Creating total privacy yet not block natural light in a window with a compromising placement sounds nearly impossible, right? Well here’s a way to create a frosted glass privacy window and no, I don’t mean that spray paint faux treatment either!
DIY Frosted Glass Privacy Window
Compromising Window Placement
Talk about a compromising placement. The bedroom in the basement apartment of our newly purchased Mid-Century-to-Colonial-Revival home needed to have the small existing window enlarged to an egress size window. Unfortunately that window is placed right in the middle of the wall, at floor level, of the main house’s screened porch.
That meant that anyone walking by on the screened porch would be viewing down into the apartment bedroom, and visa-versa the person in the bedroom would be viewing up the legs of the passerby on the porch. Neither was good, but the window had to go in for safety and for code. In case of an emergency exit, the window is large enough to crawl through to escape.
I could just hang some curtains or shades that would just stay closed all the time, but to have shades pulled close all the time would defeat the ability to get some natural light into the room.
Frosted Glass is the Answer
Frosted glass is a great answer to that need. It totally diffuses the view, but still allows light in. I was able to achieve that exact look… without some exorbitant fee for a special order egress window to be made with frosted glass. I found this easy DIY that’s quite cost effective, and looks totally like real frosted glass! So what is it?
I found this product:
No, it isn’t like contact paper that has an adhesive back on it that you can never get the air bubbles out and has no grace to move it to the exact spot you want, and always leave a gooey residue behind when you remove it… once contact paper is on, that’s where it stays. This is very different!
This is a thick vinyl type film that sticks to the glass with static cling(?) I guess that’s what holds it on… it’s totally removable, but doesn’t budge once it’s installed… unless you want it to.
Step by Step: Here are the details… the instructions in the roll of window film were easy to understand.
( Check out my post on my site for the pic of these directions, I couldn't get it to load on this post for some reason)
Trim Film to Fit
First I cut the film the size of the window.
Then I set it aside for a second while I scrambled around to find a spray bottle… (that was the trickiest part of this project! We’ve moved into a house that we’ve ripped apart for this whole house renovation and most of our stuff is in storage, but a few random things found their way into the garage… a spray bottle was one of those things. Next step…)
According to the directions, I prepared a little soapy water in the spray bottle. I think the soap just gives a slippery edge to the film allowing the air bubbles to get out and the squeegee to move across the film smoothly.
I sprayed the soapy water onto the egress window glass. (on the inside of the house, not the exterior, in case you were wondering)
The directions explain to not get the paper wet. I’m not sure what would happen if you did, but I was careful not to. I peeled the paper backing off and laid the frosted window film onto the glass. Like wallpapering.
The water now sandwiched between the glass and film allowed me to move the film around to get the exact placement I wanted for it. (So unlike contact paper!)
Once I had it where I wanted… I was a little concerned…
There were tons of air bubbles under the film. Yikes!
But have no fear…
The next step covered that.
More Soapy Water
Which is to spray the soapy water mixture onto the film that was stuck to the glass:
Starting at the top, I squeegeed down. It was amazing how every single air bubble moved right down and out. (It was amazing too that I actually found a squeegee in the garage with those random things!) This project would have been impossible without a squeegee.
Here’s a tip…
Because the frosted film clings to the window and is sort of a stiffer material it will not properly adhere if it’s folded or crimped in the corners of the window pane, so I found that I needed to have it just ever so slightly smaller than the glass. At first it was a wee bit too wide, going over just ever so much onto the sash of the window. This meant just that little tiny edge of film wasn’t sealed to the glass and it left an air bubble in the corner under it. It was an easy fix because it wasn’t ‘stuck’ to the window like contact paper, I could lift it off, carefully trim that little edge away and squeegee it back on. Voila! No air bubbles and frosted glass!
What a great product!
Where to buy and other options
I love this product! It totally allowed me to DIY a frosted glass privacy window very inexpensively.
In the materials list below I give you the link for the exact one I used... and a few more options I saw.
- Window Film
Itsmemic on Jan 11, 2018ARTSCAPES ROCK !!! I have many of these around my home on the bottom half of my windows...let's light in without the peeking neighbors and adds SO much interest to my home. Stained glass in living room...vines in kitchen...bamboo in bathroom to match my shower door. Incredible.I had one I was so afraid to try so had one for over a year. FINALLY..got up the nerve to try to use on a window...and was amazed it is SOOOOO EASY to cut..apply...and squeegy bubbles out. Loved the look so much I ran out and bought another..and another......:)