How To Measure And Cut The Architectural Vinyl Film

Lesson #6 With Peter Maki

The Importance Of Correct Measuring And Cutting

As a part of our installation training lessons series, today’s blog is about vinyl film preparation. There are two main elements – surveying and vinyl preparation.


Doing surveying means not only taking into consideration the actual size of materials that are required but also surrounding. You have to pay attention to where you are installing, what is in the way, are there outlets, what kind of material of a surface you need to wrap, is it someone’s home or office, etc.

Doing an accurate survey

Surveys get messed up all the time. As an installer, when you show up at a job site and do not have the correct measurements, and you cut everything down to spec, you will get a wasted trip, wasted material, and an upset client. That is why it is important to prep for your surveying. 

Let’s take a door surveying as an example. If you take exact measurements of the height and width of a door, that would not be enough. You want to open the door first, and measure the depth of the door and add it to the width. Peter recommends going 8″ increments. As for him, everything that goes beyond that is a little too tight. So for the 28″ wide door we need a minimum of 31″ of material. Add an extra 1″-1.5″ to feel more confident during installation.

When you have your surveying information, take a quick picture of that survey info. This way, should you lose this piece of paper, you have everything on your phone and can take your measurements from there.


If there is something that you can do that is an easier area, that will help you and your install go quicker, do so. Your clients are going to appreciate that.


If you can precut or pre trim your material before going to the site, Peter suggests doing that as much as possible because there can be not enough space at the job site for rolling material and cutting it. On the other hand, at your office or workshop, you can easily precut all necessary pieces and mark them to know where to apply them later.

One thing to notice, at the backing of the Bodaq architectural vinyl film, is a very convenient line markup, which serves for cutting a straight piece of material even without a ruler. That is great if you cut the film in the field.

Cutting in the field

Cutting in the field is a different process than cutting at your shop or in the environment that you are used to. But inevitably, you will have to cut a material in the field. And that field will always be different. You can be in a basement, office, somebody’s house, somebody’s very expensive house. The last thing you want to do is damage the floor, or counter, or any of somebody’s property that they have spent a lot of money on. At the end of the day, you will have an unhappy customer and expensive repair. But you can avoid it.

First, invest in a cutting mat. You can’t cut through it, it is a self-healing mat that is easy to take with you. With it, you do not have to worry about damaging anything. Peter mentioned it in our first installation training lesson – Tools Necessary For The Vinyl Film Installation.

If you're only starting and need a cheap solution instead of a mat, take a piece of an old carpet. A piece of 1 foot by 6 feet long is enough. You can roll it up and take it with you to the job site. It will protect surfaces from damaging and make cutting the film comfortable.

Would You Like To Know More?

Are you interested in installation training with Peter? Or maybe you would like to become a Bodaq certified installer? Feel free to contact us to know more about our productservices, and training.

You can also read more information about installations by the links below:


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