Privacy Film Installation Awesomeness

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I recently moved into a new place, and even though the ginormous window in the living room is absolutely amazing and satisfies my need for natural light like no other apartment has, it's definitely a privacy issue since it faces a courtyard that everyone walks by to coke and go.

After researching my options, I decided to try out reflective privacy film. I could have just used sheer curtains and kept the light coming in the room while cutting outsiders out pretty effectively, but being able to actually SEE outside was a must. I don't just want the light.. I gotta be able to see the flowers and squirrels and sun, too!

Here is my window from the inside before installation. Ahem.. Don't mind the mess. We pulled everything away from thr window haphazardly to do this. 🙂

Here's the film during installation, after squeegee-ing it to the window, before trimming the edges.

Here it is, all done! It is only this reflective from the inside when the lights are brighter from within than outside. Although it looks bright out, the sun was starting to go down at this point.

Before, you could see EVERYTHING as you walked by!!

Now, you can't! Unless you're trying. But really the goal here was some basic privacy. It's awkward for both the neighbors and us when they can't help but glance as they walk by when they see what looks like a sea monster sprawled on the furniture clutching coffee in the mornings. 😉


Seriously, this stuff is pretty amazing. I was really impressed with how effective it is. It's made by Gila, and after reading the reviews online before buying it at Home Depot, I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, which can be summed up here:

  • It doesn't provide privacy at night. That's ok with me since we can close the curtains.
  • It'll dim the daylight. I can compromise!
  • You absolutely need 2 people to install it, unless you're working on a small window. I still think having someone else helps. Le Fuzz (maybe that'll be my nickname for my boyfriend on here..) was the perfect partner!
  • You need to really soak it from all sides to avoid static issues – this made it go on soooo easy. Some reviewers complained that it stuck to itself or picked up dirt easily. I soaked the stick out of it with a spray bottle of water that had a drop of soap. No problems there!
  • Your window has to be REALLY clean. I learned that the hard way on one of the corners, but you can't tell unless you're looking.
  • You need a squeegee to smooth it once you place it on the window. I had one from OSH that I think I got for $5. Check.
  • Finally, you'll need a razor blade to cut the edges once it's placed.

It does block more light than I'd prefer, but I can deal with that to have a full view of the outdoors during the day.

We also decided to stop with the bottom portion (which was the width that it came in) since it shields us enough while still allowing a full view of the sky, and curtains are sufficient for the side windows. More sunlight.. Yay!

At about $30, this was really the perfect solution for us!

Have you used privacy film before, or other alternatives? Was it a nightmare or did you get by ok?


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