DIY Frosted Glass Privacy Window

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.

This is a very 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:

Pretty simple!

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…)

Soapy Water

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!) DIY Frosted Glass Privacy Window

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: DIY Frosted Glass Privacy Window


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. DIY Frosted Glass Privacy Window

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! DIY Frosted Glass Privacy Window

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. There are a ton of different pattern options besides just this simple frosted glass one.

This frosted glass style sure looks good! Very believable frosted glass… and if for whatever reason if it needs to be removed it can be without any sticky residue left behind. (good for renters that want something different but need to remove it when moving out!)

Shopping Links for your own privacy glass window:

Did you know I now offer e-decorating? I can help you with your decorating needs via email, without having to step foot in your home. If you’re interested in more information, visit my e-decorating site: Frame and Frills. I’d love to help you with your project!

Here are more carpentry tips and ideas:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Please feel free to follow and share this blog with your friends, as well as on Facebook, Pinterest, Flipboard, Bloglovin, YouTube and now Instagram!  I appreciate you reading along.

This post is linked up at these other following sites: HometalkMy Thrift Store Addiction, A Delightsome Life, Olives & Okra, French Country Cottage, Chic on a Shoestring, Simply Sweet Home, The Charm of Home

Reader Interactions


  1. K.Rupp says

    I have used film before on windows and YES it is fantastic! I love the frosted glass film that you have! Love your website….just discovered it! Saw your post at the vintage charm party:)

    • Liz says

      Thanks so much K! So glad you came to visit. 🙂 The glass film is surprisingly realistic, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by.

  2. sandi magle says

    This was a great tutorial, full of practical this is what I did right and wrong. Glad to know there is something out there that is easy to do—that will stay!

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