Installing a static cling window film has a number of benefits. It’s not only great for overlooking windows but can also be used to block out unpleasant views without any loss of light. And the best part is it’s pretty easy to apply it yourself.
To install static cling window film, measure the window and cut the film accordingly. Next, clean the window thoroughly and apply a generous amount of film application solution. Next, peel the film from the plastic liner and lay it on the glass. Finally, use a squeegee to set it and trim the edges.
A static cling window film can also provide privacy and UV protection, which prevents your furnishings, furniture, and carpets from fading. Let’s see how you can install a static cling window film in more detail and some important tips to keep in mind.
How to Install Static Cling Window Film
Installing static cling window film is pretty easy. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Apart from the window film, you first need a film application solution (on Amazon). Alternatively, you can use no-tear baby shampoo (without conditioner). Mix it with distilled water and put it in a spray bottle.
You’ll also need a bunch of single-edge razor blades (on Amazon) for cleaning the window and a utility knife (on Amazon) to cut and trim the vinyl film. Keep in mind that a vinyl film can dull the blade’s edge, which, in turn, can tear the vinyl. So, make sure you change the blade after every 10 feet or so of film.
Another thing you need is a 4-5” wide rubber squeegee (on Amazon) to apply the film to the window without any creases and get rid of the solution under the film. Ideally, the squeegee should have a solid handle and a flexible blade.
Next on the list are lint-free or low-lint towels to absorb the extra water and clean the windows. You can also use paper cloth filters instead.
Finally, you need an edging tool to trim the film once applied to the glass. If you don’t have an edging tool, you can use a trimming guide, a plastic card, or the edge of a ruler.
Cleaning & Prepping Your Window
To install static cling film, you first need to measure the window before cutting the film (pre-cutting helps minimize waste).
To do so:
- Unroll the cling film on a flat, clean surface. You can either pre-cut it to the window’s dimensions after subtracting 1/16” from all four sides or cut it 1” more than the dimensions of the glass on all sides and trim it after you apply it.
- Next, clean the window and remove any stubborn paint or dirt with a razor blade. Again, make sure you pay attention to the corners. Finally, wet the window once again and squeegee downwards.
- Then, use a soft, lint-free cloth to wipe off dirt on the window gasket. Repeat these steps until the window is clean.
Applying Static Cling
Spray a generous amount of the solution on the window until it runs down the glass. Make sure the window is thoroughly wet before you apply the film. Next, carefully remove the clear plastic liner and spray the film application solution on the window film. This will make it easier to remove the liner and reduce dirt contamination and static.
It’s now time to apply the film.
- Start right from the top of the window and gently lay the film down onto the glass. Smooth out wrinkles using your hands.
- Spray the surface of the film (that’s facing you) with the solution, and squeegee the centerline from top to bottom to set it in place.
- Start at the top and squeegee from the middle to the right while working your way downwards. Make sure you leave 2” around the edges. Do the same for the left side. If there are large air pockets, wet the film’s top and squeeze it.
- Finally, you need to trim the edges of the film. Use a utility knife or a sharp razor blade along with an edging tool to cut 1/16” of the film from all corners. This will allow you to squeegee the air and water from under the film and leave room for the thermal expansion of the glass.
- Once you’re done cutting, wet the film surface and squeegee as you did before. Make sure you press firmly to get rid of all the solution, and use a lint-free towel to absorb the water from around the corners. If there are any water bubbles left, don’t worry about them—they’ll evaporate in the next 6-10 days.
Important Factors to Remember
When installing static cling window film, make sure you keep these tips in mind:
- Apply the film only to shaded or cool windows when the temperature is around 45-90 degrees. Avoid applying the film during freezing weather or in direct sunlight for the best results.
- Keep the film and the window thoroughly wet during the application, and use a flexible squeegee to place the film. Avoid using a hard-edged or rigid tool since it can scratch the film.
- Switch off the fans and apply the film in a dust-free area to prevent debris and dirt from sticking to the film and getting trapped against the window.
- If you see bubbles, peel the film, wet the film and the glass, and reapply.
- How long the film lasts depends on the frequency of reapplication, care and handling, and exposure to elements.
- The film’s longevity depends upon exposure to the elements, handling, care, and frequency of removal and reapplication.
- When using a squeegee to remove bubbles, use a cloth as a cushion between the tool and the film to prevent scratches.