Installing Car Window Tint - Page 2


Remove the rear deck, and or 3rd brake light IF NEEDED. You will appreciate it when you're in there trying to lay a long piece of window film without touching anything but the clean glass, its not that easy and if the felt from the rear deck is against the glass, the film will be difficult to reach and squeegee completely. Most cars only need to have the brake light removed.

Side Glass

One way to pre-cut the film for the roll up windows is on the window itself, placing the window film on the outside, with the liner side facing up, the film can be trimmed to the approximate shape of the window, this method is o.k. but there is a way to get a much more accurate shape to the film using freezer paper patterns and without using blades on the car glass. To avoid sloppy cuts and creasing, I like to use Reynolds plastic coated freezer paper to make a pattern for rollup windows.

Cut a piece of the paper about an inch larger than the window

pre pattern
Not many people use this paper pattern method. I've been tinting for over 20 years and have a few old school habits that die hard and using paper patterns for side windows is one of them. This is not ordinary paper, it is "Plastic Coated Freezer Paper" available at the grocery store. In the picture I have cut a piece roughly an inch or so larger than the window and made several cuts along the side to allow it to lay down. You will see what I mean if you try this. Of course the plastic coated side is toward the glass.

Make several cuts along the sides of the paper, about an inch long and about 5 per side, this is so the paper will lay flat when you tuck the edges into the frame. Spray the outside of the fully rolled up window with unsoapy water.

Lay the paper over the glass plastic side down and smooth it out with a hard card.

makin' the pattern
OK, we got our two rough cut pieces of paper ready to go, so we lightly mist the fully rolled up window and 1/4 glass with water (no soap in this water!). Line up the pieces of paper and smooth them out nice and flat. If the window causes the paper to finger, then it's going to cause the film to finger too, so move those fingers of paper to the bottom edge. This is important because the film is going to be shrunk at the bottom, if the paper does not reflect the proper location of the excess material, the final piece of shrunken film may not fit as exactly as it should.

Be sure to keep the paper side of the plastic coated paper dry. Trace the edges where you want the edge of your film to be onto the paper with a hard card and draw them in with a sharp pencil.

hard cards
Now that you have the film all lined up and smoothed down so that it's not moving, I hope you didn't have soap in the water ;), use a thin hard card and tuck the edges of the paper into the sides of the window where it disappears behind the guide. Tuck just enough film in there to hide the edge. Too much and it's going to be tougher to install. Once it's all tucked in nicely, draw a line where the fold is in the tuck with a very sharp pencil. This will give you a sharp line to use while cutting later. If you use a dull pencil, you will get a dull line.

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