Who’s at the door?

privacy-film, window-film, how-to-install-a-privacy film, privacy-window-film

Our front door is what the builder calls a prairie door. In layman words the top half of the door is a huge piece of arched glass. The result: anyone can peep into our house any time and anyone riding past at night gets a free viewing of the inside. Sorry don’t have any ‘Before’ pictures but imagine what it would be like without that film!  During the construction we tried in vain to convince the builder into changing the glass. What next? A neighbor replaced his with a custom made stained glass that cost around $700. Hmm…we didn’t want to fork out so much on a door, so what do we do?

I had painted a faux stained glass on a window in our townhome  using a  paint kit from Michaels. We wanted to try something different this time around. May be we could use decorative window films like these from Home Depot?

window film, privacy window film

We ended up choosing the last one, the Light Effects 24 in. x 36 in. Etched Lace Window Film . It cost around $27.98 at that time (now it is $21.98).

The film was really easy to use, didn’t need any adhesive just water. The actual installation was fast, would be a lot easier if you have help with holding the other end of the film while you stick one end. You just spray some water with a spray bottle to the sticky side of the film and stick it in place. Using an old credit card  smooth out all the air bubbles gently.

Just be extra careful when cutting the template. I was in a rush to finish the project so did a sloppy job of tracing the curve exactly. Thanks to my impatience, there is a tiny sliver on the top right side and on the left side of the bottom half. Luckily no one stands long enough at the door to notice it. The film gave us some much needed privacy while letting in all the afternoon sun.

A view from the outside at night.

window-film-tutorial, privacy-window-film

And now from the inside.

how to install a decorative window film, privacy window film

For the last year and a half it has been holding up well on our west facing door.

Total project cost: $27.98
Peace of mind that no one is staring into our house: Priceless

 Have any of you guys had to deal with such an issue? How did you solve it?


  1. says

    I like the door, it has come out beautifully. We in our house built a solid wooden door, a reproduction of an old antique castle door in Spain from a book. It really looks very good. You can have a look at it in few of my blogs which I had written on various topics regarding our house, or go to the flickr on the side bar and take a look.
    I do love glass doors very much especially if it is a Stained glass door.
    You are really talented and got the thing done very economically, which also has come out really good.

    • whatsurhomestory says

      Thanks so much Rama. Loved the door, really unique. You have got a great garden; all the terracotta, the horse especially and the tropical plants (that is what I miss the most out here). The sepia shot reminds me of some old movies. Noticed a few beams on the ceiling. Bamboo? Are those built into the ceiling or nailed in later on? The house really has a Spanish vibe. The only things missing are a name board saying “Casa…..” and fuchsia bougainvillaeas. :)

      • Rama Ananth says

        Oh, you didn’t notice the beautiful terracotta board with the name of the house in it, “Buena vista”, meaning beautiful view, and the typical Bell which is must in all Spanish houses. Those are bamboo rafters fixed on the ceilings, they have been painted dark green to go with the general theme of the house.
        It is good to hear you liked our house. It is almost 11 years old

  2. Preetha says

    Vidya, the Etched Lace (I remember seeing the above designs as well) is exactly the one I chose to get from Home Depot, for our French Door, for privacy, but wasn’t sure if one can see through from outside(which we didn’t want), so put curtains instead. Tell me if it is see through, if it’s not, I’ll return the curtains & put these instead :)

    • whatsurhomestory says

      Preetha, I think you cannot see anything from the outside. See the fourth pic? That is how it looks at night with all the lights on. In the day time too can’t see anything unless you are trying hard to look through the lines. Is the French door in the back to the deck? If so I would go for the film. We have been thinking of doing the same thing to our door that goes out to the deck.

  3. Preetha says

    Ofcourse, it’s not going to be easy to cut the 30 rectangles which comprise the french door, which was also one of the reason that we hurried & got the curtains(as there was no privacy). It gets especially scary when it’s dark, when you realize that you can’t see the intruder :) in the dark, but he can see inside the house :)
    Added this just for a little drama…hehe..

    • whatsurhomestory says

      :) Can you send a pic of the french door? Our back door too has those rectangles on one side. Other side it is all one sheet of glass. If you are adventurous you could etch the glass. Not too much work. You get etching medium and all at Michaels.

  4. Preetha says

    That’s a relief..so film it is :)..& yes, it is the door to the backyard..I have to get Sunil to read this segment, so that I can convince him that we’ll be good with the film..(I hate the curtains, it takes away the beauty of the french doors)

  5. Preetha says

    Oh yeah, I’ve seen it, it’s some kind of a cream or powder right? but, have to stencil on some designs too, for that..Defenitely a good idea, but for now, keeping in mind I have tons of stuff to do, I’ll stick with the film :) I’ll send you the picture of our french door..Our’s has rectangles on both sides..