Protect your car door sills with our step by step XPEL installation directions.
Automotive: New Cars
Automotive: Tips & Tricks
An area where pretty much every car manufacturer falls short is on the door sills. Sure, some cars have sill plates that protect those door sills but in most cases they don't cover the entire painted sill. So every time you get in and out of your car you risk dragging your shoes on the sills which will scratch them up.
Or maybe you're incredibly careful but your kids aren't as careful. With taller vehicles (SUV's and so on) kids often have to step on the sill itself to get in or out of the back seats. So rather than cringe every time, knowing that scratches are coming, cover up those sills!
There are several sill protection products on the market but I like the XPEL brand and have had great results from them on many cars. For my new car, I purchased the XPEL Clear Universal Door Sill Guard (60" x 2.75") Paint Protection Film Kit. Below are the steps I took to easily install XPEL door sill protectors.
For best results, install the product when it's not cold outside. Cold weather doesn't let the product stick as well and also makes it more difficult to work with.
Step 1: Setup Tools & Materials
You don't want to start a project like this and then start looking around for tools and materials. So the first step is to gather everything you'll need.
The XPEL Kit comes with the XPEL "plastic" as well as a squeegee. You'll also need:
Fill your spray bottle with water and add a couple of drops of liquid soap. I use Dr Bronner's Castile Soap but any liquid soap will work. This tiny amount of soap will act as a lubricant to make placement of the XPEL easier. Shake it up to mix it all together.
- Sturdy scissors
- Clean towel
- Spray bottle
- Soap and water
Step 2: Clean & Prepare Door Sills
You want the XPEL product to stick for a long time so preparing the surface that it will stick to is key. Wash and dry the sills with soap and water to get all dirt, dust, and debris off of them.
Once cleaned, remove any wax and soapy buildup with rubbing alcohol. Just apply to a towel and wipe them down making sure the towel doesn't leave any fibers.
Step 3: Cut XPEL
You can get out a tape measure if you want, but the easiest way to measure the size you need is to unroll some of the XPEL and hold it up to your sill. Mark the length and cut a piece of XPEL off the roll. Make sure you're leaving enough on the roll to do all of the sills you have!
Step 4: Apply XPEL
Peal the backing off of the XPEL and what's left is a sticky piece of plastic. Using your soap and water solution, spray the sill liberally. You want to soak the entire area. Now spray the sticky side of the XPEL. More soap solution is better than less here.
Lay the XPEL on the sill gently, without pressing down. You should be able to slide it around thanks to that soapy water. If not, gently lift it up and spray more solution under it. Get it in the spot you want.
Step 5: Squeegee & Finish
Once the XPEL is in the right spot you'll need to squeegee it down. This process removes the soapy water and allows it to stick permanently. Starting in the middle of the XPEL, gently squeegee towards the edges.
You want to work all of the solution out as well as any air bubbles that crop up. You'll begin this process with a gentle pressure and work up to a firm pressure, making many passes with the squeegee. In cases of extreme sill curves, you may need to make a small relief cut if you can't get the XPEL to properly conform to the sill. Just use your scissors and make a small 1/4 to 1/2 cut if needed.
That's It, You're Done!Repeat this process with the other sils on your car. Once all are done it's important to leave the XPEL material alone for a day or two. Even though you squeegeed most of the water out, it still may take a couple of days for it to full dry. If you did well, the installation will be virtually invisible.
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