Updated: Jul 2, 2020
How To Tint Car Windows Like a Pro DIY
It’s likely you spend several hours a day in your car, so you might as well make sure you’re comfortable. Here’s a complete guide on how to tint car windows like a pro, from the pros. Tinted windows can block up to 99% of UV rays from getting inside your car while you’re driving.
They also keep you cool, reduce glare, maintain the interior of your car, give you privacy, and lower the chance of someone breaking into your vehicle. More importantly, window tint film prevents your windows from shattering in an accident. This protects you from dangerous pieces of glass.
All this sounds good, but is it possible to DIY your tinting job and still make it look good?
Keep reading to learn how to tint car windows like a pro.
What You’ll Need
Before you get started, make sure you check your state’s laws to find out how dark you’re legally allowed to tint your car windows. The level varies from state to state, and you could get ticketed or have to pay a fine if you exceed your state’s limit.
Once you understand your state’s regulations, you’ll need to get your hands on the following items:
Single-edged razor blade Sponge Lint-free cloth Utility knife Squeegee Window cleaning solution Window tint film You can find window tint film at many different places, including auto parts stores, window tinting companies, or other stores. But don’t buy the cheapest tint you can find. You want the window tint film to be good quality, even if that means spending a little more money.
How to Prepare
If you’ve never tinted car windows before, you should work on the smallest flat window first. This will get you familiar with the window film. And if you make any mistakes, they won’t be on one of the main windows.
The temperature shouldn’t be above 95 degrees or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit when you work on your windows. Though you’ll want to work in a shaded area, make sure it’s well-lit and dust-free. Dirt and dust could mix with or get under the tinting and leave you with less than satisfactory results.
As you’re working with the window film, be careful, patient, and gentle. You don’t want to end up with a creased film. You should also keep your fingers wet so you don’t leave any fingerprints on the film.
It might be a good idea to ask a friend to help you. Applying window film is easier with an extra set of hands.
How to Tint Car Windows
Be prepared to spend several hours tinting your windows. The exact amount of time depends on the size of your car, but an average car can take anywhere from two to four hours. If you’re tinting the front two windows, you might be able to get the job done in 45 minutes to an hour.
Make sure you follow each step in the process. If you don’t apply the window film in the proper way, it can bubble and obscure your view.
So, let’s take a look at how to tint your car windows.
1. Get Your Car Ready Remember, you want your work environment to be dust-free, and that includes your car. Before you do anything with the windows, vacuum out your car to make sure no dust or dirt end up on the window.
Take any stickers or adhesives off your windows. They will get in the way of your window film.
2. Clean the Windows Don’t use any cleaner that has ammonia in it, like Windex. This will turn your windows purple once the tinting is finished. Instead, prepare about a gallon of soapy water. It sounds like a lot, but you’ll need it throughout the entire process.
Cover the window in your warm, soapy water. Then, using your razor blade, scrape any dirt and dust off the window. Don’t forget to roll down your window an inch or two so you can get the top.
Clean both sides of your windows and make sure every bit of grime comes off.
3. Dry the Windows You can dry your window with a lint-free rag or a squeegee. The squeegee will do a better job of removing all the water from your window, but you have to dry the edges too. So a lint-free cloth could come in handy.
You need to wash and dry the space underneath the window seals as well. Cover your finger in the cloth and run it under the seals to get any dirt out.
4. Get Familiar with Your Window Film Picture your window film like a giant sticker. You can remove one side of the film to reveal the adhesive side underneath it. Make sure you’re working with the removable side facing you.
5. Measuring and Cutting Your Film For this step, you’ll be measuring and cutting your film against the outside of your window. But before you do that, spray more of your water and soap mixture onto the window. This will help the film temporarily adhere to the window while allowing you to slide it around into place.
Roll your film over the window so there are 2 to 3 inches of extra material around each edge. Remember, the liner should be facing you during this step. Don’t pull it off yet. We’ll get to that part later.
Once you have a section of film over your window, spray the film itself with more water.
Take your utility knife and start cutting the film into the right shape. But do this one edge at a time. When you trim the excess off an edge, pull the film an inch toward that edge before moving onto the next. This will ensure you have enough film for the entire window when you’re done trimming.
When you’re working on the top edge of the window, lower the window an inch or two to make sure you get the right shape.
6. Applying the Window Film Now that the film is measured, you can peel off the liner. Make sure you spray the adhesive side of the film with more soapy water as you go.
With your window rolled slightly down, position the adhesive side of the film to the inside of your window. Force any air and water out from under it with your squeegee. Roll up the window again and position the rest of the film into place. Keep working the squeegee over it to make sure nothing is left between the film and the window.
7. Dry the Window Film Wrap your squeegee in your lint-free cloth and run it over the film. This will pick up any remain soap or water. If there are any bubbles or air trapped underneath the film, use a heat gun and a heat card to push them to the bottom
Tinting Car Windows Though you can tint your car windows on your own, it’s a difficult process. And it’s easy to make mistakes if you haven’t done it before. If you’re not sure how to tint car windows and don’t want to risk a poor tinting job on your car, we offer quality tinting services for your automobile.