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mailee

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Has anyone used window film before? I am having trouble appling some yellow tinted film to a sheet of glass. I am on my second attempt and it is costing me money! At £10 a mtr plus postage it is getting costly. I have followed the instructions to the letter but on the first attempt I got some dust under it and when peeling it off to remove it it took a chunk of glue of the film and ruined it. Second attempt ended up with a couple of small creases in the lower edge as the film slipped around too much! :evil: Has anyone any tips for applying this stuff. It is just a sheet of glass 1mtr x 1/2mtr so should be pretty easy I would have thought. I have already applied two smaller red pieces on some more glass without any problems at all and it looks great. I am getting pretty annoyed with it now. :roll:
 

Hitch

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Depends on the film, some of them go on better onto wet glass.
Spray the clean window with water and soap mix (bottled/distilled water if you are in a hard water area)
Put the top edge on and squeegie out the water, working from the middle outwards, so the water pushes out the edges.
Peel back the backing bit at a time, squeegieng it down as you go.

You generally only get one shot, the soapy water stops it sticking in the wrong place, once you have squeezed it out, its stuck.

Some films need warming to shrink them slightly i believe, not used that sort myself though.
 

bodge

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What Hitch said. Mix up about a litre of water with two or three drops of dish washing liquid (no more!) and spray a light film over the glass with a pumpy garden sprayer bottle. It gives you the chance to re-position the vinyl and get it correct, then you can push out the water and air from the centre using a squeegee or a bank card.
 

mailee

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That is the way I have applied it guys, as per the instructions. I used a bottle of soapy water and sprayed the area well. Then turn the filmbackwards onto the wet glass and remove the backing paper spraying the adhesive side as it is removed. Turn over the film and align it with the glass adhesive side down. Start from the top edge and rub down the film onto the glass with the supplied spreader wrapped in a soft cloth. Then working from the centre top work downwards and out towards the edges pressing down to remove the water and allowing the glue to stick to the glass. Yep did all that but the damn stuff wouldn't stick and moved around on the glass and caused a crease! :evil: It does state that the film is like tinfoil and to be careful not to crease it. I haven't got enough left to do it again so will have to order another piece and try again...but it is getting rather costly now. :roll:
 

studders

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Are you removing the backing completely and then turning it over to apply?
The way I've done it is to only remove enough backing to line up one edge, spraying the film as I peel the backing off (the window is also kept very wet). After that there's no need to spray the backing if you keep the glass wet, it won't stick. Carry on til the whole backing is removed and the film is on the glass but will still slide around. The squeegee from the top down. rarely get creases that way, little spots of dust however...... seems impossible to avoid them completely.
 

mailee

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Thanks guys. I will try your method next time Studders. I was following the instructions which said to remove the backing while spraying it and then turn it over onto the wet glass. I am not sure if this is when the film creased or once it was on the glass. Whatever I will have to do it again. Last time I use this I think. :roll:
 

studders

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Yup, if you remove the backing completely it's very hard to stop it touching itself, which is a filthy habit as we all know, when it does it sticks together like thingy to blanket.
 

No skills

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As much water as possible for this annoying stuff, for the inital smooth down try a non marking soft rubber squeege type of thing (like found on the reverse edge of ice scrapers), use this for the inital postioning and smooth (light pressure) then get the cloth wrapped spreader and go over it properly (as many times as needed - dont try and do it in one hard movement).

FWIW
 

Eric The Viking

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Have you tried a wallpaper smoothing brush for the initial step? I think it would be my weapon of choice. The trouble with rollers for this is the risk of getting dust trapped under the roller and punching it into the film.

If not an actual wallpaper brush, perhaps a mounted piece of brush strip for draught excluder and letterboxes. It's got a galvanised channel backing about 4mm or 5mm wide, that would easily fit in a groove made on the edge of a piece of stock. Glue it in, bevel the edges to take off the arrises and you've got a fine brush as wide as you like that shouldn't shed (they're synthetic).

Just a thought.

E.

PS: I'm watching this thread as I'm going to have to do the Land Rover windows some day soon.
 

studders

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I think using a brush as opposed to a squeegee might make things a lot more difficult as you'd end up with lines of trapped air. A soft squeegee is the best thing to use, I don't tend to cover it with anything I just make sure it's clean and lubricated. The dust particles don't come from the outside, they're on the inside of the glass/film and in all the years I've been using this stuff I've never found a way to completely eradicate them, the persistent little swines that they are.
 

Eric The Viking

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You wouldn't necessarily move it parallel to the direction you're applying, more herringbone-like. It works with wallpaper...

But you've got the experience, I haven't (yet!). I can see how the edge of a sponge would work in a similar way though.
 

Hitch

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What you musn't be doing is moving the scraper,brush,squeegie or whatever back and forth with pressure applied. Always move it away from the already stuck part.

I used to apply a fair few vinyl graphics, virtually the same.

Applying diagonal stripes on van sides was always awkward, getting them tucked into the corners well enough.

I used one of the tile grout scrapers, the sort with the rubber edge on one side.
 

studders

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The problem is that it only needs slight pressure in the wrong place and some parts will stick solid whilst others won't, So you might end up with a solidly stuck 'ring' or tramlines that have an air bubble in the middle that can't be got out without pulling the stuck part off again; that's where many of the problems arise.
Much better to use a solid form as you can control the pressure so it is at least even pressure. If you're worried about scratches then you can use the backing film (wetted) on top of the final film.
 
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