how long does it take to tint car windows
Tips & Tricks

How Long Does It Take To Tint Car Windows in 2022?

If you plan on tinting your windows you’re probably wondering, just how long does it take to tint car windows? Like you, many car owners find themselves stuck weighing the benefits against the costs. Most common, however, is the factor of time.

It will take a car tinting expert 1 – 2 hours to complete a small car. 2 – 4 hours to work on a big car with six to eight windows or SUV. Then curring usually takes 3 – 5 days but in cold seasons it takes two to five weeks. For an average DIY it will take 3 – 5 hours to tint a car. The condition of the car can add one or two hours to the timeline.

The truth is that the time it takes to tint car windows will vary depending on different factors. Rushing the tinting process will affect the quality of the tint and may even cause unsightly results.

All things considered, a quality tinting job takes more than just time. You will need a skilled professional who is diligent in their craft, gives attention to detail, and uses the appropriate tint intensity to get the best results.

Additionally, the benefits of tinting your car windows should not be overlooked. It can improve the visual appeal of your car, protect you from UV rays, and help you maintain a much cooler atmosphere inside your car. 

So how long does it take to tint car windows? In this article, we explore all the factors and considerations you’ll need to pay attention to before you take your car for a tinting job or perhaps before you decide to do it yourself.

How Long Does It Take To Tint Car Windows? Top Factors To Consider

It takes anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to apply the tint and a couple of days to weeks if you include the drying time.

Window tinting is a delicate process that can add a considerable amount of value to your car. But it comes at a cost. Time. This is not an instantaneous process.

Tinting the front windows of your vehicle should take about 30-45 minutes. The main factors influencing the time of commercial window tinting include:

Type of Vehicle Involved

The car make and model is one factor that will determine the answer to ‘how long does it take to tint car windows’. Window size varies from model to model, affecting the:

  • Window surface area. The shape and curvature of the window affects the time it will take to apply the tint.
  • The size of the car. Bigger cars with larger windows will take more time to tint compared to smaller cars with fewer windows. Research shows that on average it takes one to two hours to completely tint a four-door sedan. While it takes two to four hours to completely tint an SUV or a big car with 6-8 windows.
  • The presence of old tint. Some cars ship with factory tint while others have old and worn-out tint. Removing old tint will increase the time it takes to complete the job.
  • Depending on the state of the tinted windows, it can take an additional hour or two to complete the tint installation.

The State of The Vehicle

Are you planning to add tint to a used, old, and dirty car, or do you plan to tint your brand-new SUV? Applying tint on a clean car significantly reduces the duration of the process as there is less dirt to remove before applying the tint.

Drying Time

After applying tint on car windows, the adhesive takes a couple of days under normal circumstances to completely cure. In colder weather conditions it can be extended by several weeks.

During this period, called curing time, you should leave your car windows as is, and not roll them down to avoid the formation of bubbles and streaks on the film.

Thus, it’s better to have your car tinted during Spring, Summer, or Fall as you can quickly dry your vehicle in warmer temperatures.

Tint Film Cutting Method

The cut of the tint film also affects the duration of the installation. Pre-cut tint films will reduce the time factor altogether.

It is convenient to have precut tint films but it is better to have it cut on-site by a professional and installed immediately. So if time is your greatest consideration, pre-cut tint films are best. Prioritize quality tint films in all cases. 

However, if you want the best quality, then nothing can beat the expertise of an industry professional.

The Expertise Of The Application

A professional window tint installer can cut down the amount of time it takes to finish a tint installation. They have more experience of the process, with a small margin for error, and know all the best practices for optimal results.

In contrast, a beginner or a DIY installation might take several more hours to complete the job and serious errors could be made along the way. In light of these contingencies, working with an expert is highly recommended. 

Should You Wait After Tinting Car Windows?

Now that you know how long it takes to apply tint to car windows, how long should you wait after tinting car windows? It is best to wait 3 to 5 days after your window are tinted before rolling them down.

If you roll your windows down too soon, it will reduce the integrity of the tint, causing bubbles and streaks to form on the tint film. 

How Long Does It Take for Window Tint to Cure in Winter?

Tinting your car windows during winter can mean waiting for two to five weeks for the tinted windows to fully cure.

This means you must avoid rolling your windows down during this crucial period. This is because the colder temperatures and higher humidity levels in winter will prolong the curing process.

Some tinting companies may even refuse to tint your windows in winter if they do not have a controlled environment to apply the film. 

The best thing you can do if you decide to tint your windows during winter is to take full advantage of the occasional sunny days you get in winter to try and shorten the time frame. In other words, allow your car bake in the sun with any chance you get.

How Long Does It Take for Window Tint to Cure in Summer?

In the summer, it takes an average of three to four days for the window tint to dry out completely, after which you can start rolling your windows down normally again.

Typically, humidity levels are lower in Summer and as such, the adhesive between the glass and the tint film dries faster with fewer opportunities for bubbles or streaks to form.

The best time to tint your car windows is during Spring and Fall. These seasons considerably reduce the drying time due to the ideal humidity and sunshine levels in a typical day.

how long does it take to tint car windows

What If You Wanted To Do It Yourself: How Long Will It Take

On a general note, it will take you 3 to 5 hours to apply tint to the car windows yourself. That is, if you were to proceed patiently without any errors that would require you to start the process all over again.

This also depends on whether you are using pre-cut films or not. These precut tints can significantly cut down the amount of time required for a DIY job.

The main allure of doing it yourself is the cost savings which is an option we will explore in the next section. 

Cost Considerations: How Much Does It Cost to Tint Car Windows?

So just how much can you save if you choose to DIY? Professional tint film installation will set you back by $200 to $400 depending on the quality of the application. However, if you choose to do it yourself, you can save some money and only spend around $40 to $80.

While you will save money on tinting but you will also spend more time applying the tint yourself. This is important to consider if time is your most important resource here.

How Long Does It Take To Tint Car Windows: Tips and Recommendations

We have shown you how much time it will take to finish a window tint installation and have given you an ideal window for tint cure times. Here is a condensed list of our top tips and recommendations you can use to save time:

  • For the best tint curing process, tint your car during the spring or fall seasons.
  • For best results, even for a DIY process, tint indoors in your home garage or a controlled environment to reduce debris caught under the tint film.
  • If you have existing tinted windows, it’s best to remove the old tinted film before the application of a new tint layer.
  • Use a window cleaner to thoroughly clean your car windows before the application of a window tint kit.
  • For tinting in cold weather, take advantage of direct sunlight whenever you can to quicken the drying process as much as possible.


Now you know all the factors that affect a commercial window tinting and can quickly answer the question: “how long does it take to tint car windows?”

Take your time to process all the information here before making a decision. We are confident you will make a fantastic choice that will save time and give you a high-quality tint.

Not only will your car windows reflect ultraviolet radiation after you are done, but they will also improve the appeal of your car and keep your car cooler when it is hot outside. A worthwhile upgrade in our opinion! 

Consider checking our other car maintenance articles for more tips and recommendations.