Thursday, August 8, 2013

DIY Privacy Window Vinyl

I shared awhile ago when I got my new front door.  And then I shared when I finally painted it almost a year later.  As much as I wanted & love having windows in the door, I also was a bit worried that someone could peak in when at the door - you know, sometimes I just don't want to open the door to unexpected/unwanted visitors and I don't want anyone casin' the joint either.  I know window vinyl is expensive (between $20-$40), but one day, Thrifty Decor Chick wrote this post on how she covered her bathroom windows using clear contact paper, so I gave it a shot.  The clear contact paper is about $6 per roll and there's a ton of it on the roll - I'm thinking I might be able to use it as "vinyl" for other crafty projects (not sure if that will work, but I'll give it a try).

Here's what I started with.  You can clearly see right through the windows.

I'm not going to go through the steps here - you can just click over to Sarah's post for the tutorial.  But, this seemed like an easy theory.  Now, I'm pretty crafty and handy, but I'm not gonna lie.  I did a test run the night before starting the actual project and it did drive me a bit crazy at first.   I did come across a few issues, but once I figured them out & got into a good rhythm, it got much easier.

1)  Do a test run first!  This will give you a feel for what you should or shouldn't do.

2)  Make sure when you cut your pieces, that they are the right size.  Now, I'm not saying it has to be perfect, because it certainly doesn't.  But make sure that the edges do not touch the trim on the windows.  If you don't do this, the contact paper won't lay flat on the window & it will cause air gaps and bubbling at the edges. (Yes, there are grid lines on the backing of the paper, but the lines are broken up by words, so there aren't always lines to follow.  Just take your time and cut your pieces carefully - there's no need to rush.  Trust me on this - let's just say that it's a good thing that the clear contact paper comes in BIG rolls).

3)  When placing the pieces on the windows, carefully hold the top part of the already-cut piece to the top edge of the window and then make sure it lines up with the right and left sides.  Once you have this aligned correctly, lay the rest of the piece down.  It should be lined up nicely once you do this.

4)  Be patient!

So after getting through my issues, it was smooth sailing.

In these two pictures, you can see the side-by-side difference of the windows with the contact paper and without.  MAJOR difference!

This picture below shows spots on the windows/contact paper that I couldn't get out after I first put them on.  I squeezed and squeeeezed and SQUEEEEEEEEEEZED and they wouldn't come out.  After all was said and done, I considered just taking them off because I knew it would drive me nuts.

But, after letting them sit for a full day, the spots disappeared!  I don't know if it was the heat from the sun during the day or what, but I'm happy with the results!  So, if you come across this problem, let them sit on the windows for a day or two and the issue may resolve itself.

The new view from inside the house....

The new view from outside...I didn't get a picture from before, but especially at night with the lights on, you could see clear as day through the windows.  Now, the contact paper acts like a mirror and you can't even see inside at all!  Score!

Overall, I'm soooooooo glad that I finally did this (I had been procrastinating for awhile).  I still get some light in the house through those windows, but don't have to worry about people seeing so clearly inside.

Originally posted by Adventures in DIY


  1. You have the cutest front door!! It's the sort of country look I dream of...

    1. Thanks! It was actually reasonably priced. After the u-g-l-y door I had before, I'm so happy with this one!

  2. Hey Lady! I've nominated you for the Liebster Award. Come check it out!

  3. yay, that seemed to totally work out for you. we need to do that to our basement bathroom, so this seems like an easy fix. yay.

  4. This is a great idea! There is a small window in the shower of our kids' bathroom. It is located up high so it is still private, but I still think the frosted window treatment would be a good addition. Thank you for sharing!

    1. You are welcome and thanks for stopping by! I'm so glad I finally did this and I'm sure you will be too. :)

  5. You are doing such an amazing job on the house Chrissy. Really making it "yours". Thanks for sharing all your hard work and great ideas. The girls are going to love your blog and all your inspiration.

  6. Good job, Chrissy! Your DIY vinyl looks amazing and definitely does the job! How long did it take you to finish? It's funny that a little alteration can go a long way in improving a house's interior. I hope you make more beautiful projects like this. Thanks for sharing! :)

    James Green @ Ohio Exteriors

    1. Thanks! It took me a couple of hours to do, but only because of the learning curve. Once I got the process down, it went much faster. Thanks for stopping by!


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