Yesterday, between rain showers, I applied my trademark branding to the starboard side. The clapboard geometry took a total of eight rolls of vinyl wrap, measuring 12″ wide by 60″ long. So each bar is eight feet long and one foot wide. Four rolls were matte white and four were matte black. The material came from at about $10 per roll.

I used a Fiskars self-healing cutting mat, so it was just a matter of lining the rolls up against the grid and cutting the 45° diagonals with an aluminum straight edge and a razor knife made specifically for vinyl wrap.After producing 45 parallelograms and triangles and weeding out some defaced pieces, the next step was to decide how to compose the whole element on the RETROvan. I opted to use the power inlet as the clapboard’s “hinge.” From there, I taped a 96″ piece of aluminum angle to the hull with Frog Tape and then taped a couple of scrap corner pieces to help visualize the fit. After a few adjustments, I scribed the two inner angles with a black china marker, which wipes off easily. Then I started applying each piece, starting from the hinge and working aft using a special felt-covered smoothing spatula to coerce the vinyl home.

This vinyl uses a low-tack adhesive for easy repositioning. That made it fairly easy to get things aligned properly, even a few times per piece.

The biggest challenge, of course, was navigating the seams and rivets. For that, I broke out the heat gun. A quick blast caused a soft bubble to form around each rivet. Then a little jab with the razor blade allowed the air to escape while I worked the spatula around each rivet head. You can see the result in the photo above. It looks like paint, even close up!

You may remember this branding from my custom headrest cushions.

I’ll do the port side when the weather clears this week. And then the final branding elements (“”) will go on, along with a QR code like this:

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