Does Tint Go on the Inside or Outside? Application Explained

The question “Does tint go on the inside or outside?” is continuously asked by new car owners or those who are planning to get their window tints replaced. You can give your car a cute look and improve its privacy by tinting the windows, but you have to know the answer to this question first.

Does Tint Go on the Inside or Outside

While some people think that window tint goes on the inside, others prefer and believe it should be on the outside. Read this complete guide to know where exactly window tints go and how to go about your car window tinting.

Does the Car Window Tint Go on the Outside or Inside?

The car window tint goes on the inside of a car window to prevent external damage. To be more specific, when tinting windows from the inside, you don’t have to worry about the dust that can make the product blurry or tear the tint.

In addition, when placed inside, the window tint won’t be exposed to any weather elements as the outside, making it durable. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t apply tints from the outside. 

In fact, some car owners prefer to tint their windows from the outside. They believe it protects the window better than it would if it’s from the inside. Generally, you can install tint on the interior or exterior of the window, but a good tint installer would install it from the inside to avoid any unnecessary wearing and tearing.

Aside from the protective effects, it is easy to install tints on the inner part of your car’s window. Interestingly, you can even do it by yourself.

– Benefits of Tinting Inside Windows

How well do you know window tint? A tint is a scratch-resistant thin film designed with a vinyl or polyester base that adheres to car window insides. It’s applied to the window glass to reduce the quantity of sunlight and to improve privacy.

On the other hand, tinting is applying a scratch-resistant thin film in a vehicle’s glass (mainly from the inside) to darken it. While several people believe window tinting is designed to prevent seeing inside the car from outside, it can also help make your car look more appealing, block harmful UV rays, avoid nighttime glare, and even make your car’s interior cooler. 

– How Long Tint Windows Last From the Inside

Car window tints aren’t designed to last very long, even if they are installed inside your windows. They’re expected to last between 5 to 10 years if you have quality film and take good care of it. Also, to ensure your tinted windows last, don’t wash them with abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals. 

– Cost of Tinting Car Windows

The price of tinting your car windows depends on the size of the windows, the type of film used, your location, the installer, and the type or brand of car. Meanwhile, it would be best to budget between $150 and $350 for this project.

Cost of Tinting Car Windows

On the other hand, there’s no fixed or general price for removing old tints. The cost depends on the window’s size, the type of film used, the tint brand, your car, and the level of the installer’s experience. 

However, budget around $100 to $200 to have a professional tint replacement. If you’re under budget, you may want to try removing the tint yourself. However, keep in mind that it may be time-consuming and hard, especially if it’s your first time.  

Can You Apply Car Window Tint From the Outside?

Yes, you can apply car window tint from the outside, but it’s not advisable or recommended. This is because you risk damaging the film and making it peel quickly. Avoid unnecessary damage, expenses, and stress by applying it from the inside instead. 

Meanwhile, exterior window tints are mostly held by an acrylic-based glue that offers a stronger hold, but it can be more difficult to remove than the film adhered using a wax-based adhesive.

It’s good to add that since several window tints are designed for interior installation, many manufacturers have taken precautions to enhance the exterior windows’ appeal, longevity, and performance. 

How to Install a Car Window Tint on the Inside?

To install a car window tint on the inside of your car, first make sure that the glass is clean and dry before putting in the film. Next, ensure that you have the correct size and shape of tint, and that you remove all the air bubbles that accumulate.

You can consult a good tint installer to do it for you, but you can also do it yourself. Applying window tint isn’t hard, though it needs some guidelines and patience. First, clean the glass surface so the film would adhere properly. Afterwards, cut the film to the correct size and apply it to your window. And once you put the film or it’s in place, use a squeegee to remove any air bubbles.

There’s no specific amount of time that guarantees how long it will take to install tint in your car windows. It varies based on the type of car. In most cases, it can take 2 to 4 hours to tint a complete car because a set of front doors can take 30 to 45 mins. Getting a perfect window tint is achievable, but only when the right steps are followed. What exactly are these steps? Let’s find out.

1. Clean Your Glass Surface Before Putting in the Film

Be sure to clean your glass surface before applying the window tint. This is because the film won’t adhere well and might peel off over time if there is dirt on the glass, which might happen if you don’t clean the glass surface.

Clean Your Glass Surface Before Putting in the Film

How can you clean the glass surface? Use a water solution and mild soap to clean it. Make sure you rinse the soap off so it won’t have any streaks. 

2. Cut the Film in the Correct Size and Apply It

You can start the tinting once the surface is clean. Cut the film to the desired size and apply it to the window. Begin by peeling the corner backing and putting it on one of the window edges. After that, gently peel the backing as you apply the film to your window.

Make sure to purchase a high-quality tint. The more money and time you spend on having quality tint, the longer it’ll last and the less likely the issue of dirt and fading will appear.

In addition, make sure the window tint is installed to cover your entire window. Many car window tints fail because installers don’t cut the right size. This is why you need an expert that can pick and cut the tint to be perfect for your window. 

3. Remove the Air Bubbles With a Squeegee

After applying the film, use a squeegee to eliminate air tint bubbles. Start at the bubble center and make your way out. If you can’t get all the air bubbles out, puncture them using a needle and use the squeegee to remove them.

Be patient! You may encounter bubbles and even get frustrated, but don’t fret! Exercise patience to avoid mistakes. Regardless of the kind of tint you pick or the budget, you wouldn’t want to have a tint filled with bubbles that can peel off months after installation.

4. Ensure the Tint Doesn’t Obstruct the Driver’s View

When applying the tint, make sure it is smooth and even so that your view is not impaired. This is very important for safety reasons, as the driver must always be able to see an unobstructed view of the outside.

Ensure the Tint Doesn’t Obstruct the Driver’s View

In addition, take note that you can’t tint your car window too dark, particularly the rear and front windshields. This is because there are laws guiding car window tints in various states. Therefore, you must know how to determine your window tint percentage to ensure you’re not disobeying the tint laws in the state where you reside.

5. Don’t Apply the Tint to the Front Side Windows or Front Windshield

It is advisable not to apply the tint to the front side windows or front windshield because it can also obstruct your view. Also, don’t apply the tint to your rear windows, especially if it makes it hard for you to see out the back window. However, if you must tint these areas, apply one that is not too dark.

Regardless of what you do, your window tint won’t last forever. It’s not designed to last very long. You’re expected to replace the tint in 5 to 10 years for optimum privacy and protection.

6. Don’t Roll Down the Windows Immediately

After choosing the part of the window to apply the tint and finally installing it, another dilemma sets in; that is, when is the right time to roll the windows down? This is because you’re probably unsure if the tints adhere firmly to the glass.

Don’t Roll Down the Windows Immediately After Tinting

A series of defects will occur if you’re too quick to roll down your windows. Ordinarily, the time it takes the film to dry depends on the weather conditions. 

In hot or sunny periods, most expert tint installers would require you not to roll the windows for at least three days so that the film’s adhesive can fit tightly to the windows. This also means that you shouldn’t visit the carwash during this period to avoid bubble formation. An excellent way to hasten the film’s drying period is by exposing your car to the sun.

On the other hand, in the winter season, the film’s drying period can last not less than three weeks. Also, it is advisable in this season to park your car under a location with shade to prevent bubble persistence due to rain or snow.

However, if you do otherwise and roll your windows immediately or a few hours later, the tint begins to peel off and you may need to refix the tint. As a result, you’ll have to spend more money.

7. Take Care of the Tint

Your car window tint isn’t designed to last very long. Even if the tint is installed on your car window interior, it’ll still suffer some wear with time. But how can the window tint damage or wear down if it’s not on the outside? Here are the three main ways.

One of the most common ways that can spoil your car window tint is sun exposure. Even when you tint from the inside, there’s no way to prevent the window tint from sun exposure. With time, the sun exposure effects will start showing, making your tint fade and turning it into a purplish color. This can hinder its function of keeping light out and giving you privacy.

Another problem is from touch or physical wear. While tint installed from the inside can be safe from tear and wear, rolling the car windows up and down can still cause issues. You can minimize this effect by avoiding unnecessary rolling of the windows.

Also, fingerprints can make car window tints blur with time. The window film will fade and have dirt from fingerprints, which can build up over time and obstruct your vision. 

Frequently Asked Question

1. Why Does My Tint Get Darker After Some Days Even on the Inside?

Your tint gets darker after some days, even if it’s installed on the inside, due to heat. To prevent this, try parking your car under a shade. In most cases, drivers are advised to install window tints from the inside of their car windows to prevent this from happening.


Having a tinted window can make a difference in your car’s look and also improves your car privacy, keeps the car interior cool, and reduces glare. It’s the best way to prevent your vehicle’s interior from the scorching sun and save your skin from the sun’s heat. Here is a summary of our story so far:

  • Window tint is installed from the inside to prevent or avoid external damage.
  • You can also apply window tints from outside; some car owners even prefer this.
  • It’s good to allow a professional to install your window tint to avoid errors.
  • The tinting reduces glare, keeps your car interior cool, enhances your car privacy and security, and improves general car aesthetics.

Take note that there are window tint laws governing various states across many countries, so whether you fix your car’s window tint on the outside or inside, ensure that it complies with the laws.

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