Does Tint Lighten Up After Install?

If you are thinking about tinting your vehicle’s windows, then you will want to know everything you can, and do your research before committing to tinting them. For instance, you should know exactly how a window tint works, how it is applied and what the final result will look like.

There seems to be much debate around what a window tint will look like after it is fully cured. Will it get lighter? Will it get darker? There are so many different answers. Luckily, we’ve done all the research for you, and have a definitive answer for your consideration! After all, you will not want to invest time and money into tinting your windows, if the end result is not what you desired! 

But before we dive into that, let’s take a look at what exactly a window tint is, to help you understand how they work. So, what exactly is a window tint?

What is a window tint?

Tinting your windows is the process of making them look darker, with a fine film over the top or the inside of them. This creates an aesthetically pleasing and smart look, but also helps your vehicle regulate heat inside. This is because it can block excess sunlight during the hot, summer months, preventing heat from entering the vehicle, but also helping to retain heat during the winter months. 

A window tint is made out of a very thin film that is applied to the surface of a window. It is a very clear polyester film, with tinting agents to alter the color of the window, but still keep it transparent. 

How do you apply a window tint?

A window tint is applied by sticking the thin layer of film over your existing windows. This has to be done very slowly and carefully, as you will want it to adhere fully to the window, with the application solution fully dried and cured.

To do this, you will need to first clean your car windows thoroughly with a no-ammonia cleaning agent, or a mild cleanser. This will remove any dust and dirt from the windows, ready for the tint to be applied. With your pre-cut window tint films, take a generous amount of application solution in a spray bottle, and spray the window. Then, peel the protective layer off the tint film, and apply some spray to that surface too. 

Then, you will want to begin adhering the window tint to the window. We recommend that you start at the bottom edge, and slowly work your way upwards, pressing gently, but not all of the way down. Try to avoid bubbles and crinkles, and only press down hard when you are happy with the application. Use a rubber squeegee to press the tint into place, and push out any air bubbles and wrinkles. 

Once applied to all windows, you have to wait at least 48 hours or more depending on the temperature and weather conditions for the adhesive to dry and cure completely.  

Does tint lighten up after install?

You may be wondering if the tint changes color at all after the install. We get asked all the time if a tint will lighten up after install, and the simple answer is no. You cannot lighten a tint, and if anything it will look a little darker after it dries. During manufacturing, the tint is applied in the film, and so it will not change color over time. 

That being said, over time, a tint may break down or discolor and lighten if cleansed with harsh cleaning agents, or if exposed to direct sunlight for long periods of time. For instance, tints that are not made with UV blocking polyester can fade over time. 

However, this depends on the quality of the tint, and the application. If your window tint was applied by a professional, and is made of high quality materials, then it should not fade or go lighter over time.

Will my window tint get darker?

After applying your window tint, you may notice that it looks darker after a few days and once it is fully cured. Whilst it may look darker to the human eye, it does not physically change color. The reason that window tints look darker a few days after application is because the adhering solution on the film becomes completely dry. 

This will make it look visibly darker, but not by a lot. As the tint dries fully after a few weeks, it will look as though it has darkened. However, tints are manufactured with a certain level of darkness and intensity, and this does not change over time, it just appears to!