How Long Will it Take to Tint Your Car’s Windows?

With application and curing, tinting your car’s windows could take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. The exact timing will depend on your car.
Written by Mary Alice Morris
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The application process to tint your car’s windows can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. The curing process—that is, the time it takes the tint to dry and become strong—could take a few days to several weeks, depending on the type of tint applied and the conditions when the job is done.  
Whether you decide to tint your own windows or have a professional do it, taking the time to prepare, install, and cure the tint is vital to ensuring the tint holds up over time. 
The process can be lengthy, depending on the time of year and weather conditions when you have the tint applied. The size of your car and the number of windows tinted also affect the timeframe—as well as the cost, which could be several hundred dollars. 
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How long does window tinting take?

There are two steps to window tinting a vehicle: The application of the tint material and the curing period. 
The actual application process can take 30 minutes to a few hours, but it depends on several factors, like the size of your vehicle. The curing process varies depending on the time of year but will take at minimum three to five days in optimal weather conditions. Curing time also depends on the type of tint used.
Window tint is usually a thin, polyester fiber sheet applied to your car’s windows. However, for a higher price, you can get a window tint that’s made out of a ceramic material, which takes longer to cure than a polyester tint. 

How long will the application for window tinting take for my car?

The application time for window tinting depends on several factors, including your type of vehicle and the installer you choose. 

The shape and size of your car

Your car’s make and model, as well as the number of windows you want to be tinted, will also determine how long the job takes. Having several windows tinted, or windows with unusual or complex shapes like those in the
Kia Soul
, will take longer than just getting two standard front windows done in a sedan. 
Some cars already have undergone a window-tinting treatment that needs to be replaced. If so, the extra step of removing the old tint will take some time, too. 

Hand-cut or machine-cut

You also need to consider how the tint material will be cut before its application. Tint may come in pre-cut sheets, which can save time since the cutting process is already done. However, pre-cut sheets may not be as accurate as a tint sheet that’s cut just for your vehicle. 
If you are using sheets cut to your vehicle, installers will carefully measure your windows, and then the tinting sheet will either be hand-cut or machine-cut. Machine cutting offers computer precision, but an expert installer may also be able to cut the material by hand with precision. 

DIY or professional

If you want to try installing your car’s window tint yourself, you can save time by purchasing pre-cut manufactured tinting sheets. However, compared to an experienced installer, a DIY job will probably take longer than an expert job. Tinting a car’s windows takes precise trimming and adhesive application. It can be done at home, but a professional will have the tools, supplies, and skills to get it done quicker.
MORE: How to remove window tint from car windows

How long will it take for the window tinting to cure?

The curing process is much lengthier than the tint application, but it is a necessary step. Allowing enough time to cure means your tint will properly dry and adhere to your car’s windows. It will look better and last longer. 
In general, the curing time depends on the type of tint applied, as well as the weather conditions in the area. 

Ceramic or polyester tint

When you’re ready to select the tint for your windows, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to have ceramic or polyester tinting sheets applied. There are several key differences between the two options. 
Ceramic tint lasts longer, is stronger, and is more reflective than polyester tint. On the downside, though, the curing process takes much longer than polyester—as much as 10 weeks in total—and it’s much more expensive than polyester tint. 

Weather and location

A lot depends on the weather in your location and the time of year when you have the tint applied. At minimum and in best conditions, it will take standard polyester tint three to five days. Ceramic tints will take up to 10 weeks.
Regarding the weather, you should keep the following in mind:
  • Dry, warm weather helps the tint cure faster
  • Moist, cold weather, or cloud cover can delay the curing time
  • Humidity in warm weather can also cause the curing process to take longer
  • Rainy weather can prevent the tint from curing properly at all
Keeping your car in a climate-controlled garage during the curing process can help if the weather isn’t ideal.

Window tinting benefits

Besides looking good, window tint offers some practical benefits for your car. The tint will block UV rays, providing more comfort and privacy inside your vehicle. It also helps to prevent overheating in your car’s interior, and it enhances the structural integrity of the windows.
Window tints come in a variety of shades and quality standards, which depend on your budget and needs. 

Finding cheap car insurance

Investing the time and money it takes to apply window tint to your vehicle is a good idea if you want to improve your car’s appearance and protect it from the heat. And, you want to protect your investment with the right
car insurance
policy to fit your needs. 
To find the right policy at the right price, check out
Jerry
. Jerry is a car insurance super app that will provide you with a comprehensive set of quotes from the top providers in just a matter of minutes. Then, Jerry will even do the legwork by helping you to cancel your old insurance policy before setting up a new one. 
If you’re going to invest in your car’s window tint, why not save some time and money with Jerry?
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FAQs

Having a professional tint the windows on your two front doors will take about 30 to 40 minutes.
Standard polyester tint may take up to four weeks to cure in the winter because the cold conditions can delay drying time.
Standard polyester tint could take three to four days to cure in ideal conditions. Sunny, warm weather speeds up the drying time, which causes a faster cure.
Depending on the weather conditions, ceramic tint can take anywhere from a few weeks to 10 weeks to fully cure.
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