What Will I Need To Install Window Film?
At first glance, the thought of installing window film on your own may be a little intimidating and it may create a slight uncertainty. Should you just find a professional and let them do it so that it’s done right? After all, you know it’s going to be up there for a while and you do want it to look nice. You’re not even sure what kind of tools you’d need and where to begin. Before you write yourself off, let’s try and alleviate some of that trepidation with a step by step guide of what you’ll need and how you can put them to use.
A quick list of the tools and supplies you should have on hand when installing window film:
Basic Installtion Tools
- Squeegee (Comes with every order)
- Knife for Cutting Film
- Spray Bottle w/ Water
- Glass Cleaner
- Cloth, Sham or Paper Towels (Watch for lint!)
- Tape Measure
- Window Film (Of course)
Nothing too overwhelming on this list, and probably all things you have seen or used before. If there’s a lot of stuck on dirt, or paint you may also need a Scraper Blade for a clean install.
Professional Grade Tools – for Larger Installations
If you plan on installing a good amount of film, while the above tools will work great we have some professional grade tools that will help you get the job done easier and in less time.
- A Stainless Steel Knife
- Pump Spray Bottle
- Additional Hard Card Squeegee
- Yellow Turbo Squeegee
- 6″ Triumph Scraper
Security Film Installation Tools
For security film we do recommend professional grade squeegees that allow you to apply more pressure and ensure all of the water is removed from behind the film.
Now, a question looms: How do we apply these items to the installation process of window film?
Let’s start with the first step.
(Tape Measure) First, we’ll begin by measuring the length and width of the window pane on which you’ll be placing the film. After finding those dimensions you’ll apply them to the film, marking off an extra 1/2″ to 1″ on both the length and the width. For example, let’s say your window measures 24″ by 36″, when marking out where you’re going to cut make it 25″ by 37″. (More on the reason for this later) Also, make sure to place your marks on the back of the film, where the clear release liner is, that way any leftover marks will be removed when the release liner comes off.
(Knife) Next, take the knife and carefully cut the film following your markings and you should end up with the general shape of your window pane (with the slight excess of course).
(Glass Cleaner & Cloth) Now that the film is ready to go, it’s time to prepare the window for installation. Taking a cloth and glass cleaner, first apply the cleaner to the window pane and wipe off any excess dirt, dust, or fingerprints. You may also need the razor in your knife or a separate razor blade during this step, if you have dried paint or residue left on your glass. If this is the case, very gently work the blade under the dried residue and lightly scrape across until it is removed from the pane. Then re-clean the glass.
(Spray Bottle w/ Water) With a spray bottle of water in hand, it’s time to being the actual installation of the window film. Start, by generously spraying the newly cleaned glass with water. Don’t worry about spraying too much, the water will not hurt the film. Next, find a corner of the window film and peel back the release liner. Once the liner is removed, take the spray bottle and generously coat the adhesive or cling side of the film with water.
(Squeegee & Return of the Knife) The physical application of the window film is essentially a 3 step process:
1.) Taking the newly wetted film, line up the left corner of the window pane with the left corner of the window film and begin to apply the film (by putting a light pressure with your fingers) going across the top and the left side.
2.) Now as you continue to apply the film to the rest of the window, you’ll notice the excess hanging over the right and bottom sides of the glass. (Here’s why we cut it a little longer in the beginning) Take your squeegee and knife, then start at one side of where the excess hangs (it doesn’t matter which), press the film with the squeegee so that it pulls the film taught into the gap where the glass meets the wood or metal of the actual window. Holding your squeegee/film in place, use the knife with the squeegee as a guide to begin trimming off the excess. Repeat this for the remaining excess.
3.) Finally, take the squeegee, starting in the middle of the film and begin pushing the remaining water and air bubbles toward the edges until they escape the film.
That’s it! You’re done! From here all you have to do is let it dry and Voila! A beautiful new-look window is born. See not so bad, right? Also, feel free to contact us here at Window Film and More with any further questions you may have, and for more information on the installation process check out our video: