How To Tint Car Windows

Tinting your car windows helps to protect you against UV rays and glass shattering in an accident, and you can apply tint in the comfort of your own home.

How To Tint Car Windows

There are a lot of reasons to tint your windows. It protects your car’s interior (and you) from UV rays, helps to reduce the heat inside of your car, can reduce glare, helps hold the glass together in the event of an accident or vandalism, and of course, if you’re into this sort of thing, helps you to look cool. Getting it applied at a shop is, of course, the least complicated, easiest solution if you’re looking to have your windows tinted, however that can be expensive. Of course, if you have a new car, chances are you already have a factory tint on all glass behind the front half of the car. Factory tint is built into the window itself, and short of replacing the glass, there is no way to remove it.

You Don’t Need A Shop To Apply Window Tint

There is a way to apply window tint in the comfort of your own home, but it can be somewhat time-consuming and requires a lot of patience. As long as you have the motivation and the resolve to complete the project, it should go smoothly. Before applying tint make sure whatever grade you get your hands on is compliant with your state’s tinting laws, as a tint that is too dark is illegal to apply.

The Basics Of Window Tinting

Before you get started there are some basics you should always keep in mind. First off, maybe most importantly, do the tinting in a space that is safe from the elements. This could be a garage, storage facility, bomb shelter, whatever. Just make sure dust can’t come in and contaminate the environment and perch itself on the glass. Make sure you keep the film itself as flat as possible at all times or keep it rolled up. The point is, never fold it. Do your best to avoid fingerprints on the film, and be patient with the process. If you mess up, you might have to start all over again. Try to practice first on something other than your car’s windows, like a small piece of glass, just to get a feel it.

How To Tint Your Own Windows

Cutting the Film

After you’ve chosen your legal tint grade, cut it in the shape of your window. A good way to do this accurately is to place something else against the window that can stick to it and be completely flat. The best way to go about this is to remove the window from the car entirely, but that’s probably a little too intensive for a DIY job. After you’ve cut the shape on a material other than the film, lay it on top of the film and trace around it. That way you can get the exact shape you want. Be sure to allow a little extra at the bottom.

Fitting the Film

Once you have cut your film to the desired size, fit it to the outside of the window while it’s rolled down an inch or two. Next spray the inside of the window with soapy water, while the film is fitted to the outside. There is a protective layer of film glued to the adhesive side. Once you’re done spraying, remove the protective layer, and quickly but carefully move the film from the outside to the inside, putting the adhesive side on the soapy window. From there you can move the film around and fit it against the window as you like.

Finalizing The Tint

Once you have it fitted, use scrapers to get the bubbles out from between the film and the window. Roll the window up, so that extra film at the bottom can now be fitted and cut accordingly to the window’s shape. Use scrapers to flatten the tint. Clean it off with soapy water, and then you’ll be all done. Tint takes about a week to set, for the glue to dry.

The process fundamentally doesn’t sound too complicated, but it requires a lot of precision and skill. The best way to apply tint would be at a shop where professionals have been doing it for decades, but if resources aren’t abundant then doing it yourself is certainly possible. Having a shop tint your windows, could after all cost as much as $450 vs a DIY kit for $11. One of the biggest reasons for paying to have it done is that a shop has the facilities required to make sure the project goes off without a hitch.

Car Maintenance
Brian GrabianowskiBrian Grabianowski

Avid Formula 1 fan and motorcyclist, I enjoy chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and long rides to the beach.