You Make a Better Door Than a Window. AKA DIY Privacy Film Tutorial.

4 Materials
1 Hour

"You make a better door than a window." It's something that may have been heard around here once or twice. Trash talk. When you've got siblings, it's kind of a given I suppose. Truth is, we do a lot of trash talking here.

Last thing you want when you're designing a space is to be working in a pitch black cave. We thought about putting tubular skylights in the room, but those would have busted our budget.

We settled on MASSIVE amounts of lighting, AND this door...with said windows. Our solution...

Privacy film!

What can I say? We LIKE trash! As Oscar the Grouch said, "anything dirty or dingy or dusty" and we dig it. Sometimes literally dig it out of trash bins, dumpsters, whatever. We ain't got no pride.

But believe it or not, that door above, wasn't even a throw away. I PAID for it. Found it on a facebook yard sale site. I love those sites....did a whole post about how to find and use them.

I paid about $40 for this door. Pure vintage-trashy-loveliness. The plan was to use this in our hallway/kids bathroom. We removed the old standard door in that space that sat between the water closet and sinks, and put in a pocket for a pocket door. And this beauty was to be our new (ok, old) pocket door.

But before we could install it, I had to make this trashy gal even trashier. I mean, I REALLY messed her up.

Originally, I wanted the door to be a kind of vintage-y gas station light green. So I sanded her, and spray painted her. OMG...WHAT A DISASTER.

Hey, we all make mistakes. And I'm a do-er. I try things. Hence, LOTS-o-screw-ups. Whatevs. I paid penance by having to spend H.O.U.R.S. sanding out most of the green.

I still left a smidge, because it gave it a little flair, but OY. That was a mess. So, I decided to just paint it with Behr's Ultra Pure White Semi-Gloss, to match the trim we were putting into the space.

To make this long story short, short as The Fresh Prince would some point I just threw my hands up and figured I was happy enough to put it in. "BUT WAIT", you say..."THAT DOOR HAS WINDOWS!" "ISN'T THE POINT OF HAVING A DOOR IN A BATHROOM TO GIVE YOU SOME PRIVACY??!!"

Ok, pipe down people. I hear you. YES, privacy is...well, we'll call it a "bonus". Reality is that in a house with three kids, there's NO SUCH THING as privacy. But we gotta at least FAKE it, right?! The thing about this bathroom space is that there is absolutely no natural light.

Privacy film is inexpensive, and it's something that anyone could DIY.

All the step by step instructions can be found by clicking HERE

Bottom line is that for not a lot of money, and only a little bit of a time investment (maybe an hour, tops), we were able to maximize the little light we had, while keeping things in the privy private. Win, win I think.

Hope someone is inspired (although inspiration is a strong word) to give this little DIY a try!

Suggested materials:
  • Gila Window Film   (Amazon)
  • Gila Window Film Application Kit   (Amazon)
See all materials
Heathered Nest
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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  2 questions
  • Liz Malone Gerron Liz Malone Gerron on Sep 12, 2018

    Love it! But isn't a pocket door a bit of a major construction project -- having to build out the pocket on one side?

  • Eliza Mariel LaMon Eliza Mariel LaMon on Sep 18, 2018

    What did you do about the hole for the handle?

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4 of 51 comments
  • Karen Brown Karen Brown on Sep 18, 2018

    I totally love the way you think, sometimes people look at me like I’m crazy. You are awesome and I am truly inspired. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Heathered Nest Heathered Nest on Dec 12, 2018

      Ha!! Well, if you're crazy, and I'm crazy I'm guessing there are at least a few others with us in our crazy boat! We can take comfort in that, perhaps ;) Happy holidays!

  • Kyp Purifoy Kyp Purifoy on Oct 02, 2018

    I agree. Good option for a bathroom. And privacy with kids...none. I had 4, so I can wholeheartedly agree there is no such thing. Now I live with my daughter and grandson, so again... Oh, enjoy the bathroom with no natural light. It is most helpful when dodging a storm; take cover there. Love the door!!

    • Heathered Nest Heathered Nest on Dec 12, 2018

      Thanks so much Kyp! Nice to hear other parents struggle with the same things at home! And you're right about being a good place to dodge a storm. That's an awesome way to make lemonade from lemons :) Happy holidays!