How Much Time Does It Take to Tint Car Windows?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on August 3rd, 2022

Whether you’re looking to improve your car’s visibility or want to show off your favorite color, window tinting is a great way to enhance the look and feel of your ride.

But how much time does it take to tint car windows? It can depend on what type of tint you choose as well as the complexity of the installation.

women's gray sedan

This article will explore everything from safety concerns to costs and offer suggestions for various applications. Whether you’re a professional installer or a DIYer, these tips will help you find the best window film for your needs.

How Much Time Does It Take to Tint Car Windows?

A regular sedan tint job takes roughly 1.5 hours, and an SUV tint job takes 2 to 4 hours. It takes 30-45 minutes to tint a set of front doors. It takes 3 to 5 days for the tint to dry after it is applied (cure) completely. In chilly temperatures, it takes longer.

Window tint is applied to the inside of a car window to improve the looks, minimize glare, avoid heat buildup, and reflect UV rays.

If this is your first time tinting car windows, it could take up to a few hours. Professional window tinting is completed more quickly, but it is recommended that you take your time and be patient.

Factors That Influence the Timing of Car Tinting

What kind of windows do you have in your car?

The type of windows in your automobile will influence the amount of time it takes to tint your car. Distinct automobile manufacturers and models have different windows in form, size, and materials utilized, among other things.

The number of windows to be tinted

The number of windows you choose to tint will influence how long the process will take. Most people like to tint their automobile windows completely. The rear windshield, all side windows, and a small strap on the top of the front windscreen are all examples. However, some people prefer one or two of the side windows.

The Window’s Type and Complexity

Window tinting is frequently required to be molded to the curve of your automobile glass. The procedure is known as “shrinking,” It involves heating sections of the film using a heat gun or torch to conform it to the glass. The more curves in the glass, the more the required shrinking, which means more time.

What type of tint do you want on your vehicle?

In general, most of our tints take around the same amount of time to apply. However, if you want to know if various colors are easier to apply than others,

Hand cut or pre-cut

Some automakers provide machine-cut tinting for their automobiles. This may appear to be a simple and quick alternative, but remember that a skilled tint technician can always provide the best tinting. His experienced hands can assure precise cutting and installation of tint created just for your automobile windows.

Getting Rid of an Existing Tint

If your car already has a tint, it will undoubtedly take longer to complete than a plain vehicle. The old shade will take longer if it is cheap, but the expensive ones do not.

Drying time

Make it a point to have your windows tinted throughout the summer or when the weather is bright and sunny. The tint takes 2-3 days to completely dry during bright days. However, if you tint your car windows during the winter, you must wait at least 2-3 weeks for the moisture in the film to dry. As a result, it is preferable to opt for a tint store where the environment may be temperature regulated.

Phase of Curing

It takes time for newly applied tint to dry. It might take up to three days after the tinting process for the tint to settle onto your windows. This is known as the curing phase.

During this time, avoid doing anything that might damage the tint on your windows. This means no washing the car and no rolling down the windows. These actions can potentially weaken the adhesives on colored films, causing them to slip off.

Bubbles can occur between the film and the glass surface as well. This typical phenomenon will pass in time, so don’t be alarmed.

You will be able to operate your car normally throughout the curing phase, but use extreme caution so that the curing process is not disrupted.

The weather may also impact the duration of the cure. Because of the warm weather, the spring and fall seasons are the best periods to get your windows tinted. Tinted windows would dry the fastest in the summer, but because of the high humidity, they would take longer to install.

Winter Window Tint Cure Time

In the winter, the tint can take 2 to 5 weeks to heal.

This is mostly determined by the weather: the temperature in your garage and outside, humidity levels, and the number of sunny days you have.

The cold weather will greatly slow the drying period of your tint.

The humidity can be an issue even if you tint your automobile windows in the winter. It may be impossible to complete the task effectively if the weather is humid. Rain can also be a concern in many aspects of life.

Window tinting in cold weather is best done indoors, in a car shop or your garage, where you have control over the environment, and no dust particles can interfere.

The formation of bubbles and streaks is one of the detrimental effects of cold weather. This is readily repaired in the summer by letting the car rest in the hot sun for a bit, but in the winter, you may have to wait for some warmer days in January and February.

Don’t be afraid to leave your car in the sun whenever possible.

Also, if possible, avoid parking on gravel. Parking your automobile on asphalt or concrete is the best option.

If you sense a sunny day approaching, don’t be afraid to take your car outdoors for a minute to bake in the sun and get the bubbles out. Don’t roll down your windows until it happens. Tape your window controls if necessary.

Using a hair dryer to blow over the windows is not suggested, but if you must, use it 8′′ away from the glass and check the temperature on the inside of the glass regularly (where the tint is). Turn it off when it becomes too hot. This may hasten the curing process, but it’s usually preferable to let it dry naturally.

Summer Window Tint Cure Time

Window tint drying time in the summer is around 3 to 5 days for most DIY and professional tinting operations.

The most important factors in drying time will be your skill (or the skill of the professional installer), the supplies utilized, and the outside temperature.

The best time to tint windows is in the spring and summer since the tint dries faster in bright conditions with minimal humidity.

When there is minimal humidity in the air, even asphalt dries quickly. Spring and summer are consequently ideal, and you won’t have to wait long to roll down your windows or start driving properly.

If you notice any bubbles, attempt to correct them before the color dries; otherwise, they will only worsen over time.

Drying Time for Ceramic Tint

Because ceramic tint is heavier and takes longer to cure, it can take 4 to 10 weeks to dry completely. They do, however, provide significant relief from the heat and light.

Ceramic tints are the greatest, but they are also the most expensive.

Tinting every glass on a car might cost between $500 and $600. Huper Optik nano-ceramic films are expensive, difficult to work with, and difficult to replace. However, they are far better than other varieties at preventing heat from entering your vehicle and keeping the interior substantially cooler in the summer.

How Long Does It Take to Tint Your Car Windows?

Most consumers take a little longer than a professional to tint their car windows, typically 3-4 hours for the complete car. That is if you have enough patience.

There are advantages and disadvantages to tinting at home versus tinting at a professional tint shop.

You may tint your car windows by applying a pre-cut film from a window tint kit to all windows and the back windshield. You’ll need a heat gun and plenty of patience. Choose the one appropriate for your car model and tint your car windows yourself. This one is for all side and back windows.

They’re rather inexpensive compared to professional tinting, and some of them allow you to select your car model so that they can give you a tint kit that suits your windows perfectly.

If you want a job done professionally, with a high-quality tint that fits perfectly, you’ll hire a good tinting service business.

best Seasons for Window Tinting

There are several benefits to tinting your vehicle’s windows, ranging from headache relief to UV protection. However, certain seasons are preferable to others since extreme heat or cold can make tinting more difficult.

Let’s look at the various seasons and see which ones work best.

Spring and autumn

The optimum time to tint windows is usually in the spring or fall. The low humidity levels and temperate temperatures during certain seasons guarantee that the tint applied to the windows adheres effectively.

Rain and humidity can be a problem in the spring, especially in the south. Tinting might be tough if summer drags on and October is still hot.

However, as a general rule, the optimum seasons for window tinting are spring and fall.

Summer and winter seasons

During the hotter summer months, the heated air might speed up the curing of the window tint. That’s great news. However, putting the tint may be more difficult if the humidity level is high.

On the other hand, tinted windows during the cold months might make drying harder. If you opt to tint your windows during the winter, you may need to wait a bit longer before using them to allow them to dry.

They may be done any time of year if the installer has a temperature-controlled area to tint automobile windows.

How Can You Tell If Your Window Tint Is Dry?

When the haziness diminishes, it is usually a sign that the tint is drying off, but give it one more day.

Because water evaporates between the tint and the window, hazy and foggy windows are usual during tinting. It only lasts a day or two before clearing up when the water evaporates through the window.

It will take significantly longer to dry if you use a metallic film.

To be on the safe side, wait until the bubbles have dissipated.

How Long Does It Take to Roll Down Windows After Tinting?

This duration is slightly less than the tint’s full cure period, ranging from 2 to 4 days in bright conditions to a few weeks in winter. When the bubbles have dissipated, you can roll down your window.

I had my car done in the summer, and I waited four days before rolling down my window, up until the bubbles and streaks disappeared.

The days were hot and sunny, and the automobile spent most of its time in the sun.

If you roll down tinted windows before the water has evaporated between the tint and the window pane, you risk bubbling and folding over the tint. If you’re unsure, it’s best to be safe than sorry and wait a little longer for the color to cure entirely.

A quick tip: Install window locks to prevent yourself from accidentally rolling down the windows (or having someone else do it in the passenger seat). Alternatively, you can cover the controls using tape. It came in handy a few times.

How Can I Make Window Tint Dry Faster?

Here are a few things you can do to reduce the time it takes for the tint to dry:

  • During the installation, use a squeegee with a handle to remove as much water as possible. Less water means less drying time.
  • If you’re tinting your windows in the winter, put your car in a heated garage and take it outside on every warm and sunny day.
  • If the weather is generally cloudy, keep your windows towards the sun as much as possible and keep them out of the shade.
  • Reduce the amount of time you spend washing your car. It’s safe to wash because the window tint is applied on the inside rather than the outside, but keep it minimal. Water can increase humidity and lengthen the drying time.
  • Choose a reputable installer that has a lengthy history in the industry and employs high-quality products. Check Yelp and Google reviews to ensure they are not deceptive. A skilled installation will perform a decent job; the tint will dry normally and not need to be replaced anytime soon.

Yes, if you use good film on both levels, you may tint over tint. It’s generally recommended just to use it over factory tint. To be safe, aftermarket tint should be removed before putting new tint. However, this is not always necessary. There are a few other things to consider.

First and foremost, keep it legal. Understand your state’s tint laws. Second, because you never know the quality of the original tint, you may be forced to change the new tint sooner than intended. If you hire a professional installer to perform this, you will not be covered by a warranty.

How Can I Darken an Existing Window Tint?

You can add a new layer to the existing window tint to darken it. Applying a new tint over an old one is feasible, but it is not recommended for the reasons given in the initial response.

The typical recommendation is to replace the existing tint with a darker film; however, many individuals have used double layers on their automobiles with no problems. Make sure you follow your state’s tint laws.

How Much Does Car Window Tinting Cost?

On average, professional installation on the entire vehicle costs between $100 for a lesser quality tint and $600 for higher quality, such as ceramic tint.

It costs $35 to $70 to acquire a complete window kit and execute the job yourself for DIY (do-it-yourself). For Amazon, the price ranges from $35-50 for a typical car to $80 for an SUV and $120 for ceramic tints on SUVs.

What is the lifespan of window tinting?

Various factors determine the overall time required to complete a car window tinting operation. One of them is the type of vehicle that requires tinting.

The time it takes to tint a window is also affected by its size. Another consideration is removing an old tint and the complexity of the window shape.

The number of windows also affects the timing; the bigger the number, the longer it will take. As a result, an SUV will take longer to complete than a salon. A four-door salon will take less than an hour and a half or two hours.

Cars with more than four glasses or complicated curved glasses will take more than two hours to complete. Consider the Corvette, which has a domed rear window.

Coupes with only two doors, on the other hand, require more than two hours. This is because there isn’t much space to tint because there isn’t a back seat.

If there is already tinting on the window, this will also affect the time it takes to tint it. This is because the installer must remove the old adhesive before installing the new one. That’s an extra two hours or so.

Some window tint installers are more efficient than others. They may take less than two hours if they are quick, but if they are slow, they will take longer.

What Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing Window Tint

Before you start tinting, there are a few things you should look into. If you intend to hire a professional for a short-term project, keep the following points in mind.

How long has the company been in the window tinting business?

Before hiring a service to tint your car windows, find out how long they’ve been doing it. Staying for a long time does not imply expertise; yet, if that individual has tinted for a while, they must be doing something wonderful.

What Is the Film’s Quality Like?

Make a point of going for quality, even if it means paying a little extra. The lifespan of cheap or low-quality window tinting on a window is lower than that of high-grade tinting. As a result, it is best to apply a high-quality tint.

Are there any installation warranties?

If you’ve seen his long bubbles persist on window tint, you’d want installation warranties. Ensure that the installers provide warranties in the event of bubbles or peelings.


Editorial Staff

Our writers, editors, content managers, and SEO specialist. We all take part in crafting amazing articles. We spend hours ensuring that each article is based on facts, researched, and thorough. You'll never want to click the back button to look for more answers other than here!