Decor,  DIY - Recipes, Crafts & More

Frosted Window Film – A $20 Kitchen Upgrade

We moved into our little 1920’s, one-bedroom apartment in Alameda in September of 2019, when we got married. As we settled in, we started growing a list of projects that we either, A) planned to put into action, or B) felt like our landlord should just gift us because of our innovative vision. Frosted glass windows on our china cabinets was one of them. We decided that there was a better chance of making option A happen, considering we weren’t going to pay for renovations to our rental, and we knew our landlord definitely wouldn’t do anything without a rent increase.

But then we suddenly ran into every renter’s paralyzation of, “but should we really spend money on improving an apartment that is ‘just a rental’?” And so, the list got shoved to the back of the drawer and Chris and I continued our nine to five grind, with barely any energy to cook dinner or work out when we got home. That daily grind came to a screeching halt for me in March. I got laid off from my event planning job at a high profile social club in San Francisco on the first day of the Bay Area Shelter in Palace order. So what now?

Well, for a couple of months I rotated between job searching, walking aimlessly around the apartment, and teaching myself to code (yes, really). Then I decided that I didn’t want to be doing any of those things, so I dug that project list out from the back of the drawer. It was becoming clear that this quarantine thing wasn’t going away any time soon, so it finally felt worth it to invest in some easy and inexpensive upgrades around the house.

First stop was the kitchen dinning area. While glass china cabinets are charming, it was not practical for us to use them decoratively since they are essentially our only kitchen cabinets. As a result, our eating area was busy and unenjoyable to be in. It just felt chaotic.

Messy glass china cabinets without window film

We talked about how much nicer it would be if the cabinets had frosted windows. Nice thought, of course, but we didn’t want to spend a ton of money. But you guys!… removable frosted glass window film is SO affordable online! We got two rolls of this window film for $20 and got to work. Well…to be fair, we got a different film that was not opaque enough and decided to ditch it and start over with something that was a better fit. (Projects often take a couple of tries). I don’t have a play by play for you since I wasn’t documenting for Where We Gather yet at this point, but can you even believe this difference!

China cabinets with removable frosted window film
Thanks to our management company for taking a week to “color match” that replacement tile.

You will need:

  • Frosted glass window film
  • Glass cleaner/paper towels
  • Utility knife
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Spray bottle of water
  • Credit card

It’s basically as easy as one, two three. Clean your glass surface. (You are applying this to the inside of the cabinet.) Measure and cut your film. Overhang is ok. Mist the glass surface with water. Peel off the back of the film and apply to the glass. If you mess up, no biggie! take if off and begin again. Smooth out the bubbles with the credit card. Use the knife to cut off the excess and then smooth out any remaining bubbles or excess water.

*TIP* – Use a hair dryer on your film before removing the back. This makes it more pliable.

I LOVE that this is entirely static and non-adhesive! No sticky, messy residue to deal with if the landlord wants it gone when you move out.

I revisited my window film project recently in our first home in Spring, Texas! Check out a few more before and after photos! Such a huge privacy difference and an all around elevated feel. This window film was from Lowes and was great quality!

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