Decorative Window Film: The Basics

by Jon Nunan

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Decorative window film is a very thin sheet of vinyl that will transform just about any plain old window into something worth a second glance. It is an affordable way to brighten up a room while simultaneously creating a diffuse, ambient light. Decorative window film is available in many different styles and colors; it is perfect for those looking for an inexpensive and attractive accent that is sure to be noticed.

Styles of Decorative Window Film
Though you're sure to find a wide variety of designs, window film that mimics actual decorative glass is the most prominent. Film that has the appearance of stained glass or etched glass is very popular because of its traditional and classic aesthetic. Having a stained glass or etched glass windowpane installed could add up to big bucks and, unless you're happy to throw that money away, the results are permanent. With decorative window film, if you don't like what you see after a year or two, it is easily removed (plus, you didn't spend an arm and a leg putting it there in the first place).

Etched and stained glass are not the only options available, however. People with a taste for flare might consider window film that looks like a mural or painting. There are even textured films that are designed to have the look and feel of block glass (another pretty penny if you wanted to have it installed).

Window Film for Privacy
One of the most attractive reasons to install decorative window film actually has very little to do with decoration. In spaces where you don't want the outside looking in, many window films are designed to not only look good, but to provide privacy as well.

One place where the need for privacy truly comes into play is the bathroom. For a fraction of the price of installing frosted glass, you can frost your own bathroom windows. Since window film is made for moisture resistance, you're sure to have the privacy you need for as long as you want.

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Installing Decorative Window Film
In most cases, installing window film is a snap. Most are manufactured to stick to glass without the use of an adhesive. First, you wash the surface of the window with soapy water. Next, you wash your hands (the natural oils on your hands can leave an imprint on the film). Peel the window film from its backing and apply it to the still moist glass. It will be easiest to position the film if the glass is wet, so you might want to keep a spray bottle full of water and a drop or two of soap around during installation. Lastly, smooth out the film with a squeegee (often included with the film) to get rid of any excess air or water. That's it; you're done!

Window film can easily be cut with a utility knife or a pair of scissors to fit any size glass. When dealing with a large sheet of film, the installation process tends to be much easier with two people. Once you're through, you can clean the film with soapy water or your normal window cleaner. If you wish to remove it, just peel it off and place it on the backing it came with. This way, you'll be able to store it and use it again whenever you like!

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.
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