How to cover a front door window?

by Louise

I have a new fiberglass front door (still need to paint and install it) with an 18 x 23 window in it. I want a way to be able to see out the entire window but also cover it completely at night and also to cover only the bottom half if I don't want most people to see in during the day.

I thought about one of the cellular shades that go up from the bottom and down from the top. But I looked on a site that sells them and even a custom size can't be made in exactly the size I need. I'd have to get it an inch longer but I don't think that would be a big deal. BUT my main question is how do I install it? Can holes be drilled into the fiberglass? I've never had a fiberglass door before.

Or does anyone have a better idea? I considered a curtain of sorts that I could put on a small rod and put those hooks that are easily removed on the door and just move the curtain to suit my needs. But I'd have to have two sets of hooks -- one to cover the whole window and a second one for lowering it.

  12 answers
  • Oliva Oliva on Aug 16, 2020

    Why not just install two rods on the door, with two sets of curtains, opening in the middle? The curtains/draperies need not be the same length ( uppers could be 2/3 the length of the window and lower half 1/3 the window length, or vice versa).

    If you want total privacy, attach a privacy panel liner to the draperies.

    • See 1 previous
    • Oliva Oliva on Aug 17, 2020

      Hi, Louise,

      Because you're not going to be supporting a heavy weight, you can use a thinner rod at both levels. These will come with shorter screws. Attach your rod beyond the " frame" that's outside the glassed area, for best privacy/view when open.

      I've had these on my Fiberglass doors for 16 years, with no problems, supporting a longer "blackout/thermal" drapery attached behind a moderate weight linen drape. I have ultimate privacy and better insulation on the large glass section.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 16, 2020

    Good answer from Olivia. seems logical.

    The photo you gave us looks like 3 windows, 1 in the center and 2 on the sides, I am confused.

    Maybe you could use tension rods, just a thought. You could adjust them to suit your purpose, no holes needed.

    • See 1 previous
    • Oliva Oliva on Aug 17, 2020

      Hi, Louise,

      I'm not sure how you'd mount the header for the shades, if you have a moulding piece beyond your glass. The constant motion of opening/closing shades may over time loosen the screws, although I can't tell you that from personal ownership.

      If absolute privacy is important to you, insure that the shade will block any view, be it from either side or the bottom. Additionally, you'll have to more than likely maneuver a shade to vacuum, whereas the draperies are easily removed from the rod (attached to supporting brackets) for laundering, etc.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Aug 16, 2020

    You can purchase top down/bottom up blinds or shades for your window.

    • Louise Louise on Aug 17, 2020

      Yes, that's what I was asking about, but how do I attach them to fiberglass? I've never had a fiberglass door. Do I use regular screws?

  • Here in Australia you can day day/night blinds which would work.They pull down like the ones in you photo. You can drill into fiberglass, but if you don't want to you can use self adhesive hooks.

    • Louise Louise on Aug 17, 2020

      I've used self-adhesive hooks but I wonder if they'd hold up under constant use of pulling the shades up and down every day.

  • Lisa Hunt Lisa Hunt on Aug 17, 2020

    If the window in the door has trim around it, you can buy bracket thingies that attach to the trim itself.

  • Ken Erickson Ken Erickson on Aug 17, 2020

    WE have a local blinds store in our area and they did our entire house. They were able to make/order pleated blinds for all our windows. Check with an expert and I bet they will solve your problem.

  • Dee Dee on Aug 17, 2020

    I would get window film from Amazon, there are several different types and colors.

    • Louise Louise on Aug 17, 2020

      Thanks but I bought this door because I want to let light in. Film won't work.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 17, 2020

    We have a 9 light door with blinds on it. You can drill into the door but you will need to use a bit specifically for fiberglass. You could also use Command adhesive to put them up.

    • Dee Dee on Aug 18, 2020

      That is a great idea, I would use the command hooks

  • Marlene Marlene on Aug 21, 2020

    Film will work for I just put it on my glass front door. Lets light in perfectly. I did purchase it from Amazon and it was easy to install.

  • Maria Maria on Aug 21, 2020

    Just spray frost paint !

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Aug 31, 2020

    I would call local blinds person .. they have sooo many options that will for sure work in your area

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Sep 09, 2021

    Hi, Call in a Specialist for this job. Don't want to make a mess of it!