How to Install See-through Window Vinyl

Important Tips to Follow Installing Window Graphics

2020-09-12Updated: 2022-01-17Erica Haferkamp, Creative Director

See-Through Window Clings InstallationWindow vinyl or perforated window film has revolutionized what you can accomplish with your store windows by quickly transforming them into large signs. You can utilize your window or glass doors to display the branding or promotional offers of your business. 

Installing See-through vinyl window film can be tricky. You need to follow the instructions to install it properly or you might end up having a mushy, bubbly window. This article will guide you step by step in how to install see-through window vinyl. At DARE Print & Sign Co., we provide you with the perforated full color vinyl that is ready for you to install on your windows.

Tools needed for application

  • Glass cleaner
  • A pen or marker for marking
  • Measuring tape
  • A sharp razor knife
  • Residue free clothes or lint free paper towels 
  • Stiff rubber squeegee
  • painter's tape

Some Important Tips to Follow Before you Start Application

  1. Vinyl films do not stick to wet surfaces. Avoid using water or any other liquid for the application.
  2. The surface of your window should be clean and dry. If it is not residue free at the time of application you will not be able to stick the vinyl film properly to the window.
  3. Your vinyl window film will have a recommended temperature range at which it should be applied. The most commonly recommended application temperature ranges between 40 to 90 degrees F.
  4. If the weather is too cold wait until the windows are warmed up in the afternoon. If you apply the vinyl window film to cold glass the adhesion may not be perfect.
  5. If you are applying the film to the windows of a vehicle, you can warm it up by turning the engine on before the application.
  6. If the weather is hotter than the recommended range, wait until the window glass cools down as in late evening. If you apply the vinyl film to glass that is hotter than the recommended temperature, the window film may get stretched during application.
  7. Perforated window films stick better to the glass surfaces that are smooth and have less curves. Installing this material to vehicle windows with curves is not recommended.
  8. Use a compatible over laminate that is optically clear, if it is necessarily required. DARE offers perforated vinyl that has an optional clear laminate film, on request. 
  9. The vinyl window film will not adhere to an incompatible over laminate and it may adversely affect the appearance of window graphics. Moreover, the durability of window film will also be affected. If you need a laminate, opt for the product that comes with it, so you don’t have to install two layers of laminate to your window.

Clean the Surface Before Installation

As mentioned earlier, you need a residue free, clean, and dry surface for appropriate installation of see through vinyl window film. Washing and drying the glass surface before starting the installation is very important to get the best long lasting results.

Use water and mild soap to wash your window. Avoid using chemical washes that may have solvents in them. If you feel that your glass surface is greasy you can use 85% isopropyl alcohol to remove any oil residues from the window.

Once you have washed the window with soap and water, wipe it dry with industrial type paper towels and let the window glass dry up so that any remaining moisture evaporates away. If you have used 85% isopropyl alcohol, let it evaporate completely before you start installation.

Pre-Installation Measurement

Now that you have prepared your window well for the installation, start preparing the vinyl film by taking accurate measurements. 

  • Measure the surface you are going to install the vinyl film on.
  • Then measure the window graphic film. Cut it to the required size. Make sure you do not trim it very close to the measured size. Leave some space for any mistakes in the measurements. 
  • It is better that you do the final trimming once the film is applied.

Let’s Begin the Installation

  • Peel off the edge of the film from the sheet. Fold it back to 4 to 5 inches. When you will fold it back you will expose the adhesive on its back.
  • Make a crease by pressing the film along the folded edge of the liner. This step will make it easier to fix the film along the  edge of the window.
  • Now place the vinyl film on the edge of the surface. Be very careful while positioning it along the edges. Make sure it is properly aligned on all sides. Apply a little pressure to press the upper corners along the upper edges.
  • Use a soft plastic squeegee to fix the film in place. You can do this job by applying pressure with your hands but a plastic squeegee is recommended for better results.
  • Begin from the top of your window surface and move towards the bottom. Keep peeling away the liner and continue to apply pressure to the vinyl film so that it adheres properly to the glass.
  • Follow this step until the lined sheet is fully peeled away and the whole piece of previously cut vinyl film is adhered to the surface.
  • Now that the graphic is in its place, start using the plastic squeegee to smooth it further. Start from the middle and move towards the corners.
  • You may see some excess film hanging out of the corners. Trim it with a sharp razor knife. Be careful while cutting the excess sheet. A sharp knife may scratch your glass or damage your window seal.

See-Through Window VinylWhat to Avoid During Installation

  • The film should not be stretched while attaching it to the glass surface.
  • If the graphic is misaligned, detach the film and lift it carefully and reposition it.
  • Try not to touch the edges of the graphic with your fingers. The oils and dirt from your fingertips will keep the graphic from adhering properly, especially at the edges and corners.

After reading this step-by-step guide on how to install see-through window vinyl you can easily install see-through perforated window vinyl by yourself without any professional help. All you need to do is carefully follow the instructions.