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Home / January 31, 2021

Window film can mimic etched, stained or tinted glass.Window film can mimic etched, stained or tinted glass.

Whether you want to increase your home's energy efficiency, tint your windows for privacy or simply personalize your living space, you can find a window film on the market to suit your needs. Adhesive-free window films are designed to be easier to install than adhesive-backed films - they don't stick to themselves or to you while you try to hang them, and they cling securely to your windows using static electricity. The only special tool you need to install them is a squeegee, which usually comes with the product.

Measure the window space you plan to cover, unless you ordered custom film, which arrives already cut to size. Add 1/2 inch to 1 inch to each of the sides' measurements, then use a pencil and a straight edge to draw a pattern for the window dimensions onto the film's backing paper. Trim off the excess film with a utility knife.

Wash the window thoroughly with a window cleaner, then rinse it with clean water. Wash your hands to avoid dirtying the window again by accident.

Fill a spray bottle with water and add a drop or two of liquid soap. Mist the window with plenty of water. Dry your hands to avoid wetting the backing paper, which will disrupt the static.

Peel the window film off the backing paper. Place the side of the film that was in contact with the backing paper onto the window. For large sheets of window film, enlist a friend to help you smooth it into place.

Slide the film to your desired location on the window. Press any large air bubbles to the edge of the film and out from under it with your hand.

Trim off the extra 1/2 inch to 1 inch from each side of the film with the utility knife, unless you are using a custom-cut product that is already the right size.

Spray the outer surface of the film with the soap and water solution. Press any remaining air bubbles from the middle of the film to the edges using a squeegee. Smooth out all the bubbles, and reposition the film if necessary.

Heat the edge of the film with a hair dryer on its lowest setting if the edge is warped or stiff. When the film relaxes, set the hair dryer aside and press the film straight with your hands until you feel it cool.

Things You Will Need

  • Measuring tape (optional)
  • Pencil (optional)
  • Straight edge (optional)
  • Utility knife
  • Window cleaner
  • Spray bottle
  • Liquid soap
  • Squeegee
  • Hair dryer (optional)


  • Apply window film to the inside surface of windows and the outside of shower doors.
  • Save the backing paper. To take the film down and reuse it elsewhere, store it on its original backing paper so it retains its static cling.


  • Handle utility knives carefully. Keep them out of the reach of children.
  • Don't shake the spray bottle. Agitating the soap will cause it to form suds, which don't wet the window or the film properly.