Tinting perspex windows. Ideas please.

Discussion in 'Materials' started by djaus, Mar 19, 2014.

  1. djaus
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    djaus Salted Nut!

    I currently have clear perspex windows on my boat but I'd like to darken them

    I'm told that regular window tint may not adhere to the plastic. Due to obstructions in the cabin I want to place a tint product on the outside, then I have a dark surface on which I can place the name of the boat.

    There's so many bolts holding the windows in that I don't want to remove them & replace with tinted perspex, they're also scratched & scuffed in numerous places so again tint won't adhere to them. I've thought about shade cloth, this is a cheap option but I won't be able to put the vinyl name on that material. Auto vinyl would do the job but that stuff is not cheap, maybe $400+ to get it done with that. Plus I don't want to completely black out the cab.

    So any suggestions would be nice. I mainly want to darken them to apply the orange coloured name label, offer shade whilst I'm in the cabin & to offer security to items I lock in the cab. My boat is a trailerable 16ft Hartley power boat.
     
  2. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    Cover the area around the window, wipe the perspex with cellulose thinner or acetone, then immediately spray a very thin layer of metallic (car) paint on it.
     
  3. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    That is a novel approach, but for a spray novice may go awry, do you think ? I suppose you could just brush on some clear acrylic house paint that is very lightly tinted in your favourite colour. You can buy it in some brands as a "neutral" base. Looks white in the can, but dries clear. It would require a little bit of experimentation, and of course you can always add more tint, but not take it out.
     
  4. waikikin
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    waikikin Senior Member

  5. djaus
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    djaus Salted Nut!

    CDK & Mr Efficiency, I am no novice to spray painting as I have done a few cars plus numerous house painting jobs. I just painted the whole boat too (the Hartley Flareline 16 featured in the wooden boat building section right here on BD.net).

    Using metallic paint would require a clear coat otherwise I'd wind up with velvet looking windows! Plus it would virtually black out the windows & I didn't wanna go that far...if I can help it. There's no real guarantee that any paint will stick to perspex for any amount of time anyhow.

    Waikikin, 3M products are the vinyls that I mentioned in the OP. Auto vinyl is very expensive & as you said the manufacturer/supplier won't back it as there is the chance it'll bubble or peel.

    In order to save time & money I could just leave the windows as they are but they look tacky 'cause of the scratches & such.

    I have today emailed a company in Hobart TAS that supply tinted perspex but changing out the 3 windows would require the removal of some 150 brass bolts, & I can guarantee that not all of them will want to come out. They've been in there for 40 odd years I'd say. Someone mentioned that perspex could be bought pretty cheap so I thought I would humour myself & ask.

    So far with most products considered I'm thinking that maybe some black lace curtains on the inside of the cab might be the go. A simple fix but probably the one that'll last the longest...until they fade of course.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2016
  6. Swampmonster
    Joined: Mar 2014
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    Swampmonster heat it and beat it

    3M makes a tail/headlight tint for plastic auto light covers..you can try a local auto parts store for it..I have used it on tail lights many times and it can be applied as light or as dark as you wish by varying light coats.
    Good luck.
     
  7. CDK
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    CDK retired engineer

    The cellulose thinner softens the surface, the paint is permanent! With the amount of metal parts in the paint layer you can control exactly how much light is reflected.

    This does require a steady hand and enough distance between the can and the perspex, otherwise it gets cloudy.
     
  8. djaus
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    djaus Salted Nut!

    That sounds more like what I need, I actually hadn't given tail light tint a thought. I will look in to it, thanks for the suggestions folks.
     
  9. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    3M makes a "ballistic" film for glass. I have it on every window in the house. It will take an impact and resist breakage considerably, plus there are tints and UV inhibitors in it as well. You can pick your tint on down. It's not cheap and usually has to be installed by a 3M certified technician, but it's really good stuff. The stuff you apply yourself just isn't close to the quality of the 3M films and are typically just vinyl. I'm pretty sure the ballistic films are an acrylic. You can take you unmounted windows to them and they'll apply it for you. Of course I don't know about the availability of this in Tassie, but it's worth a look.
     
  10. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    rather than paint or tint the windows, how about a simple grill or louver painted black you mount on the inside. it will cut down on the amount of light based on how large the slots you cut into it. You can remove them for more light, or to clean the windows. This way you will not risk damaging the windows with anything you apply on them.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. rasorinc
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    rasorinc Senior Member

    Petros, would not the black colored grills absorb a lot of heat and heat up the cabin?
    Par, 3M has some amazing products and 3 years ago when I called them on an adhesive they sent me to their Marine Dept.
     
  12. Mr Efficiency
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    I'd have thought a bit of sun coming in would be welcome in Tasmania, most of the time.
     
  13. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    the black on the louvers cuts down on glare in the cabin and just blocks light better/ it also does not interfere with your vision as much as a light color that would reflect light back into your eyes. It might make it cooler if you painted the louvers white on the outside, and black on the inside.

    I like the idea because it does not alter the window itself, it is easy to remove to allow more light through the windows in low light conditions, or for cleaning the windows.
     

  14. djaus
    Joined: Jun 2013
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    djaus Salted Nut!

    All good suggestions but as stated the current perspex is old, scratched & has a few small cracks. So it's either cover it on the outside or just replace them.

    I did hear back from "Associated Plastics" in Hobart & they quoted me about $250+ GST & freight. That's for 3 windows cut to fit, tinted perspex. I would get change from $300. Way cheaper than I thought it would be!
    They suggested I remove the windows & send them to their shop as templates, an excellent idea as I would get them to pre drill the 135 holes so the new windows would bolt straight back in. The windows have been on the boat for 40 odd years, an upgrade would be good.

    I think that's what I'll do but in no hurry. I think I'll just wait 'til winter sets in, plus I want to move house mid year to a place with a big double garage.
    I could just cover the windows but it'll only be a temporary fix. I'd rather bide my time & buy new perspex, especially at that quoted price. Worth the effort I reckon.
     
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