How to Apply 3M Scotchcal Film

by Darci Pauser
classic car image by Mariusz Blach from

Scotchcal is a film manufactured by the 3M company. It is coated on one side with a strong adhesive that will not damage auto paint. Scotchcal is available in a variety of thicknesses and colors. Transparent Scotchcal can be used as a paint protector or as an adhesive surface for the printing of auto graphics. Scotchcal Graphic film is available in a variety of colors and is ideal for creating patterns and stripes on vehicle surfaces.

Step 1

Clean the area thoroughly and wipe it with rubbing alcohol. Allow the rubbing alcohol to dry.

Step 2

Measure the area to be treated and cut the necessary amount of adhesive film.

Step 3

Tape the film on one end to the edge of the surface to be treated, which will serve as a hinge and will hold the piece of film in place.

Step 4

Beginning in one corner, peel the backing off of the film.

Step 5

Spray the adhesive with a solution of three drops of detergent to one quart of water.

Step 6

Squeegee the top surface of film to firmly adhere it to the surface, squeezing most of the liquid out from underneath.

If bubbles form under the film, poke it with a straight pin and squeegee the air out.


  • Adhere Scotchcal in temperatures between 55 and 90 degrees. If applying multiple adjacent stripes, overlap them six to 12 millimeters.

Items you will need

  • Rag
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Measuring tape
  • Scotchcal
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Squeegee
  • Water
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Pin

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