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Jeep Tailgate Vinyl Decal Install w/ Video

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I'm going for a dark blue + silver/chrome look on my MJ. Decided to put on a silver JEEP tailgate decal from Graphics Express/Phoenix Graphics, who are an OEM authorized reproduction manufacturer. 


Of course my tailgate is 30 years old, has been repainted (poorly), and has scratches, nicks, dents, and wasn't very straight.




Sanded the raised letters with 1200 grit to knock down all the high spots (from dirt and dust being painted over). Wirebrushed the rust scratches and prepped with acetone. Used Bondo spot filler to fill in the scratches and level out the letters. Sanded everything down with 500 grit moving to 1000 grit.




Used the "wet" method of vinyl application using soap + water, a squeegee, and heat gun. Fixed one bubble by piercing it with the tip of an xacto knife and smoothing it out.




Final result:






Video with more you'll ever want to know about vinyl, from the perspective of someone who hates installing vinyl (I really do!)





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Looks great, and I'm impressed.  Vinyl install is not easy to get perfect.


I remember once visiting the Bell Helicopter final assembly plant in Piney Flats, TN.  In their paint shop they had guys hand painting all the liveries.  When I asked why they didn't just use vinyls, they said that hand painting was easier for all but the most intricate designs.  They did beautiful work and supposedly hired just about every good student out of the local tech school body repair class.

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