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Stacy Davis
Stacy Davis
  • Tutorial Team
  • Fredericksburg, VA

Mirror, Mirror on the Window? Daylight Privacy Mirror Film Tutorial

7 Materials
$25
1 Hour
Medium

**Update** I had some questions regarding using this on double pane windows so after a lot of research. I went to www.buydecorativefilm.com and found a quote that said it was safe for dual paned glass. There were a lot of reviews on Amazon and I couldn't find one that said it was a problem for their double pane windows but if in doubt, contact a professional window tint installer. **
When we bought this house a year ago, it was the house of many firsts. One first, was the fact that this house had windows on the garage. We had never had a garage with windows before. And you know what they say about first impressions. Every time someone walked to our front door, they would pass these windows first. When I set up the garage, I put a shelf in front of the window, because almost most of the other wall space had pegboards already on them. I put it in front of the window and I proceeded to load it with just about every paint can that I had. Every time I walked by the garage, I groaned but was too lazy to move the shelf and ALL THOSE cans of paint. So, I sent my husband to buy blinds. Either he bought the wrong size or I measured wrong and it was probably the latter. But, I hated seeing the inside of the garage so much, I attempted to put them up anyway. I don't know why we didn't take them back and get the right size. I think I just wasn't happy with how the blinds looked so it didn't matter. I am not sure how I came across this mirror window film but it looked like it might be the perfect solution for me.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
Here are my garage windows as they look when you come up the sidewalk to my front door. They are super close to the side walk and anyone can look in them. On the right, is a set of wood blinds that we bought on clearance. Wrong color, wrong size in both directions and I just have not been happy with the look. I never even installed the other set of blinds on the other window. Every single time I walked by, it was a constant reminder of how much I hated it yet I hadn't decided on what to do instead. Until now.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
I ordered this mirror window film from Amazon. BDF S05 Window Film (36in X 12ft) It was about $24. This would do my two garage windows without a problem. **After I put it on the bottom half, I decided to wait on the top half. There were a couple of windows on my porch that I decided to do instead of the top of the garage windows.**
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
My windows were very cobwebby.  I used a soft broom to brush away all the webs.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
I used glass cleaner to clean the glass. You don't want any flecks of anything on the glass or it will mess with your film.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
OK, this is where I failed to read the directions. Per the directions, cut one inch larger than the glass in both directions. I cut my piece to the exact measurements. OOPS  I dodged a bullet and it worked out any way.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
When you open your box the squeegee and utility knife are inside the roll of mirror film. You will also need a spray bottle with 16 oz of water and about 6 drops of liquid soap.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
I used my rotary cutter because I am more familiar with it than a utility knife.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
This is kind of hard to see but there is a backing on the film that you remove and then it is adhesive backed. To remove the backing, starting at a corner, put two pieces of tape with adhesive sides facing in but not touching each other. Pull each piece of tape in different directions. Apply soapy spray mixture to this sticky back and spray mixture to window as well.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
I started in one corner and applied the film to the soapy window. Since I was working alone, I didn't follow the directions. With this corner in the window I slowly removed the rest of the backing and pressed it to the window.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
Before the squeegee, it looked like this.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
Half squeegeed and half not squeegeed. What a difference? Right?
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
I am super happy with how it came out.

mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
On the left is what is on the other side of the window. On the right, you would never know.
Satisfying squeegee action and don’t stress the bubble, I did see it and it was taken care of.
mirror mirror on the window window mirror film tutorial
I could not be happier with the end results. Much, MUCH better... and for around $25... this works well for us.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 21 questions
  • Barbara Radley
    on Sep 24, 2018

    I have A LOT of plants in my windows. Will this affect my plants? I live next to a parking lot. Can’t stand people looking in my windows so I fill them with plants.

    • Leta
      on Nov 5, 2018

      A lot depends on what is on the film you apply. There is also a large variety at Lowes. I have covered two windows. Love it. My low light plants thrive. If a window is opposite a mirror,and it is inline with strong sun rays, talk to your local fire department, as I think it will cut the rays reflecting off of the mirror from the sun coming through the window to start a fire. I went with a soft frosted look and a few clear cut outs lines.

  • Pennie Greene
    on Sep 25, 2018

    Can you put this on vinyl windows and will it prevent heat from the sun?

    • 34190980
      on Oct 5, 2018

      * * *

      Aloha Pennie,

      Yes, most of these films do cut down on the heat; it is reflecting the light from the brightest side back to the same side from whence it comes...

      So, the sunlight is reflected during the day, and the interior light is reflected back inside at night.

      * * *

      The film works on the amount of light and direction of the light.

      The brighter side is where the mirror effect works best...

      When it is brighter outside during the day, the inside (darker side) cannot be seen from the outside (brighter side)... the light is reflected back to the outside, reducing the intensity of the light coming through to the inside and also reducing the UV and heat transfer coming through to the inside.

      At night, with the lights on inside, the outside (darker side) cannot be seen from the inside (lighter side)... someone on the outside can see clearly through the window to the inside.

      The way to combat that night problem is to put a small security light, sidewalk light, or short string of decorative eave lights over each window that come on at dusk... easy peasy... just remember, when you're out there at night, and the indoor lighting is brighter than the outdoor, close the blinds/curtains until you leave and turn off the interior lights as you leave.


      Until that time. . .

  • Tan24519744
    on Nov 19, 2018

    Do you think it could be used on an aquarium to help prevent algae growth from sunlight getting in I rent and unable to put on window.

Join the conversation

25 of 54 comments
  • Geraldine Edwards
    on Oct 6, 2018

    Do you realize that if the lights are on inside you can see right through as if it wasn’t there? Don’t use on bedrooms or bathrooms expecting privacy when the inside light is on. The mirror effect is when the light is reflected back to its source.

    • K
      on Oct 18, 2018

      Yes, this is true whether or not there is a film in the window. Whenever it's brighter inside than outside, you can see in.

      The film is an added layer of privacy, but not 100% protection. It is not opaque, so caution is still advised, but it will help with cutting down on summer heat coming in through the windows.

  • Wendy
    3 hours ago

    Thanks for the update, Stacy!! The video is so mesmerizing!

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