Before installing a GunSkins camouflage wrap on your firearm or accessory, please gather the following basic tools to achieve the best installation possible:
- Gun-specific degreaser (No household cleaners)
- Small brush
- Lint-free cloth or towel
- Sharp hobby knife with extra blades
- Heat gun or hair dryer
Clean the Gun Thoroughly
The vinyl for our GunSkins kit (like any other adhesive) will not bond with a surface if it's not clean. Anything that can get in-between the gun and the skin poses a threat to solid adhesion. New guns tend to be freshly lubed and require extra attention in order to remove all of the oil.
We recommend using FrogLube Solvent or GunScrubber to cut through the grease. Guns are very porous and the gun oil is designed to settle into these areas. Therefore, it may require using a small brush to clean all of the rivets, grooves, and recessed edges that will be covered by the skin. Wipe clean with a lint-free cloth. Rubbing alcohol is recommend to help remove any remaining residue but alone is not strong enough to cut through gun oil.
Trim to Fit with a Sharp Knife
When the material is positioned and pressed on the surface there may be a bolt, notch, lever, or edge that requires trimming the vinyl to make fit. This is where the Do-It-Yourself nature of these gun wraps requires careful attention.
GunSkins are made from high-performance vinyl. It's very durable and you'll find difficult to rip. That also makes it difficult to cut and trim unless you use a sharp blade. We recommend using a hobby knife, like an xacto knife, with plenty of replacement blades. From our experience, 5 blades is enough for a single install. When using the knife, always angle it away from you.
Most of our camo kits will require trimming to make fit to your gun. No two rifles are exactly alike, and our kits take this into consideration. We provide enough material to cover any rifle, and then some. Proper installation does require work and time. The more time and care you put into the skin, the better it will look in the end and the longer it will last.
The Secret is Heat
To achieve a proper installation, it is absolutely necessary to use heat. We recommend using a shop style heat gun if you can. A hair dyer works, too, if you don't have any other alternative. The temperature doesn't need to be high, the low setting will be enough to get the job done. Here's a tip: hit the surface of the gun with heat prior to placing the pieces. Then hit the material again while working it on the surface. When the material is warm, it becomes soft and flexible, making it easy to stretch around curves and edges. The heat creates a temporary separation between the skin and the adhesive, and when cooled, it holds together extremely well.
Even after installing the material in place, it's important to hit it again with heat afterwards. This post heat should be applied to the entire weapon for at least 10 minutes. Pressing with your hands and fingers while the material is warm can also help the skin to really look great and stick as close to the grooves and contours of the weapon. We cannot stress enough the important heat plays in the installation process.