How To Put Tint Film On Car Windows: A DIY Guide
Tinted windows are becoming more and more popular nowadays. People are especially sensitive with privacy, and tinted windows offer just that. Also, it is an effective way to minimize, if not blocked entirely, the ultraviolet sunlight rays that can harm your skin. While tinting is a rigorous, time-consuming process, most people can actually learn how to put tint film on car windows with only three steps and a few basic tools.
Prepping the Windows
- Find a clean and dry workspace. You need a clean environment to work on how to put tint film on car windows in order to avoid dust and dirt from mixing with the tinting. Doing everything indoor, however, is not such a bad idea. But if you prefer to work outside, do choose a clean and dry spot.
- Remove stickers or adhesives from the windows. Remove any stickers from your car screen and clean off all the adhesives or any sticky pieces that can lead to problems with the film sticking on the windows. Remove all obstructions inside the car that can impede your process or get in your way. Lastly, vacuum the interior to get rid of all dust.
- Clean up your windows using soapy water and 1" razor blade. Lower your window a bit so that you can access the top as well. Mix warm water with a few drops of dish soap and wipe it on the window, then use the razor to scrape away all the dirt and grime. Make sure you clean both sides of the window thoroughly, removing everything.
- Take a clean cloth and dry the window. Wipe away the soapy water on both sides, and don't forget to dry off the edges as well. If you're opting for a spray bottle, refill it with more soapy water. Use a squeegee to help you get the window completely dry.
- Roll the window up before beginning, but leave your car on. This process will require you to move the window up and down as you work. For now, leave it up.
- Identify which side of the tint is adhesive. Like a sticker, the window tint has a layer that can be peeled off before adhering it to the window. Make sure that as you work with the tint, this side is facing you.
Cutting and Measuring the Tint
- Spray the exterior of the window with soapy water. To start the process of how to put tint film on car windows, you’ll need to prepare a ton of water. The water will help the tinting to adhere temporarily but will make it slippery enough to slide around and put it into place.
- Place the tint over the outside of the window to cover it entirely. Unroll your tinting and make sure it covers the entire window, with at least 2-3" extra over the edges. The liner (the part that will adhere to the window) should be facing you.
- Cut away a manageable portion of tinting. Always have a few inches of extra tint in every direction, but you don't want to be managing the entire roll of film while working. Using a precision knife or blade, cut a good amount of tinting film from the larger role.
- Spray the front of the film with water. When the tint is cut, it should stick to the water on the exterior of the window. It would be best if you then sprayed the tint itself so that it is covered with a layer of soapy water.
- Use your knife to cut along the bottom and left edges of the window. Utilize the edges of the window to trace your knife across the tinting film. Create a perfectly shaped line to ensure the tint fits. Afterward, two of the edges should fit perfectly, and the rest should still be square.
- Pull the film 1" towards the left edge. Move the film towards the edge you just cut. It ensures that you have enough tint to cover all the edges of the window, including the part covered by the seal.
- Cut the right edge, then position the tint halfway back towards the center. Once you cut the right edge off, pull the tint partly back to the center so that there is approximately 1/2" of extra tinting film on either side of the window.
- Pull the film down about one inch, so the bottom edge is lower than the window. This tint will eventually go into the door, providing you with a better seal. Slide it down and then use a squeegee to flatten it again. Do the same with the right and left side on the top and bottom edges.
- Lower the window half an inch, then use the top of the window to cut the tint to shape. When the window is lowered, you can use this top edge as your guide. With a precision knife, cut right to the top of the window. After, pull the tint back towards the center. Leave approximately 1/2" extra film on every side of the window.
- Clean up any of the corners with any excess film. When cutting away, the corners may still have bits and pieces of extra film. Use your knife to clean it thoroughly.
- Realign your film to fit the window perfectly, with some excess on every edge. You may need to reapply water to make it adhere. If so, remove the tint, spray some soapy water, and reapply the film to the window.
- Working from top to bottom, use a heat gun and a hard card to push the bubbles down. Get all the air and water by working from the top down. Smooth the entire tint out on the outside of the window. As you push downward, you'll see zig-zagging from the air still stuck in the film. Keep pushing downward, then use a heat gun along the bottom of the window to make sure it is completely dried out.
Adhering the Window Tint
- Prepare the inside of the window using soapy water and a squeegee. You can utilize a hard edge to get in between the seal and the window for a precise clean. When finished, spray the whole window with soapy water.
- Peel off the top half of the tinting film. A window tint is just like a sticker. There is a removable layer that sticks to the tint and keeps the adhesive solid. However, only strip off only the top half, for now, to make it easier to work with.
- Spray off the exposed section with fresh water. You are now able to adhere the tint to the window and continue with the process on how to put tint film on car windows.
- Line up and stick the top of the tint to the window. The water makes the tint easy to slide around so that you can get the edge of the window perfectly lined up with the tint's top edge. Your window should still be partially down.
- Lightly fold the tint to work it underneath the seal. Once the top end is on the window, sneak the two sides into the seals while using your fingers to get them roughly even. With one hand, pull back the seal around the window, then use your other hand to push the film under the seal and into the window.
- Respray the window, then use your hard edge to push the water out the edges. Using your squeegee, slowly work the water out by forcing the water to the sides. Push the water out the top and sides, but never push towards the bottom.
- Roll the window up, then respray the bottom half with soapy water. Don't skimp on the soapy water since it is necessary to prevent the tint from sticking.
- Pull off the remaining release layer, then spray the exposed tint with soapy water. Make sure both the window and the tint are soaked.
- Tuck the bottom of the tint into the bottom seal using either your fingers or the hard edge. Spray the tint with soapy water again. Pull back the seal with your fingers and use the hard edge to push the film down.
- Smooth out the window using your hard edge, and push all the water and air bubbles to the edges. Work your way downward and outward while spraying the tint with soapy water to prevent the liner from ripping. Keep squeegeeing the water out of the window tint so that it is smooth, and adheres well with the window.
Tinting your car window can help you get the privacy that you want. However, professional tinting jobs can cause you a great deal of money. What you can do, however, is to learn how to put tint film on car windows. It might be a bit of hard work, but you’ll get through it. You just need to follow the steps religiously, and with a lot of patience, you’ll have a tinted window in no time.
July 8, 2020
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