How To Add Tint To Your Sliding Glass Door

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Many homes and apartments have large sliding glass doors. Although they let in loads of natural light, large glass panes can reduce privacy and increase heat. In addition, you can use various tint types to spice up your home and minimize excessive sunlight.

You can use solar, privacy, or color tint for glass doors. Measure your door and add 10% more tint when you purchase for mistakes. Next, wipe down the glass and let it dry. Apply the tint, then use a straightedge to remove air bubbles. Lastly, trim any excess tint and dry with a towel.

Adding tint to glass doors is a fun project that can transform your home. The process is straightforward, and we cover everything you need to know below. Read on for more information.

Supplies Needed for Tinting a Sliding Glass Door

Deck of two storey house with sliding glass door and stairs leading to yard

Applying tint to a sliding glass door can transform a home and has several benefits. But before you can reap the rewards of your hard-earned effort, you’ll need a few materials to get started:

What are the Different Types of Tint?

Before you can tint your sliding glass doors, you’ll need to select a type of tint. There are three options to choose from solar, privacy, and color.

Consider your desired effect when selecting a tint for sliding glass doors. After you have your goals in mind, finding the right kind of tint for your home will be a straightforward process.

Solar Tint

Solar tint like this option (on Amazon) is the most popular type of material applied to sliding doors. The tint protects the doors from sunlight exposure and allows light in without excess heat.

In addition, solar tints can help keep cold air from leaving your home and save you money on energy bills.

Privacy Tint

Privacy tint is ideal for homeowners or apartment dwellers that want more seclusion.

This tint prevents outsiders from looking into your home, whether they be prying neighbors or other visitors. Privacy tint can also offer more visual appeal by creating interesting dark patterns when light reflects off the surface.

You’ll notice the solar option linked above is also billed as a privacy option, which makes sense considering the main function in both cases is simply to block light.

Colored Tints

Colored tints are an excellent choice if you want to add visual appeal to your home or apartment with little effort. This tint can add unique patterns that transform an environment without paint or new installations. For example, color tints for sliding glass doors can brighten your home and turn it into a special retreat.

How to Measure Your Tint Correctly

Now that you have selected your tint, you can measure your sliding glass surface. You’ll need to measure both ends of the sliding glass door to find the right size.

Measure the door from top to bottom on both sides. Be sure to include any trim details when you measure the surface. Many brands offer charts online that can help you determine the size of tint you need for your sliding glass door.

How to Prep Your Door for Tinting

You’ll need to prep your sliding glass door before applying your new tint. After that, you can follow a few universal steps, regardless of your tint. Follow the instructions below to ensure your window tint comes out successfully.

Purchase Enough Material

The first part of preparation starts in your shopping cart. Ensure you have accurate measurements of your door when you purchase the material. Next, you’ll want to buy roughly 10% more tint to account for mistakes. You can find window tints from local home-improvement shops or online.

Wipe Down Your Glass Doors

The second step of preparation is to clean the glass doors. Use a wet towel to wipe off any larger debris from the surface. You don’t need to include soap—plain warm water will work fine.

Spray Ammonia-Based Cleaner and Dry

After removing large debris from the glass surface, you will need to use an ammonia-based window cleaner. Any ammonia-based window solution will work, but products like Windex (on Amazon) and Gunk (on Amazon) are easy to find.

Liberally spray the cleaner on the glass surface.

Thoroughly dry the surface with a towel. Do not move on to the application process until the glass surface is completely dry.

How to Apply Your Tint

Now that your sliding glass doors are prepared, you can start the application process. The application process is straightforward, but you may need another set of hands to hold the material in place while you apply it. Follow the steps below to begin.

Measure and Cut Your Window Tint

The first part of the application process is to measure and cut the window tint.

It’s best to measure your glass windows at least three times to ensure you have accurate numbers. After that, you’ll want to place the tint film against the surface to double-check the measurements.

Cut the window tint material with scissors and use a straight metal edge to guide your cuts. The straight metal edge will help prevent uneven cuts.

Install the Window Tint

You can install the window tint film onto the sliding glass doors. But, again, follow your products’ specific guidelines, as instructions can vary from material to material.

For example, some products require you to spray soapy water on the glass to help the tint adhere to the surface.   

You can use a small tinting material roller to prevent air pockets and bumps from underneath the material. Some products include rollers or squeegees (on Amazon) upon purchase, but you’ll need to double-check.

Smooth out the Tint

After applying the tint, you can use a metal or plastic straight edge (on Amazon) to smooth out the material. Some products recommend starting from the center and working outward, but this can depend on the material.

If you don’t have a straight edge, using a credit card as a DIY solution is possible, but it’s not advised. Additionally, some users recommend wrapping the straight edge in a towel or cloth to avoid damage.

Trim off Excess Material

You’ll want to trim off the margins or any excess material. You can use a standard craft knife (on Amazon) or box cutter to trim the edges.

Be sure to take your time and go slowly to avoid accidental damage.

Wipe off Any Water and Finish

Lastly, you can wipe off the surface with a dry lint-free towel. Some sliding glass tints require you to spray soapy water to adhere to the material, so this step may not be necessary for all users.

Tips for Maintaining Your Tint

Man Cleaning a Sliding Glass Door

Sliding glass door tint is generally a low-maintenance solution. However, you can use a few preventative care tips to maintain your window tint for longer.

  • Cleaning: Although we recommend ammonia-based cleaners to prepare the surface, it’s best to clean tinted windows without any harsh chemicals. Use warm soapy water or ammonia-free chemicals to clean tinted glass doors.
  • Allow Time to Cure: Give your window tint application ample time to cure. Some products have different guidelines, but it’s best to avoid cleaning the surface right after application.
  • Remove the Tint for Repairs: You’ll need to remove the window tint if you need to repair your sliding glass doors. Keeping the tint in place will typically cause damage and an unsightly appearance. Instead, remove the tint and reapply it.
  • Reapply Every Few Years: Regardless if you have a professional tint or did it yourself, you’ll need to reapply the tint every few years. It’s best to remove the tint and reapply it every so often to keep it in tip-top shape. The timeframe can vary depending on the application, but reapply the tint as needed.

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