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HOME » 

How to Install Decorative Static Cling Window Film

Decorative Crackled Glass Window Film
Application Instructions


RECOMMENDED TOOLS: (Sold Separately)

  • GILA® Window Film Application Solution (if not available, no tears baby shampoo without conditioner will suffice)
  • Distilled water (not tap water, if using baby shampoo)
  • Spray bottle (if using baby shampoo)
  • Utility knife with break-away blades (for cutting vinyl film)
  • Single-edged razor blade (for cleaning the glass)
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Low lint or lint-free cloth (paper coffee filters are a great alternative)
  • Squeegee
  • Edging Tool

BEFORE YOU BEGIN:

GILA Crackled Glass film should only be applied as directed:

  • Apply to the INSIDE surface of standard single-pane windows or exterior removable storm panes
  • Apply to the INSIDE surface of FLAT plastic or Plexiglas windows
  • Apply to the INSIDE surface of sealed dual-pane windows or windows with interior storm panes
  • Applying static-cling vinyl film (“the film”) is a simple process, with only a few basic steps. Before starting the project, please read the instructions completely and carefully, perhaps using a small piece of film to practice the steps before you actually apply the film to a window.
  • Start with smaller windows before applying film to larger windows, such as patio doors, which may require two people.

PREPARATION

a. GILA Window Film Application Solution is ready to use. Do not dilute or mix with water. If you are using baby shampoo, fill a pump or trigger-spray bottle with a solution made of 1qt. distilled water with1/4 tsp of no-tears baby shampoo without conditioner. GILA Application Solution offers the best drying clarity and pH balance. Do not use hard tap water, concentrated, or degreaser detergent, which can leave spots under the film. VERY IMPORTANT: This solution (“the Solution”) will serve as a lubricant for the squeegee during glass cleaning, film application, and future cleaning. CAUTION: Do not use any household glass cleaner containing ammonia or vinegar to clean the glass or film; such cleaners can damage the vinyl film. However, extremely greasy or smoke-covered windows may need to be cleaned first with glass cleaner then rinsed thoroughly with the Solution.
b. Plan to use several single-edge utility razor blades to clean the window. A small utility knife with breakaway blades is the best tool for trimming the film. NOTE: Vinyl film can dull a blade edge quickly, and a dull blade can tear vinyl. Plan to use a new blade after every 10 feet of vinyl that you cut.
c. A rubber squeegee is necessary to press the vinyl onto the window without creases and to remove the Solution from under the film. We recommend a squeegee between 4” to 5” wide, preferably with a flexible blade and solid handle.
d. Use low lint or lint-free towels (paper coffee filters are a great alternative), not paper towels, to clean the windows and absorb squeegeed water.
e. The patented GILA Edging Tool is recommended for trimming the film once applied to the glass. If the Edging Tool is not available, the edge of a ruler, plastic card, or a wallpaper-trimming guide will suffice.

SPECIAL POINTS TO REMEMBER:

  • Apply film to cool or shaded windows when glass temperature is between 45-90°F. (For best results, do not apply film in direct sunlight or during freezing weather.)
  • During application, keep the window and the film thoroughly saturated, and use a flexible rubber squeegee to position the film. (A rigid or hard-edged tool can scratch the film easily.)
  • Work in a dust-free area to prevent debris from sticking to the film and being trapped against the window. Turn off fans.
  • If bubbles appear at any time, simply peel the film away from window, wet the glass and film, and reapplies.
  • The longevity of the film depends upon exposure to the elements, handling, care, and frequency of removal and reapplication.

APPLICATION

1. MEASURE THE WINDOW

Carefully measure the dimensions of the window before cutting the film. Unroll the film on a clean, flat surface. We recommend pre-cutting the film to minimize waste. You have two cutting options: (1) Precut the film to exact dimensions of the exposed glass surface less 1/16” on all four sides, or (2) Cut the film at least 1” larger than the glass on all four sides (the excess will be trimmed once film is applied to glass). Either way, try to use at least one of the factory straight edges.

2. CLEAN THE WINDOW

Generously spray the window with the Solution, then use a razor blade to remove any stubborn dirt or paint. Use special care cleaning the corners. Re-wet the window, then squeegee downward. Wipe off accumulated dirt from the window gasket with a soft low lint or lint free cloth or paper coffee filter. Repeat process until the glass is clean. If possible, also clean the outside of the window to ensure total clarity.

3. WET THE WINDOW THOROUGHLY

Generously spray the Solution onto the surface of the window until beads of the Solution run down the glass. If the window becomes dry, rewet it completely before applying the film.

4. REMOVE THE CLEAR PLASTIC LINER

The clear plastic liner is the located on the side of the film opposite of the textured surface. Remove the liner by attaching two 3” to 4” long pieces of transparent tape to the front and back surfaces of a corner of the film so that about 1” of tape is on the film, the rest centered and hanging over the pointed corner of the film. Press the two pieces of tape firmly together, then quickly pull the apart to begin separating the clear liner from the textured film. (NOTE: This process may require a quick, snapping pull, much like pressing together and quickly pulling apart two pieces of Velcro.) As you carefully peel the clear liner away, generously spray the Solution onto the film. The Solution helps reduce static, dirt contamination, and makes the liner easier to remove.

5. APPLY THE FILM TO THE GLASS

Be sure the window is dripping wet: too much Solution is better than not enough. Apply the film to the wet glass. Start at the top of the window, and then allow the film to gently lay down onto the glass. Use your hands to smooth out any wrinkles.

6. SPRAY THE OUTSIDE SURFACE OF THE FILM AND SQUEEGEE INTO PLACE

Spray the entire surface of the film facing you with the Solution to lubricate its surface. Squeegee the centerline of the film from top to bottom to set the film into place. Starting at the top of the window, squeegee from the center to the right side and work downward, leaving a 2” perimeter around the edges unsqueegeed. Repeat this process on the left side. If you need to remove large air pockets, rewet the top of the film and squeegee again. If the squeegee drags, respray the Solution on the top of the film.

7. TRIM EDGES OF FILM AND SQUEEGEE DRY

Use a sharp razor blade or utility knife and Edging Tool to trim a 1/16” gap around the four perimeter edges of the film. This gap is essential for the proper thermal expansion of the glass and permits you to completely squeegee the water and air from under the film. Rewet the entire film surface and squeegee again per direction in Step 6. Press very firmly to remove all of the Solution. Rewet the top of the film as needed. Use absorbent low lint or lint-free towels or paper coffee filters to absorb water from around the edges of the film. Any remaining small water bubbles should evaporate over the next six to 10 days.

CLEANING AND CARE

Always clean the film with the same Solution and squeegee you used to apply it. Use a low lint or lint-free cloth for drying. To avoid scratching the film, DO NOT USE ammonia, vinegar, glass cleaners, or paper towels during cleaning.

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