Frosting & Tinting Windows

Archived Q&A and Reviews

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Privacy film installation for windows?

July 2014

I have an older home in Berkeley that is so close to the adjacent house that the neighbors and I can easily see right into each others' houses. This doesn't really bother me -- we have worked out an unspoken code of never acknowledging each others' presence while indoors, and I actually feel a little safer knowing that they know I'm home and vice versa. It's not a problem for when I'm in the living room or the kitchen, but unfortunately for everyone, they can see right into my bedroom from their kitchen window. (I know just how well they can see because I've tested it myself when I've been over to their house!). I draw my blinds, of course, but this makes the bedroom into a cave and I would really like more light. If I were smarter, when I had new windows put in a few years ago I would have chosen privacy glass for the bedroom as well as the bathroom, but I'm not that smart and now I have to live with my lack of foresight. So now I'm wondering: are there companies that install privacy window film on existing windows? I've looked at the self-install films and have come to the conclusion that while it's doable, getting all the little bubbles out would make me bonkers. Any advice how to get both privacy and light would be very welcome! light-loving non-exhibitionist

I had a similar problem in my home (rented). I have installed some translucent Contact Paper (clear but with tiny textured triangles that admits light but blurs shapes). Found it at Home Depot or OSH for about $8 for a large roll. It's a cheaper faster solution and works just great for me. --Have My Privacy Back

Experience installing UV window film?

June 2010

I have a south facing 1920s home that gets so much sunlight our hardwood floors and furniture has began to fade considerably. We bought the house because we *loved* the light, but its killing our furnishings. We have wonderful shades we can pull down to block the sun, but then we feel like we live in a cave.

Has anyone had any experience installing UV window film (residential version - not the scary stuff in office buildings)? The samples we saw actually look pretty good. We are thinking of doing it with Window Innovations out of Brentwood. Has anyone done this? Would you do it again? Anything to consider? I realize that it will not completely mitigate the fading issue, but should hopefully improve it. I wonder about how long it will last. Any advice appreciated! Love The Sun But My Furniture Does Not

We lived in Hiller Highlands 15 years ago and had a ton of sun exposure with gorgeous views. Didn't want a heavy window treatment to get in the way. We contacted Solar Chek--they came out & measured & applied the film to the windows & it was great. It does ''shade'' your glass somewhat but it wasn't reflective from the outside & it allowed us to keep our blinds open most of the time. And it stopped our sofas from fading so dang much. I remember the guy's name because it was so ''Elvis'' -- it was Cash Cashner. I looked them up & found this: but there aren't any names so I'm not 100% it's the same company, but I do remember they were in CoCo County. Christina
I had the same problem and solved it by having UV film installed on my south- and west-facing windows. It definitely cuts the light, which I notice most during the winter, but this keeps it cooler during hot days as well as protecting my upholstery, hardwood floors, Oriental rug, and wool carpet. Be mindful that the darker the film, the greater the UV protection; buying a really light film may not offer you the protection you want/need. I had a chance to replace my first installation after a remodel in which the originals were scratched and got a much more effective product (the technology has improved). I so enjoy having UV protection as well as daytime privacy and views without window coverings. Good luck! Terry

UV protective film for sunny windows?

March 2006

The front of our house faces west and has lots of windows, so in the summer, the front rooms get unbelievably hot. We are considering getting a UV-protective film put on them. Does anyone know of a company that does this? If so, how much does it cost, and were you happy with the results? Thanks! Meryl

Glass Scratch Removers is great for window tinting. they can take scratches out of glass and put protective film over it. they'll even come an give you free estimate. There phone number is 510-885-0400. Yolanda

UV protective film for sunny windows?

Oct 2004

I have french doors that have window panels and would like to add some privacy to the room by achieving a 'frosted' look. Not in the literal sense of how frost accumulates on windows but something that would add some privacy yet allow natural light to shine through. Has anyone ever tried to use frosted glass paint at home and what was your experience? I would prefer to use this less costly method rather than buy new doors! Thanks! eileen

I had this same issue with window panes that offered no privacy. I purchased a roll of window adhesive (tho' it wasn't sticky) and applied it to the window. It went on with water and a squeege and has been there for several years. It hasn't budged, I've done nothing to it, and it was pretty inexpensive. I bought a roll of the stuff from Home Depot. It came in a rather long box and took minutes to adhere. A great product. Andrea
Have you considered using decorative gauzy paper (available at art and stationery stores everywhere, it seems!), cut to the size of the window panels (the technical term is ''lites'') and glued on with a very thin strip of Elmer's along the perimeter? It works; it can be very attractive; and it's super inexpensive! Good luck.
I don't have experience with frosting paint, but I just put up some frosted privacy film. It's not very expensive, though a bit time consuming to apply. It's from Gila and you can get it at OSH and probably the Depot. THe directions seem complicated, but are actually really well written. Buy a small squeegee and ignore the bit about leaving an 1/8th inch. I just did it to three windows and am really pleased. Stephanie
One way you can approximate this , and it's easily removed if it turns out you don't like it, is to use very thin Japanese paper -- Miki's Paper on 4th Street in Berkeley has beautiful expensive ones but the Art Store has some cheaper ones that would work equally well. You whip up an eggwhite -- I know it sounds goofy, but it works -- until it's a really stiff froth, and then rub it all over the window, put up the paper (cut it to size before you start in with the egg) and rub more eggwhite over the paper. Get it saturated evenly; you'll know if you've missed any spots because they'll appear more opaque. When it dries, it'll be well stuck and even, and you can remove it any time you like with hot water and some scrubbing. I've done it in several apartments I've lived in. You can use really thin paper, or some of that kind that looks like lace: whatever suits your fancy. Cory
It comes in a spray can. You'll have to mask around the windows to protect what you don't want sprayed. It may be difficult to get it as even as something that is really frosted by sandblasting, so keep the can as far from the glass as you can and still get results, at least 6''. Good luck! Stephani