Weekend Warrior: DIY Frosted Glass Windows for More Privacy This Fall

Large windows are great for letting natural light into a home, while also making a space appear bigger. But they can present a dilemma when it comes to maintaining a level of privacy. Those who want as much natural light as possible but still have all the privacy they need may consider frosting their windows. There are multiple ways to frost glass windows, all of which can be done in the course of a weekend. Choose one of the following methods that is most relevant to your space:

Frosting with Static Cling Film

To get started, measure the glass surface to be frosted. Be sure to wash your hands using soap and water to avoid transferring dirt or oil to the cling film. Roll out the cling film with the backing faced upwards on a clean surface. Outline the desired shape/size on the backing and cut it out with scissors or a utility knife. Spray the window surface with a water/dish detergent mixture to ensure it is completely clean. To install – peel the backing from the cling film and position on the glass. Use your hands to push out air bubbles, starting in the center of the window and working out the edges. Spray the front of the cling film with the soapy water and use a plastic card to press out any small bubbles. (Wetting the surface with soapy water and peeling it off can easily remove the film. Return to the original backing paper and store for later re-use, if desired.)

Frosting Windows with Acrylic GlazeStained Glass Window

Buy a clear/un-tinted acrylic glaze. Use a foam brush to outline the window plane with a coat of glaze. Try to keep the lines straight as this glaze shows brush strokes when it dries. Allow the coat to dry before applying a second coat – and your frosted glass windows are done! To remove the glaze, use a wet sponge and old credit card or plastic squeegee to scrape it off.

Frosting with Spray Paint

There is a special type of spray paint that allows you to frost glass. Clean the glass thoroughly and tape off the window or doorframe. Apply a thin coat of the spray paint and let it dry. Continue to apply additional coats until you are satisfied with the opacity. To remove this finish, simply use a glass scraper and water/soap mixture to remove stubborn paint.

Frosting by Etching

This method requires more equipment than the previous options. You will need to rent/borrow/buy a sandblaster. Protect the work area with a heavy canvas drop cloth, wear eye protection, work gloves, and a face mask. First, remove the window glass from the frame, wash it, and allow it to dry properly. Place the window glass in the center of the drop cloth and follow the manufacturer’s directions to etch the entire surface of the glass. Clean the window glass of excess grit, and replace the glass in the window frame.

*Note: Etching cream is not recommended for large surface areas because of its potentially toxic fumes. This method is permanent and cannot be undone.