How to Tint Your Car Windows: A Step by Step Guide
When you think about improving your car, your mind likely wanders to getting your windows tinted. It should come as no surprise that most people choose to take their car to a tinting shop. But that doesn’t mean you have to. You can tint your windows on your own right in the comfort of your garage or driveway. If you’re like most people, you’re wondering how to tint your car windows in the first place. We’ve got you covered. Here’s a simple guide to take the mystery out of the process.
Choose Your Film
Before you can start the installation process, you’ll need to choose the right tinting film for your car. There’s more to it than picking the first film you find. The tint needs to be legal meaning it can’t be so dark as to interfere with law enforcement’s ability to see you behind the wheel. In Arizona, this means your windshield must be completely clear and your side windows should allow at least 33 percent of light inside.
Clean Your Windows
When considering how to tint your car windows at home, you’ll need to find a way to clean your windows as thoroughly as possible. Simple all-purpose cleaners aren’t the best choice—it can leave residue that can interfere with the film’s ability to stick to the window itself. The best way to go about it is to use a dedicated glass cleaner or dish soap and water.
Wash the windows both inside and out. Then, wash them again…and again. You’ll want to do this at least three times on each window that you’ll be tinting. Any small amount of dust and debris on the glass will keep the adhesive from sticking and will lead to bubbles in the film.
Measure Each Window
How easy is it to tint your own car windows? Well, that largely depends on your accuracy when measuring and cutting the film. Before you can start applying tint, you’ll need to measure each window that you’re going to tint. Grab the roll of tinting film and lay it over the outside of your car’s window. Just make sure to spray the window down with water first. This will make shifting the film into the right position easier.
Cut the film off the roll along the edge of the door. Now you’re ready to cut. Grab your knife, straight razor, or clean and unused box cutter. Then cut the film along the window lines and remove the excess. Now you’ll have a sheet of tint over the glass.
Apply the Tint
Once you’ve got your film sized, you’re ready to start installing it. The key to how to tint your car windows at home successfully is to take your time. First prep the inside of your car window by washing it again with water. Roll the window down half an inch to make the rest of the task easier. And take care to get rid of any dirt and grime inside the window seals now.
Once you’re done, squeegee the water down off the window. Now, remove the adhesive backing from about half of the cut piece of film starting at the bottom edge of the window. Lay it on the glass and smooth it out as you lay the film on the rest of the window. Using your hands is fine at this stage. Once your cut piece covers the full pane of glass, cut off any excess film remaining. If you measured correctly, you’ll still have a little extra to cut away.
Smooth Things Out
No matter how careful you are laying the film on the glass, you’re going to have bubbles. Even pros won’t get the film on completely smooth right off the bat. But this does mean you’ll need to smooth the film out before you can call it a day.
Grab a spray bottle and fill it with some hot water. Then spray the hot water over the film. This will make it more pliable and speeds up the smoothing process. Using a hard plastic smoothing card or squeegee, push the bubbles in the film towards the edges of the window. This process gets rid of the air trapped between the window and the film.
Once the film is completely smooth, you’re ready to move onto the next window.
So, How Easy Is It to Tint Your Own Car Windows?
Ultimately, window tinting takes time, patience, and a steady hand. If clean your windows, cut your window film accurately, and take the time necessary to smooth the film out, you shouldn’t have any problems. However, this is something that is easier said than done. That’s why most people end up just opting for professional installation because they know it will get the job done right and save them time. For residents in Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, Phoenix, and Scottsdale, SmartFilm provides quality tinting installations for every type of vehicle. Call today to get a quote!