How to Apply Window Film (& Remove It!): Are You “Floating” Properly?

April 04, 2024


Applying window film to a commercial space or office can elevate its aesthetic appeal, reinforce branding, and enhance the overall identity of the space. Get started with this quick, step-by-step guide on how to apply window film from LINTEC Digital Window Graphics and transform a plain glass surface into a canvas of design opportunities.

How to Apply Window Film From LINTEC

1) Preparation and Cleaning

Before starting, gather these helpful tools and materials:

  • Spray bottle
  • Water or application solution (properly mixed in the spray bottle)
  • Squeegee
  • Edge guide tool
  • Trimming knife
  • Razor scraper
  • Lint-free cloth towel

For optimal results, we recommend using LINTEC application solution and squeegees to minimize the risk of scratching the film. Alternatively, a mixture of warm distilled water with 3-4 drops of dishwashing fluid or baby shampoo can serve as a suitable application fluid in a pinch.

Next, ensure that the window or other glass surface is thoroughly cleaned with your application fluid and a scraper. Removing all dust, streaks, smudges, and particles is important for optimal results. 

For exterior windows, it can also help to plan your installation for the right time of day. The best time is often morning or late afternoon, as harsh sunlight or midday heat on exterior windows can prematurely dry your application fluid, creating streaks or fogginess between the film and the glass. Time is less of a concern with interior applications.

2) Applying the Graphic (With the “Floating” Technique)

Wet applied films use a technique called “floating,” where you’ll wet both the graphic and the glass with water (or installation fluid) first, then push out the excess with a squeegee.

Once the surface is clean, spray the window with the application solution. Then, peel off the liner from the window graphic, exposing the adhesive underlayer. You may want an assistant to help with holding the film, especially if it is a large window. Spray the adhesive side of the graphic for even easier repositioning during application. 

Next, apply the wet adhesive side of the window film to the glass, taking care to shift and align the graphic precisely. Spray the outer surface of the film (which is facing you, now) with solution to help the squeegee glide smoothly.

Remove excess fluid from behind the film carefully by running a squeegee from the center out to the edges, over the surface of the film. Overlap strokes slightly to avoid a “snow plow effect” (lines of fluid left trapped between strokes).

3) Trimming and Finishing Touches

You can trim any excess film from the edges using a trimming knife or the Edge Guide and Razor from your LINTEC Application Kit. Move the knife and the LINTEC edge guide in tandem along each edge of the window frame for a narrow, straight-line border. Start from each corner, but do not finish cutting hard into the next corner (to protect the frame).

Finish up with a final squeegee. Wrap a lint-free cloth around the squeegee and smooth out any remaining bubbles or wrinkles on the graphic. The window graphic will dry completely within up to a week.

Maintenance and Longevity

Congratulations! You’ve learned how to apply window film successfully. To maintain the integrity of the window graphic, clean it regularly with a gentle solution like soapy water. Avoid using harsh chemicals, as they can damage printed graphics or the adhesive over time and lead to edge lifting.

How to Remove Window Film From LINTEC

Looking for a change? Moving out? No problem. Wet-applied digital window graphics from LINTEC are an excellent permanent window treatment, but they can also be easily removed when the time comes. Here’s how to get film off windows when you’re done:

  • Peel back the top corner of the graphic with a fingernail or razor scraper.
  • Pull the film away from the glass at an acute angle, starting from the top and working your way to the bottom, in a constant motion.
  • Your hand should almost — but not quite — touch the window as you pull on the film.
  • Do not jerk or tug the film while removing it. This will result in much more adhesive remaining on the glass.

If the graphic is stubbornly adhered, you can ease the process with a little preparation. Spray a standard solution of warm water and soap on the graphic and keep it from dripping away or drying off with a release liner or film mask. Let it soak through the polyester and loosen the adhesive for one hour, then you can comfortably remove the graphic from the glass.

Seek Professional Expertise

While the installation process is not complicated, it's never the wrong call to enlist the help of a certified LINTEC installer. Professionals possess the experience needed to ensure a flawless, long-lasting result.

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