Tinted windows are becoming increasingly popular with drivers everywhere – and whether you want them for the additional privacy they offer, the protection they give from blazing heat and harmful UV rays, or simply the sleek, polished look they give to your car, it’s always an option to tint your side windows yourself. Although tinting car windows can be a difficult task for beginners, the following steps will help facilitate the process, and allow you to give your vehicle a fresh new look.
- OEM tinted glass: OEM tinted glass is tinted within the glass, as part of the actual glass making process. It lasts throughout the entire life of the glass. OEM tinted glass usually has only a mild tint that is legal even in areas with the most stringent rules regarding tinting. Keep in mind that OEM tinted glass may be more expensive to replace in a collision. 
- Coating tint: The coating tint method applies a special tinted solution to the existing glass, usually as a spray. This type of tint lasts much longer than film tinting, though there aren’t many shops who do it for automotive glass because it requires removal of the window glass, if done correctly.
- Film tint: Film tinting is a very popular method for tinting car windows after they’ve been purchased. With this method, the window glass first needs to be specially treated, before a thin polymer film is carefully attached to the glass. This is probably the least expensive form of window tinting, and some installers believe that the film can even limit the possibility of the windows shattering upon collision. However, film tinting is not permanent and it will need to be replaced every five years or so to prevent cracking, peeling, and bubbling.
- Consider having your film tint applied by a professional installer if you have never applied film tint before. This way, you can avoid the appearance of bubbles or damage to the film.
- Remember to clean the gasket holding the window in place.
- Use a razor blade to scrape off any residue.
2. Measure and pre-cut the film. Unroll the film onto the inside of the window, liner side up (The sticky side is the film and the silk side is the liner). Trim the film to the approximate size of the window using a razor knife. Do this with extreme caution.
- Always cut the film leaving at least one extra inch on each side, to ensure the entire window will be covered.
3. Trim the film. Position the film so that the straight bottom edge extends to 1 quarter inch below the top of the inside casket. Using the razor knife, trim the vertical edges of the film first. Then lower the window down to about 2 inches (5.1 cm) and trim the film to fit the shape of the top of the window.
- Make sure to press the knife gently to avoid any damage of the glass.
- Accuracy with the trimming may require multiple tries to get desired shape.
4. Apply the application solution. Spray the inside of the window generously with application solution. Next, peel off the film liner and spray the exposed adhesive with application solution.
- Use a squeegee to press the film onto the glass, working from the middle out.
- Apply more and more pressure as you feel the film begin to grab the glass. Make sure there are no air bubbles.
- Roll up the window and continue placing the film into position on the bottom part of the window. Slip the end of the film underneath the window gasket.
- Push all the water and soap towards the edge of the window, and blot away using a squeegee wrapped in paper towel.