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Tips for Applying Avery Dennison Special Effect Window Films on Glass Surfaces

Posted by
May 21, 2015 11:18am
Posted in: Quick Tips

Written by: Joey Heiob, Technical Service Representative, Avery Dennison, Label and Packaging Materials on

Architects and interior designers are focusing more and more on creating unique and inspiring workspaces.  One way to achieve special effects is with etched or frosted vinyl films installed on both interior and exterior windows.  These graphics can be representations of the company logo or be used to create privacy for interior conference rooms or for decorative purposes.  Often, the desired look is achieved with Avery Dennison® SC 900 Series Etchmark and Frosted Sparkle films. Following are tips and techniques will help insure a successful install.

Proper Window Preparation

Proper preparation of the window the graphic will be applied to is very critical to a successful application. Each window should be cleaned using a window cleaner that is ammonia free. After the window has been fully wiped down and the cleaner removed, a second and final cleaning should be done using straight isopropyl alcohol (IPA), which will remove any residue that may have been left behind by the cleaning solution used.


Type of Vinyl Being Used

Avery Dennison manufactures two specialty window films called Etchmark and Frosted Sparkle. These films are 2.0 mil cast vinyl with clear permanent pressure sensitive adhesive. These products are fully compatible with CAD plotters and have up to a 5-year outdoor durability on vertical applications.

Depending on the size, location and type of graphic being installed it may be necessary to use an application tape. For most applications a medium tack application tape will be sufficient.

Recommended Application Procedures

A wet application technique is generally the best method for applying these types of films on glass.  The application fluid allows for easy positioning of the graphic because it can slide into place on the glass.  The fluid also helps make it easier for the installer to push out any air bubbles during the installation.

The application fluid can be a pre-mixed solution such as Rapid Tac or something you mix yourself.  Two other options are an IPA and water mix (75 percent water to 25 percent IPA) or a soap and water solution of one teaspoon of soap to one gallon of water.  If you are using the soap and water solution, be sure to use a soap that does not contain any perfumes or lotions as these can cause adhesion issues to the glass.

1.)   Using a spray bottle, spray the application fluid you chose on the area of the window where the graphic will be installed. Apply a generous amount.

2.)   Remove the liner from the graphic and position the graphic on the area where the fluid was sprayed.


3.)   Using a squeegee, squeegee from the center of the graphic out towards the edge of the graphic forcing the fluid out from behind the graphic.

4.)   After the graphic has been fully squeegeed down, trim the vinyl to fit the glass.


5.)   If an application tape was used, allow the application fluid a few minutes to dry and the adhesive bond to the glass build. Then remove the application tape keeping it parallel to the glass (pulling it back on itself at a 180 degree angle) to minimize the possibility of lifting the applied graphic.
Please note that when applying graphics to an exterior window, the surface temperature of the glass needs to be 50°F or warmer.  Most pressure sensitive adhesives (unless otherwise stated) do not stick well to cold surface substrates.


Following these tips and techniques will help you achieve a very successful application. Learn more:


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