Frost Your Own Glass!
I’ve always wanted French Doors, with a single, frosted-glass light. Technically, these are called “single light French Doors”. I love the large pane of glass. It lets light in, and making things seem more open, more inviting.
So, now that I am in heavy project-mode, I wanted to switch out my hollow core doors to the French ones I have coveted for years. But I got total sticker shock, when I went to shop for them. The frosted ones (or sandblasted, as they are sometimes called), were all special order, and cost $450 each. Minimum. Seriously! I quickly fell out of love with them.
Clear glass ones, I could find for less than $125 each, so I just needed to accomplish a frosted look myself. There are two main products designed accomplish this, and I found they varied pretty dramatically in effectiveness. First, I tried the frosted glass spray that comes in an aerosol-type spray paint can.
Disaster. I don’t recommend it. It fills your home with fumes, and looks patchy at best. I am sure this type of application is fine for small projects – just don’t try it with French Doors, floor-to-ceiling windows, etc.
Next I brought in the big guns … I called my dad. Francisco (Frank to most) Rios, is quite possibly one of the craftiest people on the planet, and perfect to help me apply a frosted window film. And frosted window film was my last hope, after the spray mess. Luckily, a giant sheet (4 feet X 6.5 feet) of privacy film costs less than $20 – a huge bargain, if it worked.
We poured ourselves over the directions, and even tried to watch a tutorial video on the company’s site, which unfortunately was down. www.gilafilms.com
And the final product was really amazing, virtually indistinguishable from a $400 + frosted glass door. check it out!
Ta Dah! My Frosted Doors
If you decide to do this at home, here is the step-by-step, along with some tips I learned the hard way, so you don’t have to.
You will definitely need a helper for this project, so invite, plead, bribe, or coerce as necessary.
You will also need:
– The special liquid stuff for applying the film, should be available in the same display
– A really sharp exact-o or utility knife
– Coffee filters
– Clear tape
Read the directions thoroughly, as they are informative, and make complete sense. But here are some tips that the packaging may not tell you.
– Don’t install these until your home is dust free. I tried to do it when there was still a little too much drywall dust in the air. Not recommended.
– Take the roll out of the box, and spread it out on a virtually dust free surface. Generally, up on something is better than on the floor, to minimize the dust factor.
We worked on the floor… Not recommended
– Clean the glass super-well with window cleaner, and then rub with alcohol.
– Make sure you scratch off stuck-on paint, glue, price-tag gunk, etc. A razor blade rubbed across the glass at an angle should do the trick.
– Use coffee filters, which are virtually lint-free, to rub the glass surface completely clean. These work tons better than paper towels, and even newspaper
– Always keep both the film and the glass wet with the special liquid stuff. Problems arise when one side gets dry – bubbles, upturned corners, and worse.
– Keep the film off the floor, or it will attract dust like an angry magnet.
Happy Frosting! I’d love to hear how it goes!