Department store window films or high quality brand window films?
In most cases one’s first window tinting project is done using sun protection film bought from local department store. As was done by yours truly.
However, there is a variety of differences between different window films, regarding both price and attributes. High quality films meant for professional use are easier to handle and install. They typically have a better protective layer (which too, however, can quite easily be scratched if wrong tools are used). The more expensive sun protection films usually also shrink better, which is of great importance when tinting convex rear windows.
In the end a successful tinting project comes down to a clean workspace, right techniques for installing the films and slick hands. These are things that even expensive window films cannot replace, even though they make the overall process much easier. Learning the correct technique requires practices, but you can find help from our Giant guide for window tinting. The guide also has tips for ensuring a dust-free outcome for your tinted windows.
The biggest downfall of market quality sun protection film can be seen in the picture below
Cheap window film bought from a department store has a tendency to change color over time. Cheap film often turns violet, once it is exposed to the radiation of the sun. If the car to be tinted is supposed to still look good after a year or two, professional quality sun protection films are the right choice for anyone’s do-it-yourself tinting project.
The cheap window films, however, are a good choice for practicing tinting due to their price. Practicing with cheap film can be compared to a runner who practices running with a heavy backpack. Once the running goes well with the extra weight, it will go even better without the added weight.