How to Install Window Film & Adhesive Clings

Erica Gabriel

Publication date: 08/14/2023

Adhesive window clings are a fantastic way to enhance your window decor and provide privacy while allowing natural light to filter through. Whether you’re using decorative designs, frosted patterns, or promotional displays, properly installing adhesive window clings is essential for achieving a clean, professional look. In this guide, we will walk you through two popular installation methods: the wet method and the dry method.  Here’s a great guide on how to install window film:

Materials Needed

  • Adhesive window cling
  • Water spray bottle (for the wet method)
  • Mild soap solution (for the wet method)
  • Squeegee or credit card
  • Lint-free cloth or paper towels
  • Measuring tape or ruler (optional)
  • Scissors or craft knife (for trimming)

Step-by-Step Guide

1.  Clean the Window Surface

Before beginning the installation process, ensure that your window is clean and free of dust, dirt, or any residue. Use a glass cleaner or a mild soapy water solution to wipe down the window surface and let it dry completely.

2. Measure and Trim

Measure your window and the adhesive window cling to ensure a proper fit. If necessary, trim the cling to match the window dimensions. Use scissors or a craft knife for precise trimming.

3. Wet Method Installation

  This method allows for easier repositioning and prevents air bubbles, and only works for media with adhesive.  For ‘cling’ media, use the Dry Method below.

  • Mix a mild soap solution (a few drops of soap in a spray bottle filled with water) and lightly spray it onto the window’s surface.
  • Peel the backing from the adhesive window cling, exposing the sticky side.
  • Spray the exposed adhesive side of the cling with the soap solution to prevent sticking.
  • Align the cling with the window, ensuring it’s positioned correctly.
  • Gently press the cling onto the window, starting from the center and working outward. Use a squeegee or credit card to smooth out any air bubbles and excess water.
  • Continue smoothing until the entire cling is securely adhered to the window.

4. Dry Method Installation

This method provides a quicker installation but offers less room for repositioning.  This method works for both clings and adhesive backed media.

  • Peel the backing from the adhesive window cling, exposing the sticky side.
  • Carefully align the cling with the desired position on the window.
  • Slowly lower the cling onto the window surface, applying light pressure as you go to avoid air bubbles.
  • Once the cling is in place, use a squeegee or credit card to firmly press down on the cling, starting from the center and moving outward. This will help eliminate any air bubbles and ensure a secure bond.

5. Finishing Touches

  • After applying the adhesive window cling, use a lint-free cloth or paper towel to gently wipe away any excess water or soap solution.
  • Carefully inspect the cling for any remaining air bubbles. If you find any, use the squeegee or credit card to push them towards the edge and out from under the cling.
  • If needed, trim any excess cling material along the edges of the window using scissors or a craft knife.

6. Allow Time to Set

Give the adhesive window cling some time to fully adhere to the window surface. This usually takes around 24-48 hours, depending on the type of cling and environmental conditions.


There are some great ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube if you prefer to watch someone go through the steps.  These are a few of our favorites, but you can also find more by searching for ‘how to install window clings”, “how to install backlit film”, “how to install adhesive vinyl”, and so on.

Installing Adhesive Film

Installing Window Film

Installing Window Cling

Install Guide from Avery Dennison

Our adhesive backlit film is of the highest quality from brand name manufacturer Avery Dennison.  They have provided an online bulletin to help guide you with the wet application method for installing window and adhesive backlit films.


Installing adhesive window clings is a creative and effective way to enhance your window decor. Whether you choose the wet method for more flexibility or the dry method for quicker installation, following these step-by-step instructions will ensure a successful and professional-looking result. Enjoy your beautifully decorated windows with the added privacy and style that adhesive window clings bring!

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