How to Custom Tint Your Vehicle's Windows with Vinyl

Change up your vehicle's appearance with window tinting

Drivers looking for quick, inexpensive ways to update or customize their vehicles have plenty of options. One simple mod that makes a statement is custom vinyl tinting for windows and windshields. Not only does tinting looks sleek, but it also cuts down on damage caused by heat and the sun's UV rays. And in an accident, vinyl tinting helps further prevent the glass from shattering on impact. All you need is a few basic tools and a steady hand. Step-by-step, here's how to get the job done right.

BMW with tinted windows

Source | Adel Ben/Unsplash

Difficulty

Beginner

Estimated Time

2-3 hours

What You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Heat gun
  • Paper towel
  • Squeegee
  • Spray bottle
  • Tinting film
  • Craft knife 
Pro Tip

Before you start, check the rules for tinting your windows in your state. And be aware that if you travel to another state with different laws, you may face penalties from law enforcement.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Clean the window/windshield surface using soap and water. Dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Prepare the glass for film application by warming it with a heat gun.

Step 3: Dampen the interior window surface with the spray bottle. Remove the backing from the tinting film. Spray it as well.

Step 4: Position the damp side of the film against the glass. Adjust until you're satisfied with the fit

Step 5: Using the squeegee, smooth the film against the window/windshield. Start in the middle and work out toward the edges.

Step 6: Warm the film with the heat gun. Continue smoothing the film with the squeegee, working from the middle to the edges.

Step 7: When the film is smooth and free from moisture or air bubbles underneath, let it cool.

Step 8: Trim the excess film with a sharp craft knife, being careful not to cut into the glass itself.

Last updated June 15, 2017

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