Tinting your car is a pain in the ass. One mistake, and it’s ruined.

And nothing looks worse than a bubbled up blue tinted Walmart job. Of course, the bright side is that even if you completely muck up your tints, you can always peel them off and try again.

“Everybody has to try it once,” said Rick Maas, the owner of Eastern Glass Tinting Co. “That’s how I got started. My father was in the business, and I used to take the scraps and practice.”

Practice makes perfect. This is one of the few times we’ll tell you to just suck it up and call a professional. If you’re going to add tints, you want to do it right.

So we went to Rick.

Stuff for Your Car #3: The Tint Job

About two hours — $220 — Call a pro

Tinting adds a lot to the look of your car, and it keeps some of the rays out as an added bonus. It’s also good for some privacy here in Boston, since many of us have to park on the street.

There are other arguments that tinting helps glass stay together in an accident, so it doesn’t spray all over you or passengers and that tinted windows will prevent fading or cracking on leather seats.

Keep in mind that states have laws about tinting, especially concerning passenger cars. In Massachusetts, aftermarket tinting must allow more than 35 percent of light in on the front and rear side windows. The rear window can be tinted right down to the 35 percent level. You can’t add any reflective tint to your windshield, but most windshields already have the six inches of non-reflective tinting allowed.

And that’s just another reason why going to a pro is recommended. We’ve actually seen cops force people to peel their illegal tints off their windows. So even if you get out all the dust and bubbles, you might still be screwed.

Maas takes his time, using one spray bottle to get dirt and dust off and another to help the tinting film attach to the window. He didn’t say what was in the bottles.

He started by cleaning the outside of the windows and applying a square piece of film to the outside of the windows, carefully tracing a cutout. Then he put the cutouts on a large sheet of thick glass in the shop and flattened it out, making sure it was perfect.

Then he thoroughly cleaned the inside of each window and applied the film slowly, going over it several times to make sure all the bubbles were out.

If you try tinting on your own, make sure you don’t skimp on the cleaning, and don’t use cheap paper towels that leave lint. If there’s anything but glass on the surface, the tint film will stick to it, and you might as well take a picture and post it on the FAIL blog.

Maas did the same thing for the rear window, applying the film to a clean outside of the window first for measurement before applying it on the inside.

He warned against rolling down the windows all the way for about 48 hours, and he was done. The job took just under two hours. Maas charges $220 for a complete car.

After two weeks, there are no bubbles.

Eastern Glass Tinting Co. has locations in Charlestown and Marshfield and can be reached at 617-912-1040.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

4 Responses

  1. Car Tinting

    Tinting your car is not just only for “coolness” points but also for the coziness of inside your car. Having your car windows’ tinted will reduce the trapped heat inside your car especially during summer.

  2. Scott Ballardi

    Great advice…. and thanks Rick for the fabulous job you did on my cars! It was nice meeting you and your professional staff.


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