INDIANAPOLIS – This Home Zone is about tinting your windows.  For decades, drivers have long realized the advantages that tint has for cutting down the glare and the heat coming into your vehicle. 

Home owners have been doing it as well, but to a much smaller degree.  I’m walking you through the step by step method to tint your home windows to save on your AC bill and to make the inside of your home more pleasant when it’s bright outside. 

Professionals can do it for you as well and will undoubtedly do a great job.  But you can also do it yourself and save money.  If you take your time and follow the instructions, it’s not that difficult and it gets easier the more you do it.

BUYING TINT

Before you can tint your windows, measure them.  Then buy a roll of tint that’s wide enough, plus several inches to spare.  They come in rolls of different lengths, widths, colors and darkness levels.  Once you’ve purchased what you need, lay down a big towel where your tint will be cut.  You’re doing this because you will get the floor a bit wet.  The rolls come with plastic holders so you can roll out the length you’ll need to cut. 

CUTTING TINT

I quickly ditched the scissors and just used the razor knife provided as it makes for a quick cut.  Just cut a few inches more than you need. Six inches extra is a good amount. 

Scott’s squeegee

Also, In the kit I bought, you get a squeegee with a soft side and hard side, plus detailed instructions.  Here is the tint I bought.  You can get whatever you like and from wherever you find best.

WINDOW PREPARATION

You will also need a spray bottle filled about half way with water.  Put a few drops of dish soap in it and shake it up.  This soapy concoction is vital to cleaning your windows and putting on the tint. 

It is recommended to clean the surrounding area of the glass, like the frame and seals before installation. Using a no lint or low lint cloth will ensure the glass will be free of any dust.  After cleaning, spray more soapy water on the window, so the tint can be adjusted. 

TINT REMOVAL

Now remove the tint from the plastic backing.  Firmly apply a piece of tape on a corner on the front side and another piece on the back side.   Hold onto the two over pieces and press them together to grab the film’s corner firmly.  Then slowly separate the two pieces of tape; the liner and film should separate.  You are basically peeling the tint from the plastic backing. 

1 becomes 2

As you gently pull the liner away, stop and spray more soapy water on the exposed tint side. Sometimes this helps at this point to have another person doing the spraying as you slowly peel the backing.  The spray will prevent the film from sticking to itself or to any thing else and it’s a must!  The directions tell you to  spray, spray and spray more!  That’s because you need to spray a lot to make the film fully wet and almost flooded on the film and the window glass surface.  This is a key factor for a successful installation without bubbles.

SQUEEGEE TIME

It’s time to use the fabric side of the squeegee to squish out the water.  I like to start in the middle of the window at the top and squeegee downward for a couple rows.  Then I start from the middle of those two rows and squeegee outward in both directions.  This will give you a good start to sticking the tint to the window and it won’t move around as much.  From there, you can use a combination of left to right or up and down to your preference to get out the bubbles.  Go slow.

CUTTING TINT TO FIT WINDOW

Once you get most of the water out, it’s time to cut the tint to the windows to fit.  Here’s when you use the hard side of the squeegee.  Use the provided razor blade to cuts the tint.  Use the squeegee to gently push the blade toward the windows edge.  

Cutting the tint

The razor and plastic guide will glide in unison along the edges of the window to make a nice straight line.  I like to cut two adjacent sides first.  I chose to cut the left side and the bottom side.  If you make a mistake you are still fine.  By cutting the adjacent sides first, you will still have extra tint that can be pulled back onto the window from the right and/or top.

REMAINING BUBBLE REMOVAL

Once everything is cut and removed, get rid of any excess bubbles, by gently repeating the squeegee process.  It’s helpful to lightly spray the window first so the squeegee glides better. 

Be careful not to push so hard you create a crease.  If there are any problem areas where there is still water behind the tint, wrap the squeegee in a paper towel.  That helps to soak up the water at the edge of the window. 

Give the window a couple more once overs in the next few minutes as it’s drying, if air bubbles start to form. 

The big picture

Give the window a couple days to fully dry, which should dry out any remaining bubbles.  Then clean to get rid of any residue left by the squeegee.