Large windows provide an unobstructed view, as well as letting in plenty of sunlight. As with all good things, you can sometimes have too much. If you can see out, chances are that people can see in, and you can have times where you are flooded with too much sunlight. A simple solution is Gila window film. Durable, attractive and simple to put on, tinted window films like Gila cut down on glare, increase privacy, and provide extra insulation. Applying Gila film is best done with a helper, and must always be done on the inside of the glass.
Things You'll Need
Clean, lint-free shop cloths
Rubber squeegee, 4-to-5-inches wide
Utility knife plus extra blades
How to Apply Gila Window Film
Step 1: Clean the Window Exterior
Clean the outside of the window thoroughly by spraying a generous amount of glass cleaner over the entire window. Scrub the glass with a clean, lint-free shop cloth. Add more glass cleaner as necessary, and pay special attention to the edges and corners of the window. Scrape off any stubborn dirt, tree sap, dead bugs or any other debris with a razor blade.
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Step 2: Rinse the Window Exterior
Wet down the window with clear water. Hold the squeegee blade at a 45-degree angle to the window and drag it down the glass, scraping off all of the water as you go. Wipe the squeegee blade with a clean shop cloth and repeat until the outside of the window is completely clean.
Step 3: Clean the Window Interior
Repeat the same cleaning process on the inside of the window. Make sure to dry the bottom weatherstrip and window sill with a shop cloth.
Step 4: Cut the Film to Fit
Measure the width and height of your window. Lay the Gila film out on a flat, clean surface. Measure out from one edge of the film, and cut a piece that is at least 1 inch larger than your measurement on the three other sides. Use the utility knife and straight edge to cut out the film.
Step 5: Apply Tape to the Film
Attach two strips of clear tape about 3 to 4 inches long to one corner of the film. Put one of them on the side of the film that is facing up, and one on the side facing down. Press the tape firmly to the film on each side, and then quickly pull the pieces of tape apart from each other. This will separate the clear lining from the Gila film. Leave the liner on the film with the tape pieces attached, for now.
Step 6: Wet the Film and Window
Wet the film thoroughly with the Gila application solution. Do one side, flip it over--a helper is useful here--and do the other side. Wet the window thoroughly with the Gila application solution. Soak it really well.
Step 7: Remove the Film Lining
Pull the tape apart to separate the clear lining from the Gila film. Have your helper hold the film flat as you peel the liner away, spraying the newly exposed side of the Gila film with the Gila application solution as you go. Do not let the exposed liner fold back on itself, or it will stick.
Step 8: Apply the Film
Align the factory edge of the adhesive side of the film — the side you peeled the liner from — with either the top or one side of the window. Smooth the rest of the film carefully onto the window glass, using your hands to press it flat.
Step 9: Squeegee the Film
Spray the film thoroughly with the Gila application solution. Set the squeegee at the top center of the window, with the blade held vertically. Slowly drag the squeegee to the right, smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles. Stop 2 inches before you get to the edge. Repeat this step, working out from the center to the left.
Step 10: Trim the Film
Trim away the excess film at the three edges of the window, leaving a 1/16-inch gap between the edge of the film and the window frame. Cut a 1/16-inch strip away from the factory edge on the fourth side. Glass expands and shrinks in different temperatures, so this gap is necessary.
Step 11: Squeegee the Film Again
Re-wet the film with the application solution, and squeegee out any air bubbles. Work from the center to the right, and then from the center to the left. Use a clean, lint-free cloth to absorb any pockets of water.
Step 12: Let the Film Dry
Let the film cure from seven to 10 days. It may appear cloudy or hazy as it cures; this is normal.
Clean your Gila-filmed windows with Gila application solution or glass cleaner and a squeegee. Wipe them down with a clean cloth to dry them. Do not let an ammonia-based cleaner sit on the film for more than one to two minutes.