Privacy monitor hacked from an old LCD Monitor

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Picture of Privacy monitor hacked from an old LCD Monitor
Finally you can do something with that old LCD monitor you have in the garage.
You can turn it into a privacy monitor! It looks all white to everybody except you, because you are wearing "magic" glasses!
All you really have to have is a pair of old glasses, x-acto knife or a box cutter and some solvent (paint thinner)

Here is what I used:
an LCD monitor of course
single use 3D glasses from the movie theater (old sunglasses are just fine)
paint thinner (or some other solvent such as toluene, turpentine, acetone, methyl acetate, ethyl acetate etc)
box cutter (and CNC laser cutter :) but that you don't really need, I'm sure x-acto knife and a steady hand would do just fine)
screwdriver or a drill
paper towels
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Step 1: Take the monitor apart

Picture of Take the monitor apart
Find an old monitor that you are willing to sacrifice.
Take off the plastic frame by unscrewing all screws from the back.

Step 2: Cut the polarized film

Picture of Cut the polarized film
Most LCD monitors have two films on the glass - a polarized one to filter out the light you are not supposed to see, and a frosted anti-glare film. The anti-glare film we don't need, the polarized one we do - it is used for the glasses. 

So, grab you cutting tool and cut the films along the edge. Don't be afraid to press, metal wont scratch the glass, unless there is sand or other abrasives on it.

Then, start peeling. Make sure to save the polarized film, also remember the orientation.

Step 3: Clean the film adhesive

Picture of Clean the film adhesive
After you remove the film, the glue will likely remain stuck to the glass, so here comes the messy part.
With some solvent, soften the glue and wipe it off with paper towels.
I started with OOPS, but that was not fast enough so I got some paint thinner.
I found out that if you cover the screen with paper towels and then soak them in paint thinner you can let it sit longer and dissolve the adhesive without running and evaporating.
Scrape off the soft glue with a piece of plastic or wood.
Be careful not to get paint thinner on the plastic frame, because it will dissolve it.

Step 4: Monitor - done

Picture of Monitor - done
After cleaning the adhesive, assemble everything back the way it was. Before even making the glasses, you can test the monitor with the polarized film!
Notice how the upper left corner looks clear, because it has the anti-glare film removed. That is the part we are going to use to make the glasses.

Step 5: Pop the lenses out

Picture of Pop the lenses out
For the glasses, I used single use 3D glasses from the movie theater, but you can use whatever you want.
Pop out the lenses or take the glasses apart if you can.

Step 6: Scan, Trace, Cut

Picture of Scan, Trace, Cut
If you are going to use a cnc blade or laser cutter, scan and trace the parts.
You can find a local vinyl or laser cutting service, or you could send them to an online service like Outfab.com
I scanned the frames so I can use them as a reference for the lens orientation.
Remember, this is a polarized film so the angle is critical. Back and front also matters.
If you don't have access to a cnc cutter or you don't want to wait for an online service, you can probably tape the old lenses on the film and then cut them out with an x-acto knife.

Step 7: Reassemble glasses and enjoy!

Picture of Reassemble glasses and enjoy!
Finally assemble the glasses and you are ready for some fun!
People might think you are crazy, staring at a blank white screen wearing sunglasses!
But I guess that makes it even more fun!
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i made it but after remove the polarized sheet LCD view is like nagitive on three sides how to hide this

clickyummy1 year ago


bearblue1 year ago


bearblue1 year ago


This looks amazing but might be a bit above my DIY level. Has anyone tried this with other people round? What are people's reactions to the white screen and you looking with sunglasses :)

MrOrsh1 year ago

I am in the middle of trying this at the moment and I have gotten as far as getting the polarized film that is attached to the anti-glare-filter off the screen. I am doing the "put in hot water"-trick to separate the two films and it works great. However getting them separate does nothing for the blurryness! Even with the completely transparent film removed and only the shadowy-one left if I move an inch away from the screen everything goes blurry.

Could it maybe be three filters joined togehter? I have tried peeling on the darker film to see if something else comes off but there seem to be no more to peel off :-/

What can be wrong?

account3r2 made it!1 year ago

Here's my result... turned out pretty well. I bought film online and the pieces I bought were just slightly smaller than my glasses frame...

chimplost1 year ago

what kind of film is in the lenses? i want to just buy a new sheet of it.

Linear polarization film. It's somewhat expensive, and can be bought online.

account3r21 year ago

My dad got the whole film off in one piece except for a little corner piece by using a credit card and dipping it in alcohol to carefully peel off the film :) Also, this glue is VERY stubborn. I let the film soak in acetone for 15 minutes and the glare filter dissolved completely but most of the polarization filter was left, but nothing happened to the glue. It barely even softened.

Oh, and I can still kinda see stuff on the monitor while looking directly at it, and I can see everything if I look at it from an angle

As in, the image rendered on the screen.

I have found that the this method will work with just about any form of LCD screen. I purchased a $15 phone and removed the polarized screen. I rigged a pair of non-obtrusive reading glasses with a polarized piece of film from a monitor. Now I am the only one who can see my screen.

grp8881 year ago


kballdy1 year ago

what kind of film is in the lenses? i want to just buy a new sheet of it.

TheKrister22 years ago
I was hoping anyone could tell me if this kind of screen would work with this:

BenQ GL2750

I am going to test this on my old screen (a 19" screen) to get it all in my system so I know what to do.
I have read the comments and the "creator" said that it would work on any lcd screen but I have also read in the comments that some lcd screens have their "film" like almost glued on or something.
So I hoped anyone could tell me this.

It'll work on any LCD, and both that I've done it on had the films glued together and to the screen.

Can you do that with a smartphone?
No, since a smart phone doesn't have enough filter material to make a proper set of glasses.

I know this is a year late but I felt I should point out that you can just buy polarization film online that would work just fine :)

why the hell would you want to?
Very cool project! I recently learned about polarizers in physics class so I asked the tech guys at my school if they had any old LCD monitors around. They handed me a beat up old laptop with no hard drive or battery, but a working screen. I cut around the edges but ended up chiseling off the film (didn't scratch surprisingly) because it was very brittle from aging. Don't worry about saving the film, you can buy polarizing plastic squares online.


Awesome! Great work repurposing/learning from/experimenting with old/obsolete electronics!

sadikerd1 year ago
i did this thing. But i have a problem. i you put polarized film further, the screen is getting cloudy. it means it is not clear. In your movie it is so clear. How can we fix this problem?
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.
pmudd1 year ago
Does this work on the dell inspiron mini 10 Nickelodeon edition.
marchlo pmudd1 year ago
that sounds like a very bad idea, do not take your net book apart.
Hey is the polarized film supposed to be SUPER hard to get off the screen? I've been trying for hours with no luck :/
Trading1 year ago
Good afternoon, you can fill with any type of lens?, Not to worry if I damage the polarized. Thank you.
I have read the comments and the "creator" said that it would work on any lcd screen but I have also read in the comments that some lcd screens have their "film" like almost glued on or something.
pmudd1 year ago
Cool that is a good idea
This is something that i should try at least once in my life!!
kwilliams382 years ago
Would this removal allow for UV to pass thru the screen? I am working towards a 3D printing process using DLP projectors. If I were to construct this and backlight it with uv lamps would I get passthru?
dimovi (author)  kwilliams382 years ago
I don't think so. I believe the glass blocks most UV light.
timothymh2 years ago
I've removed the film from the monitor (works great!), but the polarized film and anti-glare film are still stuck to each other. How did you separate them?
Chloe82 years ago
no more privacy screen protecter needed haha
Tastache2 years ago
This is something that i should try at least once in my life!!
Shateebough2 years ago
One million of different uses for this monitor, definitly i have to build one
kwinters22 years ago
destroyed my computer..... good thing i tried it on my OLD one first...
Stefniamoo2 years ago
Awesome. Im always looking for more better ways to look crazy :D
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