The Best Vinyl Stained Glass Window Film For Your Home

Vinyl stained glass window film is a smart and stylish alternative to more traditional window coverings such as curtains and blinds. If you want to add decorative films to your glass windows, but still let in natural light then you’ll love what this has to offer.

Image: Purlfrost 

It offers versatility to homes, and for heavy traffic households and those with pets, not having something dangling on the floor, like curtains for their discovery is a huge benefit. 

It also does mean that it doesn’t obscure or cover a window frame, so you can appreciate the full aesthetics of the space. 

And when you want to create the look of a stained glass window in your home interior, adhesive window film is a fantastic option.

Decorative films bring so many benefits to a home, so, if you’re looking for an alternative window covering in your home, we delve into the best vinyl stained glass window films, and how to ensure you select the perfect glass film for your decor scheme.

Purpose of Vinyl Stained Glass Window Film

Vinyl stained glass window film is a highly adaptable window covering that offers a whole host of benefits. However, the primary purpose of adhesive window films is that they offer privacy. 

Unlike curtains and blinds, privacy window films will continue to offer privacy, yet their see-through styles will continue to let light into the room. The same can’t be said for curtains and blinds that leave a room feeling exposed when you want to bring some light into the room. 

Whilst privacy is a huge driver for the installation of privacy window films, you can choose from a wide range of designs to suit your home decor scheme, and they’re a great choice for busy households, and those with pets. 

What To Look For

Image: Purlfrost

Before you start choosing the right decorative films for your windows or doors, it’s important to get straight on what you’re looking for. 

At this stage you should know what room, and windows or doors you are looking to fit with vinyl stained glass window film. 

You then need to start thinking about what styles, the different patterns, and colours you’re looking for, this may be influenced by your current home decor scheme, your taste and perhaps what you’ve been pinning on your Pinterest boards! 

It’s a good idea to have measurements of the windows at this stage as often privacy window films are sold in standard sizes, but not always. You probably won’t want to cover entire windows in this style, so pick and choose the areas you need to design, so you can choose the best window film for the area.

If you’re looking for an easy DIY job, opting for cut to size films may be a better option for you. This may narrow down your options slightly, so it’s worth knowing this before you choose your favourite window covering.

How to choose Vinyl Stained Glass Window Film

There are so many different types of vinyl stained glass window film from decorative films, and glass effect window film to translucent films which can make it difficult choosing the right one for your home, and needs.

Firstly, you need to consider the room as this may impact what type of vinyl stained glass window film you opt for. Particularly think about what kind of traditional stained glass window you’re trying to emulate,

For example, in a bathroom you may wish to use privacy window films on a window, or even a shower door, without it encroaching onto your interior decor scheme. In this respect, a traditional frosted glass pattern is a simple, and unobtrusive way to instantly add some privacy to your bathroom. It’s one of the best ways to dress a window in a bathroom as unlike other materials, it won’t be affected by moisture or humidity. 

Whereas, in a living room you might just want see-through versions which provide privacy, but they don’t inhibit light, and they don’t become a feature of your home decor scheme.

Once you’ve made thoughtful considerations about the room, it’s time to think about the style. If you’re wanting to create more of a feature with a vinyl stained glass window film such as on a front door, it’s just a case of browsing and picking out some of your favourite stained glass designs. 

From a decor point of view, make sure you opt for a design with tonal colours that match the rest of your colour palette, using a completely different colour could cause your interiors to clash, and it won’t create a cohesive pull throughout your home. 

How To Apply Vinyl Stained Glass Window Film

Image: Purlfrost

Window film can easily be installed in your home by yourself, whilst still achieving a professional finish. 

Types and styles of vinyl stained glass window film do differ, so independent instructions might vary slightly. 

If you’re looking to give it a go at home, these steps will help you to apply glass film without a professional.

  1. To get started with applying the glass film ensure that you are fitting at a time when the sun is not shining directly onto the glass surface as this will affect the adhesion. 
  2. Firstly, you should take the measurements of your window within the frame and trim the film to the approximate size of your window. Most window films come in standard set sizes, but you can also purchase custom made sizes online.
  3. It doesn’t matter whether you choose to affix the film vertically or horizontally, select the direction that makes the most efficient sense.
  4. The best way to trim the film, is to first wet your windows slightly by using a damp cloth or water spray and lay the film onto the wet glass.The water will hold the film in place whilst you can effectively trim the film. You should trim the film 1” wider than the size of the glass.
  5. Once trimmed, you can temporarily store it on another window, making sure to repeat the same process which includes wetting the window. You can place it on a floor too, but this method is much cleaner and avoids dirt and hair being picked up on the film.
  6. The next, and arguably most important step in this process is to clean the window. Any dirt, dust or hair left behind will become very obvious once the film has been affixed. Avoid using soapy cleaners and detergents as too much soap can affect the sticking of the film. Pay close attention to any dirt that is stuck in the frame, this will need to be removed too.
  7. When you’re ready to start applying, gently rub your fingers together on the film to ascertain which side is slippery, this is the side that will release the film. 
  8. Remove the backing so it’s ready and spray a soap solution over the backing. Now carefully take the film and apply it to the window, the solution will help to move it into place. 
  9. Then take a squeegee, (not a regular window squeegee) and get rid of the water, going from the centre out, push, don’t pull it as it drags more water out for a better bond, being careful not to go all the way to the edge. 
  10. Once it has been effectively affixed smoothly to the window and up to the edge of the frame, you’ll need a stanley knife to cut off the excess film.
  11. It’s then worth spraying the film, and using the squeegee one last time to ensure all remaining water has been drawn out.

Vinyl Stained Glass Window Film Recommendations

Image: Purlfrost

Now you know the important considerations to make when choosing the right adhesive window films for your home and how to fit it, let’s take a look at some recommendations for different rooms, and purposes. 

Style For Different Window Sizes

It might not be your immediate consideration when choosing the right decorative films for your windows, but the style you choose can also be depicted by the different window sizes you’re looking to affix it to.

The stained glass design of your window film (the next best thing to the real product!) can look amazing when your budget won’t stretch to real stained glass, but do consider how complex a design you want in your adhesive film, before you make your purchase.

A tiny window looking out from the stairs lends itself to being the perfect location for adding stained glass window film, it’s eye-catching and lifts the stair area, whilst it provides additional privacy too.

A larger style window doesn’t necessarily suit a large stained glass window film, and if it’s a living room window you’d almost always be drawn to a see-through film that stops the outside seeing in, but you can still see out and enjoy unlimited privacy without it inhibiting the flow of natural light into the room.

It should be another primary decision point when selecting the right vinyl stained glass window film for your home, the size and location of the window should help you to form a balanced view on what would work best for the space. 

Perfect For A Front Door

As they say, first impressions are everything, and a beautiful front door is the best place to start. Glass doors covered in stained glass window film can offer a striking visual effect to passers by.

Whether you’ve just moved house and have inherited a far from aesthetically pleasing door, or you’re just wanting to refresh your current setup, glass windows in doors gives you the perfect opportunity to add something really beautiful.

Faux stained glass window film is one of the most affordable ways to get the stained glass look, whilst you can’t even tell the difference from the real conventional stained glass.

Stained glass window film is one of the best choices for a front door, there’s so many different styles to suit your decor choices, but the colour and decorative details of stained glass window film provides a beautiful touch to a front door that will add extra visual value to your property. 

Ideal For Living Room Window

Up until the 90’s, net curtains were one of the main window coverings that were used in living room windows, as they continued to provide privacy, even once the curtains were pulled back.

Getting the right balance between privacy and aesthetics can be difficult in a living room. Net curtains are highly dated, an open window throughout the day is intrusive, yet keeping blinds are curtains pulled all day doesn’t allow any natural light to flood into the room.

For a living room window, see-through versions of window film are one of the most revolutionary window coverings on the market. To the human eye inside, the window looks no different, pure uninhibited light can continue to flow in, yet from the outside, no-one can see in.

Privacy window films like this are amazing for most rooms in the home because it doesn’t affect your decor scheme, you get full privacy, and you can continue to enjoy beautiful natural light throughout your home

Best For A Bathroom

When it comes to the bathroom, it’s best to keep things simple. Stained glass film just isn’t going to look right in this setting. 

The best type of glass film for a bathroom is something uncomplicated, and simple, yet provides the primary purpose of providing complete privacy in the room.

Frosted glass films tend to work best in bathrooms, from traditional, through to simple and contemporary, there are lots of different glass films so you can find one that works best with your bathroom, and decor scheme.

Shower Doors

Unlike a front door, and perhaps other rooms in your house, the bathroom and specifically shower doors are going to need a completely different glass film.

In this instance, the primary purpose will be to provide privacy and a stained glass effect film just isn’t going to work in this setting. Choosing the right kind of window film in this case is imperative.

Privacy window films that are plain frosted glass or glass effect window films are best used on shower doors, they successfully give the illusion that it’s part of the actual glass, and they provide a cost effective way to keep things private.  

French Doors

French doors instantly up the style stakes in any home, but if they’re external doors you may want to add a level of privacy to them.

Things are a little different when it comes to doors, a basic frosted glass finish is best reserved for the bathroom, and French doors demand something a little bit more stylish.

Faux stained glass window film is a great choice, especially if you have a traditional home decor scheme. It’s best to avoid introducing new colours into your home at this point, and pick out stained glass designs that tonally work with your interiors.

How Easy Is Stained Glass Window Film To Apply?

Stained glass window film can easily be applied without professional help, but it does require a number of considerate steps to ensure you get a smooth, and effective finish. Both pre and post preparation are key to ensuring no dirt or bubbles get left behind on the surface. If you’re adding decorative stained glass window films to large windows, you’ll probably want to ask for some help.

Can Window Film Be Cut?

Yes, window film can be cut both before affixing to a window and after to ensure you get an effective and tight fit. 

Window film is usually sold in standard sizes which can then be cut down to size. Ensure you follow the instructions of the window film purchased, as these steps can differ. 

Vinyl stained glass window film is one of the most adaptable, and versatile window coverings for your home. If your window film has intricate designs or geometric patterns, as is common with this style, then plan, measure and take your time before making any cuts. You want to finish with clean lines and sharp edges,

It’s available in such a huge range of designs to suit the decor of your home, it’s easy to fit without needing professional help, and you can still enjoy privacy in your home without having to sacrifice natural light. Do you have vinyl stained glass window film in your home?

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Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

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