This is how we created a beautiful privacy window using adhesive frosted contact paper!
Step 1: Getting Started!
We used adhesive frosted contact paper for this project. It comes in a big roll and you can buy it at your local home center.
Adhesive vs Self-Adhesive/Non-Adhesive (cling film)
This is very important! One is a sticker and one clings with static. We tested both on a small window for about a year first and our experience is:
Adhesive contact paper: extremely difficult to get off of a window. It feels almost impossible! I wouldn't do this to a window still under warranty either. The stickers might void that warranty. The window cleans the same too. Just spray and wipe.
Self-adhesive (cling film): pulls off effortlessly and is reusable. Doesn't clean so easily. Some of the small cutouts move or fall off.
Both look great and don't reduce any light coming in. We went with the adhesive contact paper, because it felt more durable and permanent.
We did this to our window, because we live at the top of a busy neighborhood and these windows offer a front row seat to everything going on inside the house. We have beautiful curtains, but they make the room feel claustrophobic when they're shut. This contact paper solved the problem! No more eye contact with the joggers, dog walkers and school kids.
Step 2: What You'll Need!
First decide on a pattern. I made this pattern in Photoshop and created my stencil on cardboard. The worst part of this job is tracing and cutting. Figure out how many stickers you'll need and get them all cutout before you start. It'll make this job easier. You can also use a cutting machine, If you're lucky enough to have one.
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
-A spray bottle full of water and one drop of dish soap
-A small squeegee
-Paper towels. (I used newspaper as paper towels. It's actually common here in Japan on windows. No, the ink doesn't come off :)
-Boxcutter or exacto knife
Step 3: Putting Up the Stickers!
These go on the INSIDE of your house! Please don't put them on the outside of your window.
It's easier if you stretch this project out as long as you can. It'll feel less tedious! Try only putting up a few stickers a day. You can pay better attention to getting out air bubbles and there is less of a mess to clean up.
Spray the window well with the spray bottle and then put up your sticker. They're easy to move around on top of the water and dish soap solution. Adjust them into position and then squeegee out the water and bubbles. The stickers might still move a little, but will adhere stronger after a couple minutes. Keep wiping the window down and keep extra towels on hand for the mess. It's easier to see air bubbles when it's dark outside too. Don't pick at the stickers to test the adhesive strength. The longer they're up, the stronger they'll bond.
Some of the stickers you'll need to cut again to fit. Use a good ruler and boxcutter for this.
Be careful not to scratch the window or window seal/caulking.
If you get a stubborn air bubble that you can't get out, make a little cut on it. This should work and be unnoticeable most of the time.
*Again in my experience, contact paper is extremely difficult to get off of windows when it's dry. If you have a sticker you want to get off, don't use a heat gun, because it might crack the glass. Hair dryers work well though. You can also use sticker remover spray for the stubborn sticker residue.
Step 4: The Air Bubbles!
This is a great picture of what you'll be dealing with. You can see the air bubbles better when it's dark outside. This is the best reason for only putting up a couple stickers a day. Sometimes the air bubbles might feel overwhelming.
Step 5: Progress!
Step 6: From the Outside!
Step 7: The Sunshine!
The sun shining through fills the room with these awesome patterns too!
Runner Up in the
Stick It! Contest