As well as offering a high quality window film installation service, WF Glazing Protection also offer a wide range of films which are available on a DIY basis.
Should you wish to apply your chosen window film yourself, we have created an easy to follow guide which has been designed to highlight the steps which must be followed in order to achieve a perfect application.
How To Successfully Apply Window Film
The good news is that applying window film is a relatively simple process and regardless of the type of window film that you have purchased, the process is likely to be very similar.
Before starting, there are a few snippets of information which are important to note.
- Window film is a very thin sheet of material that requires careful handling
- Creasing and folding the film should be avoided to prevent damage or permanently ‘marking’ the film.
- Preparation and film application need to be carried out in a draught and dust free environment
- Preparation and pre-cleaning are vitally important and care must be taken to flush any dirt particles out of the window frame post cleaning.
- Some airborne dust may get under the film but this is difficult to avoid completely and its presence will not affect the performance of the film.
It is also important to note that there are a few circumstances under which applications are not recommended.
- When the temperatures are below 8°C or when outside temperatures are below 0°C
- When applications are intended for rough or cast class surfaces
- To any surface that curves in two directions
Before starting, there are a number of essential tools that you will need to make the task easier. These include:
- Spray bottle
- Straight Edge (Ruler for example)
- Craft Knife or Scalpel
- Single edge razor blades
- Firm rubber or plastic squeegee
- Paper towel
Step 1 – Window Preparation
- Make up slip solution in spray bottle (1 tsp Johnson’s baby shampoo to 1 pint cold water).
- Clean window thoroughly and ensure area is draught and dust free.
- Remove all traces of paint, varnish or other foreign matter with a scraper (or razor blade). Spray the entire window with the slip solution before scraping.
- Wipe down the window and flush frame edges with the slip solution.
- Spray again with slip solution and squeegee dry, ensuring the glass surface is very clean and dust free.
Step 2 – Film Handling
- The adhesive surface is protected between the window film and liner.
- Window film may be cut to approximate size with a very sharp blade. It is recommended that the film be cut at least 2 cm longer and wider than the glass. You are now ready to apply the film to the glass.
Please Note: Separate a corner of the window film and liner by attaching a 2 inch piece of masking tape on the front and back of the film and pull the tapes away from each other.
Step 3 – Film Application
- Thoroughly wet the entire glass area with slip solution.
- Place film on glass with the clear liner facing you. From the already separated corner, carefully peel off the liner.
- Spray the adhesive surface generously with the slip solution (you cannot apply too much solution), as you remove the liner.
- The slip solution acts as a lubricant to allow the positioning of the film.
Please Note – Keep the film straight, do not allow film to curl up on itself or to wrinkle. A crease or wrinkle will not flatten out on application
- Position film by gently sliding on wet surface and smoothing out large air bubbles. Ensure all glass area is covered by film.
Step 4 – Squeegee Technique
- Squeegee angle should be high, as shown, to prevent scratching the film, only use rubber Squeegee never a cloth or sponge.
Please Note – The angle should be close to 90 degrees
- Using firm Squeegee pressure, Squeegee from the centre of the film to the outer edges, with overlapping strokes, until the whole window is completed.
- Re-wetting of the film will be required to avoid Squeegee friction.
- On final squeegee of the top and bottom edges, the Squeegee may be pushed toward the edge to remove excess water.
- If a particle is trapped behind the film, carefully lift the film from the nearest corner and remove the particle.
- Before replacing the film, spray sufficient slip solution to thoroughly wet the glass and film. Replace the film and re-squeegee.
Step 5 – Film Trimming
- Place a straight edge to the edge of the window (rubber gasket or window frame).
- Trim the film using a snap-off craft knife or scalpel. The blade must be kept sharp to achieve a clean cut.
- This will leave a neat edge gap of approx. 2mm from the film edge to frame. The edge gap is necessary but virtually unnoticeable.
- Repeat for each edge of the window.
- After trimming, remove excess film.
- Repeat entire squeegee procedure, if required. A firm pressure is necessary to affect a strong bond.
- When trimming is final and squeegeeing is completed, wrap a paper towel over the edge of the squeegee and carefully and completely ‘bump’ dry the edges of films.
Step 6 – Curing Time
- Once the film installation is completed, leave the film to dry out for 2 to 4 weeks.
The following video offers a further insight into DIY window film installation along with a practical guide.
During The Drying Period
Some haziness/misting will be evident and this will disappear as the film dries out over a 2-4 week period.
Small bubbles may appear, similar to the skin of an orange peel as the film dries out. Again this will disappear over the 2-4 week period.
Film should only be cleaned 4 weeks after installation. Clean as for normal windows and always with soft chamois leather or non-abrasive cloth and clean water.