Professional Carwashing & Detailing

Tips for tinting

February 24, 2010

This article original appeared in the August 2008 issue of Professional Carwashing and Detailing magazine. If you have a topic idea or would like to submit an article to be featured in the Tech Tips section of Professional Detailing e-News, please e-mail Kate Carr at

Whether you’re already in the business or looking to enter the window tinting business, now is the time to prosper.

Owners of cars, boats, RVs, homes and businesses all need protection from Mother Nature. The sun’s intense heat, glare and UV rays can make a vehicle uncomfortable and can make driving dangerous. Therefore, customers want to and need to protect their investments. You will be providing a much needed service in your community as a professional window tinter.

Play it up in marketing
When marketing your tinting services, remember that window tinting can also help reduce the chances of developing skin cancer. Window tinting will block out 99 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays. It’s great protection, especially for the elderly and children. Window tinting can also reduce the solar heat by up to 60 percent and reduce annoying glare.

Other benefits of window tinting to highlight in your marketing efforts:

  • Privacy: Window tinting will add privacy for the vehicle or home owner. What a burglar can’t see, may act as a deterrent. High performance films create shatterproof glass which can also acts as a deterrent. This is another good reason to tint your vehicle, home or business.
  • Energy savings: By tinting a home or business it can cut down an energy bill, because film will reduce heat up to 60 percent, therefore using less energy to cool or heat a building. Basically, the film acts as an insulation. Above and beyond that, it will protect carpets and furniture from fading due to excessive sun exposure.
  • Attractiveness: Tinting also adds elegance to a car or home. No more faded curtains. While the real purpose is to protect and add privacy, the film also looks great on a home, business or vehicle.

Film options
There are all types of options for tinting film; 1 ply, 1.5 ply, 2 ply and metalized films are most common on cars. The general rule of thumb for detailers is the thicker the ply, the better the film. Usually the 1 and 1.5 ply films will last roughly three years, then begin to turn purple, bubble, peel and crack. The 2 ply film is much more durable and most shops offer a lifetime warranty from the film manufacturers. The metalized film will reject more heat, but with today’s cars having all types of audio devices it can distort the sound if the antenna is in the window.

Thicker films are available for protecting homes and businesses from shattered glass during hurricanes, tornados and earthquakes which throw projectiles. You can help protect yourself and customers by applying a 4-mil thick or thicker film. The term in the industry is known as security film.

Training the right way
Learning the right techniques is just as important as choosing the right tools and film.

The hardest thing for you to learn when window tinting is usually heat shrinking back windows and installing film in tight seals. There is a dry shrink and wet shrink method, and depending on who you talk to, one window tinter may prefer one technique verses the other. I suggest attending a school that teaches both methods to find out which is better for you

The best thing to do is attend a professional school or act as an apprentice developing your skills by observing a professional. The rule of thumb is to do roughly 50 to 100 cars before setting out on your own. Repetition is key to becoming a quality installer.

Michael Patrick is the president of Appearance Plus Inc, of Melbourne, FL. For more information, visit