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How to wrap parts in carbon fiber:

Things you will need:
- Enough Carbon Fiber cloth for whatever you what to cover. Can buy it on Ebay.
-1 Table Top Epoxy Resin
-1 Table Top Epoxy Hardener
( I recommend Kleer Kote from US Composties. It's the easiest to work with when working on this project and its non toxic. You can get it from scroll down until you see Kleer Kote Table Top Epoxy. When you order it you'll get the Hardener and Resin in one kit. You can also get the same thing at TAP Plastics, its called Ultra Glow there, but is way more expensive.)
- Simple Green or dish washing soap (Prep-All will work as well)
- clean and new disposable bristled or sponge brushes( try not to use those as they create more bubbles) see below...
-7 pairs of latex gloves
- 7 mixing sticks (you should get a few more just in case)
- 7 measuring mixing cups (you should get a few more just in case)
- 1 pair of Scissors
-1 roll of Painters tape or whatever paper "type" of paper tape available.
- 80 or 120 grit sand paper
- Heat from your breathing (youll get it when you get to step 5)

These are the bare minimum of supplies you will need, listed below are things that will make the process easier. I will explain after the items are listed:
-Something to cover the floor of your work area. (I recommend large pieces of card board..if you spill the resin on concrete or carpet you will be screwed, even if you clean it up youll still have a spot, trust me..i learned the hard way.)
- Pumps for the resin ( you wont have to deal with pouring it into the measuring cups.. the resin will be very thick so it might take a while to pump it out, but the hardener should be no problem)
- 1 can of Acetone ( so you be able to clean up any tools you accidentally spilled the resin on)
- 1 Mini flame torch (easiest way to take car of air bubbles)
- Dremel tool with sanding discs or rolls and cutter.

This technique is referred to as overlay. Usually used to cover interior pieces with CF. This can be used for exterior parts but the technique uses the stock piece and you mold the CF over the piece. The stock piece remains in place, so the finished piece is slightly larger than the stock piece. This involves considerably more hand work. The concept is covering the piece with carbon and resin. Then more resin to build up the thickness. Most of this resin is sanded off until a smooth surface is achieved. This is time consuming but the end result is worth the effort. After all, you're doing this to make your car look great.

The part I'm going to demonstration is a B-pillar from a VW.
The technique-
If the piece is hard plastic you can sand the piece with 100 grit sandpaper. If there is a fabric covering you have two choices. The first is to remove the fabric and sand the basematerial with 100 grit paper. The second approach, although I don't recommend it, is to cover the fabric with masking tape and then spray on three coats of clear Krylon. Allow the Krylon to dry and then scuff the surface with sandpaper.
The procedure is the same from this point on.
Before we go too far you will need to cut the material to fit around the piece. To help in how to make the cuts I've provided the following illustrations.

Leave about 1/8" extra material to fold around the edges. This varies with the thickness of the piece. You will need to experiment here.

place the piece on the carbon and tape the edges.

Lay down a coat of resin mixed with hardener over the surface of the piece. Let the resin dry enough so that when you touch it with your finger it leaves an imprint but doesn't come off on your finger.

Spray the back of the piece with 3M 77 adhesive and let it tack. Place the carbon over the piece. Fold the fiber over the edges and press into the adhesive, it should hold. For extra security, use masking tape to hold the edges in place.

Once thats dry now come the process of building up the layers of the resin, you'll be sanding most of the resin back to get a totally flat finish so it's important to add plenty of layers so you dont sand though the resin into the carbon. Rule of thumb I've used 3 good layers on all my pieces and it's allowed me you sanding back enough without rubbing through.

For the top coats on the carbon use clear resin. Use your stick to coat the edges of the part. Set it aside to dry. Don't worry that things look messy at this point. This first coat is to adhere the carbon to the part and form a solid base for the remaining resin coats.

Once the part is tacky you can brush on the next coat of resin.
Allow each application of resin to tack before laying more on.
Continue brushing on more resin on the part until the fabric is covered and there is no sign of the twill weave showing through. This is important, you will be sanding these top coats of resin and don't want to sand into the carbon. If you do the part will be ruined.

once the resin is solid and dry sand to level the resin. I know this looks horrible and you think you just ruined everything! Don't worry just apply more resin to build up the low spots. Add a layer or two and sand again. Soon there will be a level surface.
Once the surface is level sand with 220, 400,600,1000 grit wet sandpaper.

Clean with soap and water then allow to dry. The surface will be dull. Now spray on several coats of clear Krylon. Urethane is superior! Isn't amazing how instantly the twill appears and the depth. To achieve a deeper finish, spray on more Krylon.
Admire your work.

Overlays are simple to do but do take time. The resin needs to be completely dry before sanding. The steps are just as outlined. The most difficult part is wrapping the edges. You should practice the cut techniques I outlined. Try these with some inexpensive fabric so that mistakes won't ruin the carbon fiber.
I'm working on the next installment. This will cover making a form (plug) and molding parts. It will cover multi-part molds and vacuum bagging. I really recommend you try the above techniques before moving to molds. Some familiarity with basic techniques will make the move easier with fewer failures.

For best results do not use brush, only pore on the piece, and use mixing stick to pour little portions in places you missed.
Bubbles are inevitable with out the proper equipment. Best solution is to just pour the resin and once it has leveled use a propane torch to bring them to the surface. Pass over it swiftly though using a side to side motion. At first you will remove the large one but create small bubbles. However within a few seconds you should see them disappear.

Practice first - go to junk yard, pick up some plastic peaces, get some epoxy and hardener and use regular material (even your underwear) to practice wrapping.


1,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
pics did not come thru

1,683 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Go to GOOGLE - type in "DIY Carbon Fiber overlay" and there are TONS of videos and picbypic tutorials on how to do everything from traditional overlays with resin to the new "dry" overlaying that does NOT need resin

Premium Member
249 Posts
I would recommend using the Simlar 249 surfboard resin (available through USC) as it has UV inhibitors in it. standard epoxy and poly resin will yellow in the sun over time, so for anyhting cosmetic that the CF will be displayed, I'd stick with the UV protection. If you all are looking for an excellent source of info on this sort of thing, join me over at I'm a mod over there, tell em I sent you. :)
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