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Window Film - Fitting whilst Glass In Place

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Fitting Window Film - Glass In Place


To get the shape of each window you need to hold the film onto the outside of the glass making sure the "tacky" protected side faces up and run round the very edge of the window with a sharp knife to give you an outline. A torch on the inside will definitely help here, and you should be able to cut just outside where the light showing from the torch stops. Use a very sharp knife to avoid scratching the glass and make sure you don't press too hard.

Once you have this, clean the glass very well. Use Meths first, and then fairy liquid in water generously applied to the glass with a plant sprayer.

Whilst the fairy liquid mix is fresh on the glass scrape the glass with a paint stripping tool (you know, the flat wide chisel thing that you shove under paint or wallpaper to get it off the wall - B&Q type stuff) to remove any sticky patches on the glass. This sounds harsh but it does work and doesn't scratch the glass as long as you "float" the scraper at an almost flat angle.

Peel off the backing film to the tint and spray the newly-exposed face with water and fairy liquid mixed. Then spray the glass with the mixture. Don't just spray to the glass because the film will stick instantly and you won't be able to work with it.

Apply the film to the glass and due to the fairy/water mix you can still move it around to get the right position. Then use the squeegee supplied with the film to ease the air/water out. It should come out really easily as the fairy seems to lube it out. Once this is all out, don't disturb for a week. For electric windows I'd suggest removing the fuse to ensure you don't operate them accidentally.

The rear window is double curvature glass again and is more difficult to do. What the chap who fitted mine did was to lay the film up on the glass as above, push the crease in the film towards the middle (horizontally) of the glass and gently ran the blade along the element wire. He then pushed the film above the cut down and then worked the bottom edge over the top. From the inside you should be able to see faint patches where there was 2 layers of film not one but they're very small and nobody except me ever noticed them, even when inspecting the glass close up. Saloon and hatches will need two runs of film to cover the window. The same principle applies, but you need to butt the two film edges up to each other. Again, the heater element wire makes a great place to hide the join behind. Alternatively, some film may take a gentle application of heat to "shrink" the shape of the glass onto the film - this is best done holding the film on the outside of the glass, and with heat applied carefully!

Even doing side glass can be tricky. Expect to make mistakes once or twice and you won't be disappointed. Properly applied film looks great, and the biggest spoiler is usually dirt or dust under the film. The glass has to be absolutely spotless or it'll not lay well. Don't be afraid to rip the film off if you see dust under it because it'll never dry invisibly.

One final piece of advice - don't buy cheap film. Having seen another friend of mine tint his windows (badly) with Defender, I wouldn't recommend it. It's thin like clingfilm and difficult to work onto glass. I got, and tried myself, Foliatec film - it's expensive, but thick, and it goes on really easily.