Intro: Spray (or Roll) on Your Own Window / Door Glass Frosting
I bought 5 second-hand sliding doors (called Ranch Sliders in New Zealand) and wanted to turn them into Ikea-style frosted glass wardrobe sliding doors. I could have used the film, but it was going to cost more than the doors. I also could have used the spray but for some reason, we can only get the really small cans and they are expensive too.
So I thought, maybe I can mix something up?
Step 1: What to Use?
I thought about opaque things around the house and PVA glue came to mind. I watered some down and brushed it onto a piece of glass (pic 1) and although it made it whiteish, it didn't really obscure things in the background.
Next, I tried spraying some watered-down PVA glue. I used a High Volume Low Pressure (HLVP) sprayer (pic 2) to get a fine spray but you could probably get away with any type of sprayer. When it was wet, it looked like it was going to work, especially a heavy even coat. Unfortunately, when it dried, it was only a bit better (pic 3) than the brush-on PVA glass.
I figured out that the reason it wasn't obscuring is because the PVA dries glossy and not matte. I looked online and found that artists use something called Matte Medium (pic 4) to reduce the glossiness of paint, and after a trip to the art supply shop, I mixed up 1/3 MM to 2/3 water and sprayed glass number 3 (pic 5). This seemed to work perfectly so I mixed up more and started on the doors.
Step 2: Finished Door!
The door frames were originally brown (very 70s) so I had already sprayed the frames with matte black spraypaint. I found that any overspray of the Matte Medium was impossible to see on the matte black paint so I half-heartedly held up a piece of cardboard against the frame while spraying. If you have glossy frames you might have to be more vigilant.
I didn't try, but I'm sure you could roll on the matte medium. If you try this, you should make a thicker mix than the sprayer mix. Also, you could mask off any clear glass you wanted to leave as well.
When it is fully dry, you can wipe it down with a wet cloth but I doubt it would stand up to strong cleaners.
If you are doing it with a rented property, it easily comes off the windows with a stanley knife blade and peels off once it is started (similar to PVA).
Enjoy your frosting!