By Gene and Katie Hamilton
The windows in a house provide fresh air, ventilation and let the sunshine in, but sometimes a window can be located where the view is less than perfect. Bathroom windows, for example, are often too close to a neighboring house or at a front door with sidelight windows, both locations where privacy is wanted. Replacing the existing windowpane with stained glass is one answer, but it's expensive. A window film is less permanent and an almost instant solution that any homeowner can install.
A window film is a micro-thin layer of polyester or vinyl applied to glass that adds a decorative pattern and complements the décor. You'll find these glass-surface coverings sold online and at home and decorating centers in a variety of designs and patterns and sizes. Some are sized 12 inches wide by 6 1/2 feet high to fit the sidelight panels of an entry door. Others are wider so they can be cut to custom fit a variety of glass and window surfaces.
To install, thoroughly clean the glass surface. Measure the window and cut the film slightly oversize. Then apply the film to the glass with a wetting solution and use a squeegee to smooth the film in place. Trim away the excess. A paperhanger will charge $145 to install an etched design vinyl film in an average size window. You can do it yourself for $72, the cost of the film, application solution and tools, and save 50 percent.
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Another good use for decorative window film is to dress up the glass in a curio or kitchen cabinets.
Gila Window Film has a series of how-to videos to watch Window Film How-to Videos.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to apply a decorative film you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2020