Apart from having a gas mask that is effective and highly protective (which is also the main purpose) against all types of gases, fumes and smokes, you want to make it look good too. Learning how to tint gas mask lenses is not as difficult as it sounds, although it requires the right tools and some time investment.
When it comes to tinting, the list of tools you are going to need is fairly small, and they are usually the type of tools you can easily find in every home or garage. If not, they are extremely low-priced and easy to be found online. Let’s find out what you need to tin a gas mask:
- Gas mask (in this case, the Rubber Respirator Mask NBC by Tactical Nation)
- Window tint (Window Film One Way Mirror Film)
- Window film application (Gila GTA002 Window Film Application Solution)
- Scissors (Westcott 13901 8″ Straight Titanium Bonded Scissors)
- Utility knife (Alltrade 150003 Auto-Loading Squeeze Utility Knife)
- Scotch tape (Scotch Brand Magic Tape and Refillable Dispenser)
- Dry cloth
These are all the tools you need in order to apply the window tint film on the lens (or lenses) of your gas mask. There are certain steps described below, which are required to apply it properly on the surface of the lens and make it stick, without having any falling or wrinkling issues.
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How to tint gas mask lenses
First of all, it is common sense that you need a gas mask which will receive the window film. In my case, I have a pretty affordable gas mask model, the Rubber Respirator Mask NBC by Tactical Nation. If it is your first time tinting a gas mask or respirator lens, then you are advised to start with a low-priced gas mask in case something goes wrong.
Step 1 – Remove the lens (or lenses)
To start with, you need to remove the lens of your gas mask so that you can work on it conveniently with the tools. Each gas mask model has its own way of separating the mask parts, which totally depends on the manufacturer.
You should refer to the manual provided with the purchase of the gas mask, so that you can take off the mask parts properly without causing any damage to the unit. Make sure that you understand the process, so that it is easy for you to reassemble the mask.
Step 2 – Clean the lens
Use a dry cloth to clean the surface of the lens. If the lens is too dirty, slightly wet the cloth and rub the lens until no stains are visible. Do not forget to use a dry cloth for absorbing the moisture from the lens.
Make a good job cleaning any type of dirtiness, dust or debris that may sit on the surface. You need the lens as clean as possible, because any dirtiness is going to stick on the surface of the lens after the window film is applied, which means lower levels of visibility.
Step 3 – Use the window film application
Apply the Gila GTA002 Window Film Application Solution on the surface of your lens. Make sure that you spread it across the entire surface of the lens, because you are going to need its moisture in order to stick the window film.
Sometimes, the window film application tends to dry fairly quickly. If this is the case, make sure that you apply it on the surface more than once to keep the lens wet. That said, keep in mind that you should not overdo it and make it too slippery.
Step 4 – Cut the window tint film
When you purchase a window tint film like the Window Film One Way Mirror Film, it usually comes as a roll. You certainly don’t need that much. Take a smaller piece of window film, and make sure that it is significantly bigger than the entire lens, for instance double its size.
Now, apply the window film on the lens. Spot the excess window film, and use the scissors to start cutting it. You need to shape the window film similarly to the shape of your lens, without trying to make it too perfect.
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Step 5 – Use the utility knife
After you have used the scissors to shape the tint film, it is time for you cut the rest of the excessive film in order to make it match the exact size of the lens. In this case, you are going to need a utility knife like the Alltrade 150003 Auto-Loading Squeeze Utility Knife, which can help you cut the window tint film in great detail.
Press the window tint film on the surface of the gas mask lens, until it covers it reaching its corners. Steadily, use the utility knife to start cutting the tint film while pressing it towards the surface. Make sure that it gets the exact round shape of the lens, otherwise it will be difficult to adjust it properly.
Step 6 – Adjust the window tint
Now, you have one (or two) window tint film pieces with the exact size of the lens. What you need to do, is adjust them to sit properly on the surface of the lens. To do this, press the tint film slightly and start placing it in the recesses that are placed between the lens and the plastic.
You need to take your time during this process. You should press the window tint film slightly, without being too aggressive. The reason why, is because you need to avoid causing wrinkles to the tint film, so that you can have a clear viewing area. After the adjustment, make sure that you straight any minor wrinkles and wipe the surface of the lens with a dry cloth to remove any dust.
Step 7 – Clean and reassemble
The final step after the application of the window tint film, is to make sure that the lens of your gas mask is clean, and assemble the mask parts together. Test the mask to see if everything works properly after the assemble, and let it sit for 1 or 2 days so that the window tint application is completely effective.
Tinting gas mask lens is not the most complex process, although it might be a bit challenging if it is your first time. Make sure that you have all the necessary tools, and follow the steps of the procedure to apply the window tint film properly on the lens.
Happy lens tinting!