Curtains or Etching for Front Door? Something for privacy!?!

Sarah BrennanJuly 9, 2012

Does anyone have any suggestions for window treatments for our front door? We had wanted a frosted glass - something for privacy - but after an unfortunate series of events we are stuck with the clear glass, unless we order a new door. Has anyone used the etching you can buy at Home Depot on a large scale application? Or curtain panels on the front door maybe? I DON'T want the ones I usually see - the ones that lay just over the glass and pinch in the middle. If it matters, we won't be using this door regularly. Thanks!

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You could just order new glass or perhaps have someone who could do the etching in place. Someone here talked about panels you can buy that stick to the window and make it look as if it is etched. If I remember correctly, it was a nice alternative.

It is a lovely door, btw.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:21AM
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I have double front doors that are about 3/4 leaded glass. I bought Levelor bamboo roman shade type blinds in a color that matches the interior finish of the doors (dark wood). When pulled up, they are barely noticeable. When lowered, they filter the light.

The backside of the blinds are just a matte finish dark color. From the exterior of the house, they are totally unnoticable.

If you want total privacy, you can order the shade with a lining. I did not add the solid lining. No one can see in who is just passing by.

My neighbor, who has similar doors, opted for something that appears to be Hunter Douglas Duette in a light gray. It looks good too and works with her more contemporary vibe.

Here is a link that might be useful: Levelor bamboo roman shade

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:35AM
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I used the stick on frosted treatment on a 15 ft expanse of glass in my bath remodel for about a year until I decided on window treatments. It worked great and was very easy to install. I'd use it on your entry door with no hesitation.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:45AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I agree that window film can be used and there's lots to choose from and easy to use. Plus a lot less expensive than fancy glass.

Here is a link that might be useful: Decorative film

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:48AM
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Go look at Home Depot, they have awesome new items including Mylar, sticks to glass, and looks just like like beautiful stained glass, amazing!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Sarah Brennan

Thank you all so much for your input!

AnnieDeighnaugh and Olychick - did you find the film bubbled at all after a while? The door faces the hot sun and I'm nervous it might warp the film.

Bbstx - LOVE the idea of roman shades!!! Just not sure they would work with the sidelights.

Have you tried the spray on etching? Rustoleum has one -

Err - if only the correct door had been ordered. (It was supposed to have come stained too, but that didn't happen either!) Live and learn I guess. :)

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:05AM
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I would order a new, etched glass insert for your front door. It would still let some light in but give you privacy.
Agree about the curtains, they are very old fashioned looking.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Sarah Brennan

Holy cow! AnnieDeighnaugh - that window cling website has some great designs! I just ordered some samples. If they look good we're going to go that route! Less expensive than the new glass (that I hate to swap on a brand new door).


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:29AM
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I ordered from Wallpaper for Windows for our front door. The film applied with water and looks great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Wallpaper for WIndows

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:50AM
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Sarah, I confess that I didn't try for perfection in my install. I knew it was temporary and it was in my master bath where I am the only person to see it, so didn't worry too much. It didn't seem to change much in the year it was up, but it faced east in the PNW, so not a lot of intense sun/heat.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 11:54AM
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I have had this for about a year. We are in the South, and it has been 100 degrees.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 12:21PM
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I used the company Annie recommended a few years ago for my front door and I love the effect. I put a french door on my master bath and used the remaining cover there. Looks really good.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:18PM
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We used a window film on our front door and it works great. My door faces south in Texas but its mostly shaded in the summer. The film goes on the inside, no problems at all.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 1:33PM
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For those of you that used the film, can you see who is at the door? My house seems like grand central station of late, and we took the pinched old fashioned curtains off about a year ago. I have actual curtain panels there now that we close up at night and open during the day. That way we have the privacy at night and during the day we can see who is at the door from the family room without going to the door (which is kind of a pain with child gates). If it is just the mailman, UPS., Fed Ex, etc. then we don't get the door.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 3:51PM
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No, we cannot see who is at the door. DH is not too thrilled with this. However, we have window blinds very close to the front door.

With the window films, there are often varying degrees of opaqueness.

We have also considered installing a peephole.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 4:13PM
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I haven't read all the responses, so maybe someone has already mentioned this, but you can have frosted window film installed (just like window tint) that will give you a frosted look without permanently changing the glass.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 5:28PM
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Found pics. at home depots website of a few of their film for on glass, they have other the crackled glass look etc. but saw one on display really looks like stained glass, like the tiffany lights.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Don't they also make a dark film (like the ones used on souped up cars). I think you can see out of it but they can't see in. SInce your door is pretty, I'd probably look at the dark film rather than the light ones. I have the film on a couple of windows and I guess its the one that I picked, but I think it serves it's purpose, but I don't think it's attractive.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 6:22PM
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I've used the self-etching acid from Home Depot on some door sidelights. It worked just okay. I wouldn't use it for a large window like yours. It was a bit uneven which was fine for my small window area but I don't think you'd be happy with the application in your door.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2012 at 8:26PM
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