Shower Enclosure Rehab

3 Materials
5 Hours

Place stencil and cover surrounding glass to avoid overspray

I’ve been fighting hard water stains on the inside of our shower enclosure forever. There isn’t a product on the market and or any of the solutions offered on the internet that I haven’t tried. I’m surprised I have any money left in my purse.

I had to get creative! I thought it would be cool use 12”x12” stencils and spray translucent acrylic to give subtle but adequate coverage to obscure the hated stains.

This wasn’t as simple as I expected. After thoroughly cleaning the outside of the shower glass, I affixed my chosen stencil with blue painter’s tape and stood back to admire my handiwork. My design was four stencils across and four high, equally distributed. Hmmm. What to do about overspray? Newspaper worked perfectly but was pretty awkward as I had to keep moving it around after the spray dried. When I removed the stencil, I noticed some smudging of the edges; not too bad but not perfect. (Obviously, I should have used spray adhesive on the back of the stencil before taping it down.)

The measuring was difficult because whoever built the shower didn’t understand the word “level.” For some odd reason, I can see when something is level and I was never going to be happy with this. So, I scrapped the stencil idea. Because I used acrylic, I just dampened the design with water, waited a few minutes and wiped it off. But now what?

A weird idea popped into my head that did the trick. The glass had to be cleaned (again) before I could start randomly applying .7” wide blue tape strips all over the glass. My craft supply included Liquitex acrylic matte medium that would be perfect for filling in the design.

After I poured the medium into a large shallow bowl, I made sure the 4” foam roller was adequately covered before I started. It doesn’t take very much medium to do the whole job.

Wow. What a difference from the spray. The medium is the color and consistency of white glue and went on very smoothly. After waiting a few minutes, I carefully pulled away the tape and admired my handiwork. It dries to a translucent design just like I wanted.

I noticed a portion didn’t seem to be completely covered so I re-applied the medium. I waited too long and when I removed the tape, some of the edges in the design came off. Now what? Will I ever finish this project?

I re-taped and then applied a single coat of medium. This time I got the tape off without damaging the design. It looked just the way I wanted. To finish the shower, I taped and rolled medium on the end panel and the shower door. What do you think?

Glass is very hard to photograph but you can see most of the stencils have been completed.

They didn't provide the coverage I wanted so they had to go

Random, right? This part went very quickly. I had it all taped in about 90 minutes.

It's important to make sure the edges are pressed dowm firmly and no scraps are in the design

Here you can see how the acrylic spray looked after two coats. Don't do this!

This acrylic medium dries tanslucent

This little roller did the job. I bought a pack of two just in case but didn't need them.

Painter's Tape comes in many widths so proportion is important.

From the inside looking out

The glass reflected the light but you can see how nicely my project turned out.

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Kim
    on Jul 16, 2020

    It doesn’t start to come off from repeated exposure to moisture from the shower?

    • Sally Gillies
      7 days ago

      No, it's on the outside of the glass. I've had mine on for several months and nothing has changed. It's a fun project; good luck and let me know if you do it!

  • Carolyn Jones
    on Jul 27, 2020

    Can you use these products on windows? How well does it sustain moisture? Thanks. CJ

    • Sally Gillies
      7 days ago

      Hi, Carolyn, I don't know why you couldn't use it on the inside of windows. I did my design on the outside of the shower door and after several months, there is no damage of any kind.

  • Debbie Rose
    on Jul 27, 2020

    The lower left segment appears to be "blocked off". Why?

    • Sally Gillies
      7 days ago

      Hi, Debbie, It really isn't blocked off. Glass is extremely hard to photograph as it reflects all light and that includes the image of the photographer. So I tried to get as much of the shower wall into the picture in the clearest light.

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