- Ideas & How-Tos
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Window film can help you solve problems with heat, glare, fading and privacy without blocking your view. It's a simple, cost-effective way to increase your home's comfort, energy-efficiency and overall appearance. All you need are a few common tools, a helper for large windows and some free time in the morning or evening to make your home the coolest house on the block.
There are several types of window film from which to choose. Assess your home and your needs, and then choose the film that best meets those needs:
Here are some key terms to help you when shopping and comparing window film.
Measure and record the length and width of each piece of glass you plan to tint. You'll need the measurements to determine which kits to purchase. Add 15% to your window film purchase to account for waste and scrap.
Apply the film in early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat of the day. Excessive heat will cause the solution used to coat the glass and film to dry prematurely and could cause streaks in your project.
Clean your windows thoroughly with a mixture of 1 teaspoon baby shampoo to 1 gallon bottled water. It's important that you use a solution of no-tears baby shampoo and bottled water to provide the correct pH and final clarity to your project. Never use any cleaner containing vinegar or ammonia to clean the film or windows, as this could damage the film.
Cut a piece of film 1 inch wider and 1 inch longer than the window you plan to cover.
Spray the window liberally with the same solution you used to clean the windows. Keep your hands moistened with the solution to prevent leaving fingerprints on the film.
Use two pieces of transparent tape to remove the backing from the film. After you have exposed an inch or so of the film's adhesive backing, spray the film with the solution. On large pieces, you'll need a helper to keep from contaminating the film when the backing is removed.
Starting at the top, place the adhesive side of the film on the glass and work your way down the window. Position the film so it's centered on the glass and spray with the solution. Squeegee any bubbles to within 2 inches of the edge of the window. Keep the surface of the film wet with the solution so the squeegee will pull across it easily.
Use a utility knife to trim the film. Leave a 1/16-inch border between the edge of the film and the window.
Respray the surface of the film and squeegee out any bubbles. Bubbles will be able to escape through the space between the film and the edge of the window.
The film should begin to stick within 30 minutes and normally cures fully in four to eight days.