How to Tint Home Windows: A Complete Guide

Did you know that window films make up a $10 billion global market? That’s because such glass tinting products are no longer just for vehicle windows. You can now install them on all your home windows, too.

To that end, we created this DIY guide on how to tint home windows. Read on to discover not only the steps involved but also the top reasons you’d want to tint your windows.

Why Consider Tinting Home Windows in the First Place?

Tinting films are window coverings that can help make your windows more energy-efficient. That’s especially true for solar control films, which reject some of the sun’s heat. They don’t have to be very dark, either; you can get them in lighter shades, and they’ll still help block solar heat.

On average, solar films reject about half of the sun’s heat that enters glass windows in the summer. As a result, they can help keep your home cool and comfortable. That also means they help control or even reduce your energy bills.

Window tinting films can also block 99.9% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Now, keep in mind that UV exposure can cause sunburns and even cancer. That’s a good enough reason to install window tints at home.

Reduced UV penetration also benefits fabrics, as UV can make them fade. So that you know, as much as 40% of fabric damage is due to UV exposure. Therefore, having tinted windows can help prolong the life of your interior furnishings.

Window films also help reduce glare, which can be uncomfortable or even blinding. They can do this by toning down the brightness of the sunlight that streams through your windows. In this way, tinting helps protect your eyes from uncomfortable or damaging glare.

How to Tint Home Windows the DIY Way

Labor costs in the US rose by nearly 3% from 2020 to 2021. As a result, you can expect professionals to charge higher service fees nowadays. That includes home window tinting experts.

That’s one of the primary reasons you may want to go the DIY route when tinting home windows. In doing so, you won’t have to pay for labor, just the necessary materials.

With that said, here are the steps you need to take to tint your home windows properly.

Get Accurate Measurements

Use a measuring tape to determine the length and width of your window surface area. You can start by measuring the window pane from top to bottom and then side to side. Note the measurements down, and then re-measure them to be sure they’re accurate.

Once you know the length and width, add at least one inch to each side.

For instance, if your window measures 36 inches tall, add one inch on top and another to the bottom. So, when you cut the window film, it should have a total height of 38 inches.

Be sure to do the same with your width measurements. For example, if the window pane is 24 inches wide, the cut film should be 26 inches from side to side.

In that sample situation, the film patch should be 38 inches tall and 26 inches wide. Those extra inches will give you enough leeway in case of initial measurement errors.

Clean and Dry the Interior Side of Your Windows

It’s vital to clean your windows before tinting them to ensure proper film adherence. That’s because dirt, dust, grime, or oil can impair the tinting material’s adhesive. So, if there’s filth on your windows, the film won’t stick properly, or it may develop air bubbles.

You can clean your windows using a mixture of gentle dishwashing soap and water. The soap can be enough to remove stubborn filth and even oil. Rinse well, and make sure you dry the glass panes with a lint-free, microfiber cloth.

Check the Film’s Adhesive Activation Requirements

Self-adhesive window tinting films don’t require anything else to stick to window panes. However, some need water as a means to activate the adhesive. Depending on the brand, you may need to spray both the glass and the film with water.

Peel off the Film’s Backing

The safest, most straightforward way to carry out this step is with the help of an assistant. That way, one of you can hold the film by the corners while the other can peel off the backing.

If you do it all by yourself, the film may end up sticking to itself.

Install the Film

With the backing removed, carefully attach the film starting from the top of the window. Your assistant can then help by smoothing out the film with a rubber squeegee. The squeegee can also help flatten out air bubbles and other imperfections.

Trim the Excess Areas

Once the film is in place, you can trim off the excess areas hanging on the sides of the window.

Be careful with your cutting device to prevent puncturing or scratching the film. Make sure you avoid tugging the flaps, too, as doing so may pull the entire sheet out of place.

When Should You Go Pro?

As you learned from this home window tinting guide, film installation can be complex. Your films may also end up ruined if they stick to themselves by accident. That can then cost you more money in the long run.

If you go pro, you don’t have to worry about such errors and wastage. When installers make mistakes, it’s on them, and they won’t charge you for that. Moreover, reputable tinting specialists offer warranties on their products and services.

At the very least, hiring a professional will ensure a job well done and completed on time. So, if you don’t have time to prepare your windows and install the films, going pro may be the best way to go.

Invest in High-Quality Home Window Tinting Films Today

There you have it, your step-by-step guide on how to tint home windows, the DIY way. It’s not easy, but if you have time, you can save a lot through self-installation. However, if you think the project is too big to DIY, it may be best to hire pros instead.

The most important thing is to purchase high-quality window films. This way, you can expect them to last for 10 to 20 years.

Are you ready for more home improvement tips like this? Please have a look at our recent blog posts then!

By Malik