Paint Yourself Some Privacy With Frosted Glass Spray Paint

There have been some interesting developments going on in our neck of the quasi-gentrified neighborhood. Over the last couple of months, our elderly neighbor on one side has had several various family members stay for extended periods with him as he struggles with his health and on the other side, someone finally bought the long-vacant house and is fixing it up … to rent. Both of these situations gave us pause and made us reconsider the levels of privacy we’ve taken for granted despite urban dwelling.
However, instead of just throwing up blackout blinds on all our windows and depriving ourselves of the glorious natural sunlight that helped us fall for this house in the first place, we’re trying to come up with area-specific solutions. And for our foyer window (through which our elderly neighbor informed us he can see from his upstairs window all the way into our living room), we decided to try spray paint for frosting glass.

We went this route for two main reasons. First, the window actually does let in a lot of light in combination with our front door, which has a large pane of glass in it. We didn’t want to block off the window with specially sized blinds or curtains and therefore conceal the natural light when you first walk in the door.
Second, it’s an old leaded-glass single pane decorative window original to our home’s 1898 birthday that perhaps has seen some better days. We wanted to maintain the window’s character as much as possible, but are also aware that the whole thing will need to be replaced in a few years. That way, we could experiment on a small surface with the spray paint and if we didn’t like it, we weren’t really ruining anything.
We picked up a can of Rustoleum Frosted Glass spray paint at Home Depot and prep was a breeze. We simply removed the coats off of our hooks and cleaned the glass with a microfiber cloth and window cleaner. Next, we took a utility knife to scrape away old paint and caulk that was peeling along the edges of the panes, and again wiped the windows with cleaner and the microfiber cloth.
Then, using short, overlapping swipes of spray, we went over the panes once and waited the 20 minute drying time to see the results. The paint goes on nearly clear, so it can be hard to tell what all you’ve covered. But as it dries the paint clouds up, creating a very smooth, subtle frosted effect. We decided one coat didn’t quite give us the level of transparency we were hoping for, so we went a second round all over, then a third to touch up some spots.
And there you have it — some privacy for an odd window that cost us under $5 and an hour’s time without blocking any natural light from entering our home. It’s been a couple of months since we completed this quick and easy project, and we’re still loving the results.
Have you ever used paint for privacy purposes? Let us know your tips and ideas in the comments below!

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  • Reply
    June 19, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Its a great idea! Half cut wine barrels are $30-$40 here in SoCal. My work has tons of wooden pallets sitting around. I can build up a few of these in an afternoon for FREE. Would be excellent for growing potatoes if built deep enough. With the right sizes I might even build one big enough to handle a dwarf apple tree. Lots to think about. I have not had the time to come up with ideas like this that save money. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Charles & Hudson
      June 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm

      Great idea regarding the wine barrels. I’ve also had luck finding pallets for free via Craigslist but if you’ve gottem at work then you should be set. I imagine you can get even more imaginative with these than Danny’s plans suggest. Adding a little paint would also do wonders. Send us some pics if you do end up building some.

      • Reply
        June 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm

        I will send in some pics when finished. I just took down my old wash house recently and have a big stack of junk wood now I was going to slowly start throwing out. Now I can reuse all that wood to make these wood planters, plus they will look and remind me of our old wash house!

  • Reply
    patio furniture toronto
    February 4, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Good job
    Thank for information, I’m looking for it

  • Reply
    Large Plant Pots
    June 8, 2011 at 6:10 am

    I have not much time, but I’ve got many useful things
    here, love it!

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