Tinting car windows is a popular aftermarket modification that provides numerous benefits, such as increased privacy, reduced glare, and protection from harmful UV rays. While professional window tinting services are available, some car enthusiasts prefer the DIY approach. One method of DIY window tinting is using a spray-on tint. In this blog post, we will walk you through the process of tinting your car windows with spray, detailing the necessary steps, tools, and tips to ensure a successful application.
How To Tint Car Windows With Spray
Tools and Materials Needed
Before beginning the tinting process, it’s crucial to gather all necessary tools and materials. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- Spray-on window tint: Ensure you choose a high-quality product that complies with your local laws and regulations.
- Glass cleaner: A streak-free, ammonia-free cleaner is recommended.
- Microfiber towels: For cleaning and drying the windows.
- Painter’s tape: To protect the window trim and surrounding areas.
- Plastic sheeting: To protect your car’s interior.
- Razor blade or utility knife: For trimming excess tint (if necessary).
- Heat gun or hairdryer: To help with curing the tint.
Preparing Your Workspace
Before you begin tinting your car windows, it’s important to set up a clean, well-lit workspace. Consider the following steps:
- Choose a well-ventilated area, such as a garage or carport, to avoid inhaling fumes from the spray-on tint.
- Ensure the workspace is free of dust and debris to prevent contaminants from getting onto the windows.
- Use plastic sheeting to cover the car’s interior, paying special attention to the seats, dashboard, and center console.
Cleaning Your Car Windows
Properly cleaning your car windows is crucial for a smooth, even application of the spray-on tint. Follow these steps to ensure your windows are spotless:
- Start by washing the exterior of your car to remove dirt and debris.
- Use the glass cleaner and microfiber towels to thoroughly clean the windows, both inside and out.
- Use a razor blade or utility knife to remove any stubborn residue or stickers on the glass.
- Dry the windows with a clean microfiber towel, ensuring there are no streaks or lint left behind.
Applying the Spray-On Tint
Now that your workspace is prepared and your windows are clean, it’s time to apply the spray-on tint. Follow these steps for a successful application:
- Use painter’s tape to mask off the window trim and surrounding areas to prevent overspray.
- Shake the spray-on tint can well, following the manufacturer’s instructions for preparation.
- Hold the can approximately 10-12 inches away from the window and apply a thin, even coat of tint, using a side-to-side sweeping motion.
- Allow the first coat to dry for a few minutes (follow the manufacturer’s recommendations).
- Apply additional coats, allowing each to dry before applying the next, until the desired level of tint is achieved. Typically, 2-3 coats are sufficient.
- If needed, use a razor blade or utility knife to trim any excess tint from the edges of the window.
Curing the Tint
After applying the spray-on tint, it’s crucial to allow it to cure properly. Follow these steps for proper curing:
- Keep your car in the well-ventilated workspace for the recommended curing time, which can vary depending on the product used and the environmental conditions. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for specific curing times.
- Use a heat gun or hairdryer to gently heat the surface of the tinted windows, ensuring even heat distribution. This will help the tint to adhere properly and remove any remaining moisture.
- Avoid rolling down your windows during the curing process, as this may cause the tint to peel or bubble.
- Keep the car out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures during the curing period to prevent uneven drying or damage to the tint.
Troubleshooting and Maintenance
Once your spray-on window tint is cured, it’s essential to maintain and care for it properly. Here are some tips for troubleshooting common issues and keeping your tint looking its best:
- Bubbles or streaks: If you notice bubbles or streaks in the tint after it has dried, you can use a credit card or squeegee to gently press them out towards the edge of the window. For persistent bubbles, you may need to carefully pierce them with a pin and then press out the air.
- Peeling or lifting: If the tint starts to peel or lift at the edges, use a heat gun or hairdryer to gently warm the affected area, then press the tint back into place. If the problem persists, it may be necessary to reapply the tint in that area.
- Cleaning and maintenance: To keep your tinted windows looking their best, clean them regularly with a streak-free, ammonia-free glass cleaner, and a microfiber towel. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or tools that may scratch the tint.
- Fading or discoloration: Over time, some spray-on tints may fade or discolor due to sun exposure. If this occurs, you may need to reapply the tint or consider using a different product with better UV resistance.
Tinting your car windows with spray-on tint is a relatively simple and cost-effective DIY project. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can achieve professional-looking results and enjoy the benefits of tinted windows. Just remember to properly prepare your workspace, clean your windows thoroughly, apply the tint carefully, and allow it to cure before using your windows. With proper maintenance, your spray-on window tint will provide privacy, glare reduction, and UV protection for years to come.