But it isn’t just in rural areas where you are most prone to damages; no vehicle is safe from scratches, scuffs, or unexpected impacts with other vehicles. Applying 3m paint protection film (PPF) to your car is a useful method to protect your car from these aforementioned damages that are liable to inflict any vehicle.

Getting this protective film applied onto your vehicle is best done by professionals so the application can be completed correctly without fault for maximum protection, but applying it yourself can be done. Whatever method you choose, it is worth knowing about the 3m paint protection film process that will better secure your vehicle.

Before the Application Process

To apply 3m PPF for maximum longevity and protection, thoroughly clean your car. Rid your car of tar, dust, dirt, bug splatter, and bird excrement using a mixture of water and soap to ensure you are applying the protective film on a clean surface. Neglecting to clean your car beforehand will result in an altered appearance on the vehicle where the dirt will remain visible under the film. After you acutely clean your car, you should create two solutions that will be used in two different ways during the application process:

  • Create a water and soap-based solution using baby soap or dish soap–whichever you have on hand. This mixture is meant to soften the adhesive to allow it to slide onto the car with ease.
  • Create a second solution by mixing together water a bit of isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol and water-based mixture will be used to activate and strengthen the adhesive for the best and strongest use.

The hood of your car should be cool in temperature when you begin applying, so leaving it in a shaded area during the night, like your garage, will enable it will become cool to the touch by the following day.

Applying the PPF

When you begin to apply the PPF, it should be done swiftly and promptly to avoid skin irritation from handling the film substance. Before you begin, make sure you have these items on hand:

  • Water/soap-based solution in a bottle or bucket
  • Water/alcohol-based solution in bottle or bucket
  • A squeegee
  • Cloth mits

Have the two solutions you have created ready on hand as you remove the adhesive backing on the film. Soak the film into your water-based solution, and place the film onto any area on your car. Because of the protective forces of PPF, most who utilize the film place it on high-impact areas on your car like the hood, lower doors, and mirrors. Consistently wetting your hands in soapy water will prevent the glue from the adhesive from ardently sticking to your fingers.

Applying the PPF must be done so delicately as not to get air bubbles trapped between the film and the car’s surface that will show through once you complete applying the film. Once you have aligned the piece of 3m film onto any area of your car, you should spray the water and alcohol-based solution you have concocted under the film, which is meant to cure the adhesive.

After applying the PPF

Get your squeegee out and begin to flatten the film, removing any air bubbles that might have arisen after setting the film. Roll the squeegee vigorously towards the edges of the film to remove any stubborn air bubbles. Remove any excess liquid on the vehicle with cloth mitts and use these cloth mitts to further smooth out the areas on your car where you have applied the film. Remember not to wash your car or get it wet after placing the PPF on it. Let it dry for about 24-48 hours, allowing the adhesive to dry and cure correctly.

Professional vs DIY

Proper application of the paint protection film can be a difficult, daunting, and time-consuming project, which is why so many withdraw from attempting to pursue it without professional help. If applying the paint protection film to your car seems like a feasible task you can accomplish without mistake, then this can become your latest do-it-yourself project. But because this process can be hard to complete without fault, hiring a professional will ensure that the PPF is applied onto your car correctly so that it can accurately protect your vehicle.

At Calgary PPF, we are your exclusive source for genuine 3M automotive products and truck accessories! We are certified and endorsed by 3M Canada to install only genuine 3M premium products such as 3M Pro Series PPF, Ceramic Car Coating, 3M Colour Stable, 3M Crystalline Tinting films and 3M Hyper Shield Ceramic Coatings! By providing 3M Pro Paint Protection, custom vehicle wraps, windshield protection film and a team of Tesla 3M Specialists, you can expect the very best from Calgary PPF. Contact us today at (587) 324-1993.



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