How to Tint Home Windows

Are you tired of home windows that lack any sort of energy efficiency? Or perhaps you are over just how dated your windows make your house look. Maybe you are looking to increase the security your windows provide. 

Whatever your goal may be, applying a window film to tint your windows is a simple, economical solution that can increase energy efficiency, give your home the makeover it deserves, or easily feel safer in your home. 

And the best part of tinting your windows is that it’s easy to install, and even easier on the wallet. If you are willing to do a little research, find the best product, and spend time properly installing the film, it can be a worthwhile investment in your home.

So you are ready to get started on your DIY window-tinting project, but you still have some questions. 

We get it – there are a lot of products on the market (not all of which are created equally) and you need a little guidance. We’ve got you covered with the ultimate how-to guide – check it out!

Step One: Do Your Research

You are ready to tint your home windows. That’s great news, you DIYer! However, before you buy the first window film you find online or at your favorite local hardware store, take a moment to read through these research tips in order to make sure you are purchasing the right product for your specific windows.

Choose Your Window Film 

There are three main types of window tinting, each of which serves a different purpose. Read about each film to determine which one suits your specific needs:

Choose Solar Film for Energy Efficiency

If you are looking to boost your home’s energy efficiency, a solar film is your best bet.

Most solar film products are fairly thick and reflect or absorb close to 99 percent of the sun’s UV rays. Ok, that sounds great, but what does it mean?

  • You are more comfortable indoors, no matter what time of year it is.
  • Indoor temperature is regulated – meaning your home stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
  • Your flooring and furnishings won’t fade as easily. Have you ever moved a rug just to see what your hardwood floors used to look like? Yeah, the sun beaming down through your windows is to blame for that.
  • Reduce glare. 
  • You save money.

The ultimate win-win (times a few) when it comes to increasing energy efficiency in your home.

Choose Security Film for Safety Purposes

Security film – the thickest film available – is made to protect your windows from storm damage or prevent a home intrusion. Simply put, your window won’t shatter; they will maybe just crack, making it the most effective choice when it comes to safety.

Choose Decorative Film for Curb Appeal

Decorative films are the thinnest of the bunch, specifically designed to add curb appeal or increase privacy. It will only reflect minimal heat, so do not go with decorative films if you are looking to become more energy-efficient. 

Decorative films even come in stained glass, opaque frosted, or patterned designs that not only add curb appeal but give you a sense of privacy.

Know What Type of Window Glass You Have 

Most window films will work with your existing type of window glass.

You most likely have one of the following types of window glass: insulated, heat-treated, or annealed. Most window films work with all of these types of glass. However, it’s in your best interest to do a little research and talk to your window manufacturer to make sure it will all work out. 

The last thing you want to do is buy the window film, spend hours installing it, and then find out it won’t work. 

Step Two: Tint Your Home Windows With Our Step-by-Step Instructions

So – here’s what you came here for – how to tint your home windows. Let’s get started.


Your windows need to be clean and dry. Using a lint-free soft cloth dipped in a solution made of a gallon of bottled water and one teaspoon of no-tears baby shampoo, clean the surface of the window.

While this may sound tedious, it’s a critical step as you do not want any dust or other spots showing up after you apply the film. Don’t skip this part of the process!

Cut Window Film to Size

Using a utility knife, cut the film a half-inch longer and wider than the window pane you are working on.

Apply Window Tint

Once you have cut the window film to size, it’s time to apply it to the window. Remove the adhesive backing and slowly apply it to the window pane from the top down. Spray a bit of the baby shampoo solution to the film’s surface, then use a credit card or small squeegee to rub the film onto the window. 

Be sure to push all air bubbles out to the sides. Once the film is firmly in place, you can trim the edges with your utility knife. It will take anywhere from four to eight days for the film to cure, so be patient.

Things to Watch Out For

As with any DIY project, things can go wrong. If you skip a step or speed things along, you could end up with a dust-ridden, bubble-filled mess.

We’ve laid out clear instructions for applying the window film, but it’s up to you to complete the job in a professional manner. And if you follow our step-by-step guide, you shouldn’t have any issues!

In Conclusion

There are many benefits to going the DIY route and tinting your home windows.

Not only will you feel accomplished, but as a thoughtful, financially-savvy homeowner, you will be confident that the film you installed will increase your home’s energy-efficiency, boost your curb appeal, or provide extra security. All of which give you peace of mind in one way or another.

We hope this comprehensive how-to guide has been helpful!