Asked on Dec 02, 2016

How can I update this awful window?

We have this hideous window in our dining room (exterior anterior wall) and have been racking our brains with what to do with it. It's a double pain window and the graphics are on the inside of the interior pane. Also, it appears as though the pains are connected together with a strip of metal around the perimeter. We don't mind the shape, but the graphics 😱. Removing it isn't an option right now because it's wintertime in northern Michigan. We've talked about white wooden shutters installed inside and/ or attempting to frost over from the inside. Any thoughts?
  60 answers
  • Mary Mary on Dec 02, 2016

    Gallery Glass paints are good for covering unsightly windows, yet allow light in. Get a design you like, outline it in the fake leading (many colors and make on a piece of glass first for best results), then color in the other areas. You can use the translucent also and do a swirly or pebble type finish. I used them on my sidelight windows and matched my glass door, even adding a clear cut glass jewel to the center of the design. Fabulous!

  • Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom Jennifer | CrazyDiyMom on Dec 02, 2016

    You could try frosting it with contact paper! I did that on my windows and love it. It's hard to tell how dark your graphics really are from the picture so I'm not 100% positive that you could cover it. But you can find cheap contact paper at the dollar store to test it out. You could cut out a cute design and see how it works! I just posted a project on how to do it, if you need an idea. Good luck!

    How can I update this awful window?
    • Gayle Tucker Gayle Tucker on Dec 03, 2016

      We had an old home that had this same diamond paned window. We wanted to cut the wall and add a larger window but could not afford it at that time. Our carpenter friend cut four frames the exact size of our window, which was an awful shade of yellow and placed them up against the existing window. He put glass panes of different colors in the new frames and we had a new wall of pretend windows. We kept it there for a couple of years then did the expansion. It looked nice and you just have to get through the winter before making a big change.

  • William William on Dec 02, 2016

    You could use craft glass paint and paint a stained glass pattern over it. Or use frosted spray paint to give it an etched look.

  • Susan S Susan S on Dec 02, 2016

    We had a large ugly orange fish eye window. We replaced with a beautiful spring bouquet o flowers. The woman who made it didn't charge much. Perhaps you could find a stained glass maker to do the same from your design. It looks like your window is not too large. Always try to look forward to a time you will sell and add elements that would enhance your home.

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Dec 03, 2016

    Sorry I dont have anything to add but I wanted to ask if it is just my computer that is showing ads via Hometalk to win supermarket vouchers or is everyone getting them ? they are on the front page and look as if they are part of the site? If so they have malware on them and look like scams anyway. I was trying to find a contact click button or a post report button to get direct to mods/admin but cannot see any

    • See 5 previous
    • Yair Spolter Yair Spolter on Dec 07, 2016

      Hi Stigrayi,

      This is Yair from the Hometalk Team. Thank you for alerting us to this issue. We are working resolving it.

  • Jules Jules on Dec 03, 2016

    You could paint the glass the same colour as the wall, then cover the wall with old photo frames in the same colour. It would then become a feature wall.

  • Annie Annie on Dec 03, 2016

    Sure agree with you on the graphic! Before you do anything, I'd take a photo of it to a glass shop. Bet you that graphic is a film that could be peeled off. Surely there

    is a way to open up the metal strip that holds the panes together. Worse case scenario, they cut a mirror to fit inside the frame.

  • Banjojane66 Banjojane66 on Dec 03, 2016

    Wow! This is a challenge! I have read all the comments and I like them, but I was wondering if you use this window to your advantage. If you do, then I suggest that you cut the glass inside and replace it with a small window from the hardware store! If you don't use it, try to change the graphics to a small flower picture! Maybe paint the outside frame a different color than your wall! Hope I have helped you, or maybe stir a few more ideas your way. Good luck, Jane.

  • Charl Charl on Dec 04, 2016

    Home Depot sells window film in simple patterns that look great. I did it on the glass of my front doorin a frosted pattern for privacy and it looks very real...holds up great. They have lots of pattern to choose from.

  • Tina Tina on Dec 04, 2016

    If it's actually etched on the glass there isn't much you can do that will not show the etching through it. That includes paint, contact paper, even trying to use etching cream on top of it. All these things will likely lessen the look but will probably not have the effect you are looking for. If you cannot wait for better weather to replace the glass or cut a bigger hole for a more standard window, hang a picture or mirror on it.

  • D roach D roach on Dec 04, 2016

    why not just stick a picture of your choice {mounted on cardboard/hardboard} on to the actual window, and then replace the window in the warmer weather

  • Virginia Virginia on Dec 04, 2016

    Take various colors of cut glass and glue over window.

  • V Valencia V Valencia on Dec 04, 2016

    I would paint the window the same color as the wall and trim so it blends in with the wall. If I understood correctly, you intend to remove it eventually. Or, you could cover it with a picture or drapery depending where the window is in the room.

  • Christy Roppel Christy Roppel on Dec 04, 2016

    You could use glass etching and put an initial (your last name)

    You could frost the window

    You could buy some of that cling stained glass film (sold at Home depot for one)

    You could paint the frame contrasting color to make it a statement

    .....just my 2 cents :)

  • Linda Johnson Linda Johnson on Dec 04, 2016

    I would just put a picture over the window. (Make sure the frame is large and deep enough to cover the window frame. I would put a one-way mirror window film on the window first, so you don't see the back of the picture outside of the house. Easy and no damage to the window or wall.

  • Fran Fran on Dec 05, 2016

    Get a mirror cut the same shape. Stick it on top of glass. Make a thick wooden frame around it, maybe a few thin frames around it. Rough amd rustic would be nice!!

  • Sti2242965 Sti2242965 on Dec 05, 2016

    I was using public library computers, I presume they have good protection. Thanks for the suggestions and pointer to reporting stuff (I find that on different systems sites can be different and the site can be changed by the owners, annoying when you are just getting used to it the way it is, Outlook mail are good at that and it doesn't improve it gets harder to navigate!)

    Sorry again for hijacking thread OP !

    • Tina Tina on Dec 05, 2016

      Love that window! I like what Virginia suggested about gluing coloured glass over it! How about gluing clear glass bubbles? Or coloured ones if you prefer, you can put a few on clear tape and see if that design comes through, it will probably come pretty distorted, it would be quite interesting effect!

  • Zeljka Zeljka on Dec 05, 2016

    I agree with Charlshaffer's suggestion; mostly because that's the one I thought of too. I actually purchased a roll of the cling film in a stained glass style and covered my smaller basement window and back door window with it. It's been on there now for a few years and still looks great. Very pretty when the sun shines through.

  • Carol Kennedy Carol Kennedy on Dec 05, 2016

    Buy an ornate picture frame at the thrift store and cut it down to frame the window. You could also use a spray etching paint and make a pretty design. DIY tutorials are online.

  • Vickie Vickie on Dec 06, 2016

    Paint it like stain glass

  • Deb13686859 Deb13686859 on Dec 06, 2016

    Paint glass with that mercury looking paint , construct 2 same size diamond frames for each side with same framing or complementary . Go crazy! Put in them what you like? Clocks ( 2 clocks why not? ) art work, nature items, photos, etc. Color it and use it instead of hiding it, must go with the age of the home?

  • Dale Diane Hedgecough Dale Diane Hedgecough on Dec 06, 2016

    Home depot or Lowes sells contact paper that look like Stainglass. You can cut it to fit like youre wallpaper the window. Easy and colorful

  • Susan Sam Susan Sam on Dec 06, 2016

    You can cover the whole glass surface with an acrylic clear caulking on the inside, in a open hand swirling pattern. This will hide the grahic but allow the light in. It looks beautiful and lasts for years if you want it to. If you dont like it, it only costs a few dollars and can be scraped off with a straight razor. Then back to square one.

  • Shawna Bailey Shawna Bailey on Dec 07, 2016

    If it's just till after the winter I would pick the cheapest easiest solution of adding frosted contact paper to cover it up. That may leave weird shadows though.

  • Cheryl Markus Reynolds Cheryl Markus Reynolds on Dec 07, 2016

    As some have suggested, I would put a mirror in it. I'm not sure of the size of the window, with it being recessed, I would also add a small shelf about 2 inches from the bottom and put a picture, knickknack or a small vase on the shelf.

    • Lonnie Lonnie on Dec 08, 2016

      I like this idea the best. The shelf under it would draw attention to it in a "good" way.

  • B J  Alexis B J Alexis on Dec 07, 2016

    That looks like something from the 1920's, or made to look as such. Lowe's sells several styles of window cling rolls that would easily cover the window. Something I found recently there is called Peel and Stick Mosaics --the colors are limited but it mimics glass tile, not see through and easy to work with, 9.4" x 10" sheet (less than $10.00 per sheet) it appears one sheet would cover most of the window and paint could be used to cover any remaining area. Good Luck.

  • Marilyn Marilyn on Dec 07, 2016

    Take the molding off and hang a picture or mirror over it.

  • Dal13542943 Dal13542943 on Dec 07, 2016

    put clear contact paper over it. let's in light and is what you would call translucent. cheap too.

  • Eloise Eloise on Dec 07, 2016

    Amazon has any number of decorative window film designs that are easily installed and removed to change the look.

  • Kathie Kathie on Dec 07, 2016



  • Darla Darla on Dec 07, 2016

    Can you paint "chaulk" paint over glass? That's what I would do.

  • Carole Bisby Carole Bisby on Dec 23, 2016

    I would make a small cornice board above it and put a small vertical blind in front of it that way you can open it and still get some light!!! Good luck on your decision!!! would love to see what you pick to do with it.

  • Katherine Henry Katherine Henry on Dec 24, 2016

    If it is at "normal" window height, maybe just put a small table ( or a shelf ) and tall vase of flowers in front of it - then in the spring DO something about it - the diamond shape is really hard to work with and yes, that graphic is, well... a little hard to design around. Maybe a contractor can put is a better size/shape window when the weather warms....

  • Connie Connie on Dec 30, 2016

    Remove it & put a new piece of glass in.

  • Grace Gleason Grace Gleason on Jan 01, 2017

    Kristolyn Elizabeth, How big is this eyesore?

  • Jennifer Jennifer on Jan 01, 2017

    It's an amazing bit of nostalgia, and no doubt fits well with other original details in your house. I love it, but as you don't, you could mount a diamond shaped mirror over the existing mouldings, or hang a picture, decorative curtain, tapestry, or a pair of small shutters over it. If you do take it out, contact me; I'll take it off your hands...

  • Elizabeth Staeheli Elizabeth Staeheli on Jan 04, 2017

    Just go have a glass works or stained window artist make/cut you a new piece of glass to put over the one you don't like. You can put white or colored paper in between the two glasses so that you get the effect you want, or you can get a pattern on the new piece of glass that doesn't let the old pattern show through. A black squiggly pattern on the new glass could most likely camouflage the old painting.

  • Robin Burnham-Moynihan Robin Burnham-Moynihan on Jan 07, 2017

    Make a paste with cornstarch and cut a piece of cloth to fit...muslin works nice, but any thin cloth you prefer....soak the cloth in the cornstarch paste then smooth it in place. It can always be removed at a later time, or changed out for a prettier cloth. It "covers a multitude of sin", lol, but still lets the light in.

    • Robin Burnham-Moynihan Robin Burnham-Moynihan on Jan 07, 2017

      To make cornstarch paste mix two tablespoons cornstach with two tablespoons cold water until disolved, then add it to about 1 1/2 c. boiling water stirring until thick and goopy.

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Jan 09, 2017

    Paint the frame a deep shade of paint or get some of that contact paper made for windows. They have various patterns, and I think they even have one that looks like stained glass.

  • Linda Jowers Linda Jowers on Jan 11, 2017

    Oh, love the period picture, wish I could take it off your hands.

  • Glenda Glenda on Jan 12, 2017

    Several web sites carry static cling viny window covers. My favorite is at Amason and is a tribute to Klimt.

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Jan 16, 2017

    Put other pictures on the wall around it. Some black and whites of family members or hang a picture over it for now and replace it when the weather is appropriate.

  • Jeannie.mcquaid Jeannie.mcquaid on Jan 17, 2017

    Wow, that's pretty trippy and built as a thermo-pane too. Like others have said, cover the inside glass with stick-on glass frosting for the duration of the winter. Come summer, put a new window in and put that one up on ebay. There are people who would pay enough for it to cover the cost of your replacement.

  • BabyBoomerSC BabyBoomerSC on Jan 17, 2017

    Hang a bigger picture over it.

  • Gail Gail on Jan 20, 2017

    Unless you want it for whatever light it lets in--semi remove it. Remove the trim on the inside. Cover glass with Sheetrock as though you are patching a hole in your wall. How to do that can be found on-line. On the exterior of the house place shutters over the window as though they were closed. I've used latches and shutter "s" hooks to make them look real and closed.

  • Anne Johnson Anne Johnson on Jan 29, 2017

    Frosted glass spray paint?

  • Libby Libby on Jan 30, 2017

    Hi - have you considered placing a piece of painted wood inside the window to act as a shelf? This worked well for us with in a similar space left by an old wall air conditioner. It would be a small shelf in the lower third of the window and would be certain that vase of flowers would cover a good portion of the image. Replacing the baseboard-like trim with a narrow 1" wide strip, would modernize the window, if you find that you're not able to change up the window as soon as you hope.Keep warm Up there!

  • Banjojane66 Banjojane66 on Jan 31, 2017

    Maybe you could put mirror-like paper on it and paint the frame black? This would be a great frame for a mirror!

  • Reblcant Reblcant on Jan 31, 2017

    not sure of the size of the window. Temporary fix? Remove molding around photo and place a painting over the whole area , if you are not concerned about light. Try spray on window frosting. You can keep applying coats until it is not noticeable.

  • Claude Claude on Feb 02, 2017

    To get an idea of whether or not you want to cover it up, you can use cornstarch + water as a glue with a cut to size piece of lace.. the cornstarch will dry is rather a nice effect as well...bec you still get light.

  • Holly Lengner - Lost Mom Holly Lengner - Lost Mom on May 19, 2021

    You could always cover it with a window cling cover.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Jul 21, 2021

    Stick a piece of fabric over the window for the season like ART work!

  • Deb K Deb K on Mar 01, 2023

    Hi Kristolyn, you can put some faux stained glass peel and stick over it, it should block out the etching you are not fond of.

  • Brooke Brooke on Apr 03, 2023

    I also had a weird small window in a weird spot in my last home. I got that cling window film that looks like stained glass from HD and put it on and then it became my favorite window in the house! Everyone thought it was real and loved it.

  • Deb K Deb K on Jul 14, 2023

    Hi Kristolyn, you can apply frosted peel and stick on the inside of this little window

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Jul 21, 2023

    Lots of possible solutions, I would love the light to come through this window personally, and would be taking it apart to get to the graphics.

    Or a temporary fix is a small piece of window film, there are many at Home Depot or Lowes...and of course Amazon.

  • Janice Janice on Oct 06, 2023

    Measure the size of the glass and cut a piece of craft paper or gift wrap that you like and use double-sided tape to tape it to the glass to cover the design you dislike. You can change the design with the seasons if you like. Very inexpensive, easy, and temporary.

  • Mogie Mogie on Oct 22, 2023

    If you want the window to blend into the wall paint it the same color (probably the cheapest idea also).