How to Frost Windows

Four Methods:Frosting Windows with Static Cling FilmFrosting Windows with Acrylic GlazeFrosting Windows with Shelf LinerFrosting Windows by Etching

Privacy is the usual reason given for frosting windows, and the majority of those windows are in bathrooms. Frosting windows allows complete privacy while avoiding the inconvenience of traditional window coverings. Frosting also allows natural light to filter into the room without sacrificing privacy. There are several options for making frosted windows, some temporary and some permanent.

Method 1
Frosting Windows with Static Cling Film

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    Measure the glass surface to be covered.
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    Wash hands using soap and water to avoid transferring any dirt or oil to the cling.
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    Place the roll of cling on a clean work surface with the backing facing up. Draw desired shape on backing using your measurements, and cut it out with scissors or utility knife.
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    Fill a spray bottle with water and add a few drops of dish detergent. Spray over entire surface of glass to be covered.
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    Peel backing from cling film and position on glass. Use your hands to press out air bubbles, starting in the center of the window and working out to edges.
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    Spray the front of the cling film with the soapy water and use a squeegee or plastic card, such as a credit card, to press out any small bubbles.
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    Remove film by wetting the surface with soapy water and peeling it off. The film can be returned to the original backing paper and stored for reuse later.
    • If the film is not holding at the corners, use a hair dryer to warm the film until it is pliable, and hold it in place until it cools to room temperature and stays in place.

Method 2
Frosting Windows with Acrylic Glaze

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    Purchase clear/untinted acrylic glaze.
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    Use a foam brush to outline the window pane with a coat of glaze. Try to keep lines straight as this glaze shows brush strokes when it dries.
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    Allow to dry and apply a second coat.
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    Remove glaze by sponging it with water and scraping it off with a plastic squeegee or old plastic credit card.

Method 3
Frosting Windows with Shelf Liner

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    Purchase a roll of frosted self-adhesive shelf liner.
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    Wash the window glass and allow to dry.
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    Measure the surface to be covered, and cut the shelf line to the appropriate size.
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    Peel approximately 3 inches (7.6 cm) of the backing paper down and, beginning at the upper left corner, press the shelf liner firmly to the glass.
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    Work along the upper edge, smoothing out any wrinkles before peeling back another 3 inches (7.6.cm) of backing paper and smoothing that section down. Continue working in small sections until the entire surface is covered.
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    Remove by lifting a corner and carefully peeling the liner off.

Method 4
Frosting Windows by Etching

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    Remove window glass from frame, wash and allow to dry.
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    Rent a sandblaster and buy sand/grit from the rental store.
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    Protect the work area with heavy canvas drop cloths and don protective eye goggles, work gloves and face mask.
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    Place window glass in center of drop cloth and follow manufacturer's directions carefully to etch the entire surface of the glass.
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    Clean window glass of excess grit, and replace glass in window frame.
    • Etching cream is not recommended for large surface areas because of its potentially toxic fumes.
    • Acid washing is another method of etching glass, but it is best left to professionals due to the potentially toxic nature of the ingredients used in the process.
    • Sandblasting, etching and acid washing are all permanent and cannot be reversed

Tips

  • While it may be beyond the skills of the average do-it-yourselfer, a skilled person can create beautiful sandblasting designs using stencils and layering techniques.

Warnings

  • Do not use permanent methods such as sandblasting or etching windows if you are renting without the landlord's written permission.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Dish detergent
  • Vinyl cling film
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Plastic scraper or equivalent
  • Window cleaner
  • Acrylic glaze
  • Foam brush
  • Sponge
  • Shop rags
  • Canvas drop cloths
  • Eye protection
  • Face mask
  • Heavy work gloves


Article Info

Categories: Doors and Windows