Removing Tint Film From a Glass Door
Tinting is the process of applying a thin film made of opaque-colored plastic or laminate to a glass window or door. Generally, tinted panels are desired to filter harsh UVA and UVB sunlight rays, or to keep prying eyes from peeking into a room or car. Tinting can also be considered a stylistic statement. Removal of this material may be necessary if the film begins to break down from wear and tear, bubble out from improper installation, or simply is no longer desired. Detaching tinted film from a glass door takes some time. However, successful removal is possible with the right tools and technique. The following is a quick summary of stripping tint film from a glass door.
Preparing the Glass
Tinting film can be removed with a properly sharpened razor blade. The wider the blade, the more efficiently it will strip the plastic from the window. To make the process much simpler, apply two things to your window before you begin. The first is heat. Of course, the most resourceful way to heat a large panel of glass is with sunlight. If you are working on a bright day, place the window in question in direct sun for approximately 1 hour before beginning. If you have no access to sunlight, a hair dryer or electric steamer can be used for the same purpose.
Stripping the Film
The other tool to make removing the film less problematic is ammonia or an ammonia-based solvent. In order to speed up the process, apply the ammonia to the glass before heating. When working with ammonia, be sure you are in a well-ventilated area, as overexposure to ammonia fumes can be toxic. Once it is covered with ammonia, wrap the glass in a dark-colored lawn and leaf bag, and begin the heating process. Be sure not to hold a hair dryer or any other hot instrument directly on the plastic bag or you could end up with a mess of melted plastic on your window, in addition to the tint. When your glass is sufficiently warm, remove the plastic bag and begin scraping lightly against the film near the top edge. Once nicked, the plastic should peel away in sheets.
Diane Todd holds a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication from North Carolina State University and is a former video and web producer for a North Carolina multimedia agency. She also spent several years as a media specialist/graphics designer for the Cumberland County school system in Fayetteville, N.C.