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Tinted Windows

The previous owner sprayed some kind of dark tint on all the windows of my car. I've been able to get the side windows clean but it's taken a lot of time and effort. It's very hard to scrape and lacquer thinner barely touches it. Trying to get down at the bottom of the windshield/dash pad is particularly hard. I'm even considering removing the front and rear glass so I can clean it easier. Has anyone ever removed this stuff? What worked for you?


evil painter
Not sure what the living hell that could be as I can't think of any spray on tints. All I can think of is VHT blackout paint for tail lights.
At any rate, mekp should be a little harsher of a remover, but if solvent alone can't clean it, glass removal may be best option. I'd probably also buff the glass with either a heavier type of pint buffing compound or order some lass buffing compound & pads from a place like auto geek.


Paint Fanatic
Staff member
Spray tint???? Never heard of that, when Brian gets in I will ask him as he is an expert on window tints.
The tint is absurdly dark too. It reminds me of the old Cheech and Chong skit where they're smoking a joint in the car.

Chong - "Hey man, how do you like my tinted windows? The cops can't see in."

Cheech - "Yeah man, but you can't see out!"

I don't know how they could have driven this car at night. You can see how dark the windshield is in the photo.


im wondering if the PO used a spray on lense tint like VHT nite shades. if it happened to have been that specific one, looking at the MSDS is looks like acetone is a major part of it so acetone might work.
probably would be wise to pull the glass to work on it. i wouldnt want to chance messing up interior parts.


Staff member
as mentioned other than VHT and similar products for headlight and tail light smoking i am not familiar with it. I do see such a product exist and cannot imagine how it could possibly lay evenly or even look like a normal film. It appears some people have been successful in removing it with Brake parts cleaner. whatever you do i would just make sure you have a layer of plastic or something waterproof laid down over the dash or any interior panels with a towel on top to absorb the chemicals. many film strippers can discolor carpets and leather as well as dry out plastic and lead to cracking down the road. for the areas that you cannot easily access with a razor blade you can use #0000 steel wool, just test it for fine scratching in an inconspicuous space first .


Top Banana
I've used it! Back in my early teen yrs on a 72 Lemans.
It did not lay out very nice, directions on can said spray till it evenly runs down glass lol.
Yes it had tacky feel after dry. Good luck & as said protect everything or remove glass & fix up window areas while glass is out.
Will be 100% better job.
The car has been sitting since the '80's and I don't think the smoked taillights trend goes back that far. I'm going to give a number of things a try later today and let you know what work. Hopefully something does.
Well, I just tried some others and here's what doesn't work:

Brake cleaner
Lacquer thinner
Denatured alcohol
Mineral spirits

The lacquer thinner would work somewhat with a lot of rubbing but the others did nothing at all. Didn't soften it or remove it. Nothing.
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Paint Fanatic
Staff member
Try a fast urethane reducer, keep it wet it should be more aggressive than thinners.
If all else fails guess there is paint stripper.

Whatever you use you must keep wet and give it a chance to work.
You can wipe acetone or mek on the hood of a new car and no problem but soak a rage and let it set in a spot and in 5 mins act like paint stripper.
Probably really would be best to remove glass to work on at this point. The time you 'll waste fighting it in place right now, being able to power buff the glass afterwards, & probably needing new sealant any ways are enough reason. A clean fresh standard razor blade won't scratch glass, & #0000 steel wool as mentioned is fine with or without solvents. Just don't get the new carbide razor blades, Makes a horrible sound as it scratches the glass. Don't ask how I know that, didn't know my new dewalt blades were carbide.:oops:
Smoked tail lights & headlights existed in the late 70's. I wasn't one of those smoking something else then, so I do remember, though I was young:p.
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I spray tinted the headlights on my Duster back in the late '70s, inspired by the Sox and Martin drag cars. Used blue VHT to match my blue tinted license plate cover. Thought I was cool. Cops disagreed. Got a warning ticket to remove tint on headlights and license plate cover and show up at the local Police Station (Concord) in one week to prove removal. All I had back then was gasoline and it stripped it right off.
( NO! - I am not recommending to use gasoline!!)
Gasoline was used to clean everything in the late 70's, including kids that got thrown in a tar pit for dipping fishing nets. Don't ask how I know that one either.:mad:
Saying used to be "Alcohol's for drinkin', gasoline's for washin' parts and methanol's for racing."

Anyway, the fast reducer was the trick! I put in in a spray bottle, covered what needed to be protected (yes, I wore a mask) and sprayed it on. I let it set for about a minute gave it another spray and went to work. The scraper then took almost all of it off fairly easily. It left what almost looked like a stain on the glass. A second spray and some rubbing took almost all of that off but some fine steel wool was needed in a few spots.

The windows are clean!!! That was one crappy job I'm glad to have behind me. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and a big thanks to Barry for the reducer hint.