Learning How to Tint
Learn How To “Tint Your Ride”!
The directions on this page will show you how to apply window tint that has been pre-cut for your vehicle’s windows. We assume you have already removed any tint that had been on the glass. If you still have old tint to remove, see our directions for Removing Window Tint.
Note: Although applying window tint is not difficult, it is more easily accomplished by two people, especially when applying tint to large windows. Always handle the tint carefully, trying to avoid creasing. We advise you to wet your fingertips before handling the tint in order to avoid leaving fingerprints on the tint.
Environmental Conditions: Try to apply your tint in a shaded area that is well-lit and free of dust. Windy conditions make the tint application process more difficult, so indoor application is preferable. Be sure that you apply your tint when the temperature has been between 40° and 98° F for three days.
You will need:
- A single-edge razor blade
- Auto Tint Rider Glass Cleaner
- A microfiber towel or lint-free towels
- Auto Tint Rider Tint Application Fluid
- A squeegee or hard card
All of these items are available from AutoTintRider.com
Step 1: Cleaning the Window.
Note: Your window must be thoroughly clean when you apply the tint. Any excess dirt particles will lead to an imperfect result.
- Do not use household glass cleaners or any mixture that contains ammonia or alcohol on your vehicle’s glass in preparation for applying your tint. We recommend Auto Tint Rider Glass Cleaner, which is specially formulated for cleaning your windows in preparation for tint application.
- Use the Auto Tint Rider Glass Cleaner to thoroughly clean both sides of your window. Scrape away dirt with a clean razor blade.
- Wrap the hard edge of your squeegee with a lint-free towel to clean inside of all rubber gaskets, where dirt is likely to hide.
- Re-spray both surfaces of the glass and wipe again with clean lint-free towel.
- Dry the glass with a squeegee
Step 2: Removing the clear liner from the tint
- Wet outside of the glass with Auto Tint Rider Glass Cleaner so that the film will cling to the window
- Position the trimmed film on the glass with clear liner facing out. (You can tell the clear liner side from the film side because the liner will feel slick to the touch; the film will feel stickier.)
- Begin to peel the liner from the film at one corner, exposing the film adhesive. (You may want to use two small pieces of clear tape to begin the peeling: Place one piece on the liner side and the other on the film side and then slowly pull them apart.)
- Spray Auto Tint Rider Tint Application Fluid on the exposed adhesive as you peel away the liner.
- Handle the film carefully after removing the liner; keep the film from touching itself.
Step 3: Applying the Film
Spray the inside of the glass thoroughly with Auto Tint Rider Tint Application Fluid. Then roll the window down about two inches.
Place the adhesive side of the film against the inside of the glass (both should be wet with Application Fluid). Be careful that the adhesive does not touch the door and pick up dirt; you can fold the bottom edge of the film up to protect the adhesive while you work on the top. Be careful not to crease the film.
Position the top of the film, leaving about one-quarter inch gap at the top for a roll-up window.
Spray the outside of the film with Auto Tint Rider Tint Application Fluid
Press the top part of the film to the glass firmly with the soft rubber side of the squeegee, removing all liquid between the glass and the film.
Roll the window up.
Re-spray bottom of window with Auto Tint Rider Tint Application Fluid and squeegee to make sure bottom of glass is clean.
Spray the bottom of the window again and fold down the film, slipping the bottom of the film under the gasket.
Use the hard angle side of the squeegee to pull out the gasket so you can slide the bottom of the film behind the gasket.
Use your fingers and the squeegee to run the bottom of the film under the gasket. Be careful not to crease the film.
Squeegee all liquid downward from under the film.
Wrap the hard edge of the squeegee with lint free-towel or microfiber cloth and push any remaining liquid to the nearest edge of the film.
Applying Tint to Rear Windows
Unlike side windows, which are flat, many rear windows have a curved surface. This presents a special challenge for tint application since the flat tint will not lie smoothly on the curved glass without heat shrinking. But by following these simple directions, you can successfully apply your pre-cut tint to any rear window.
Step 1: Clean the window.
If your vehicle is equipped with a rear deck brake light, remove it before you begin the tint application process. Removing the light will make it easier for you to clean the window and keep your tint clean.
Like your other windows, the rear window must be thoroughly clean before you apply your tint. Follow the directions above for cleaning your windows, but do not use a razor blade to scrape windows with rear window defrosters. If your rear window is equipped with a defroster, use white scrub pads instead of a blade to scrape away excess dirt. Thoroughly clean both the inside and outside of your rear window.
Step 2: Heat Shrinking
For this process, you will need a heat gun, some lint-free towels, and a hard card. Do not substitute a hair drier for the heat gun; a hair drier will not get hot enough. Kevlar heat gloves also work great for heat shrinking rear windows without burning your hands.
Wet the outside of the glass with Auto Tint Rider Tint Application Fluid or soapy water.
Lay your pre-cut tint on the outside of the window. The liner should still be on the tint, and the liner side should be face up.
Squeegee up and down from the center of the film, creating “fingers” at the top and bottom of the film. The fingers are places where the tint rises from the surface of the glass due to the curvature of the window. These fingers must be heat shrunk in order for the film to perfectly fit the glass.
Pass the heat gun on high setting quickly over a finger until you see the finger distort a bit; then smooth that finger flat with a balled up lint-free towel.
Repeat the shrinking process with fingers that pop up on either side of the one you shrink until you have flattened all of the fingers.
Once the tint is all flat on the window, work both top and bottom with the heat gun again, using a hard card wrapped in a lint-free towel instead of the balled up paper towel to ensure all bubbles are removed.
Step 3: Applying Tint to Window
Follow the directions above to remove the clear liner and apply your pre-cut tint to the inside of your rear window. Because of the size and location of rear windows, application will be easier with two people