How To Frost A Glass Side Door (And Avoid Bubbles)

It’s no secret that the real improvement we need to make to our new laundry area is in the upgrading to energy efficient appliances arena along with adding some nice built-in storage to maximize that tiny room. But as we save up and plan for those upgrades, we took a few hours after Clara’s bedtime a few days ago to tackle some smaller items on our laundry list. Pun intended.

First we went to work on the glass side door. You know, the one that gave everyone a straight shot from our carport, through the laundry area and into our kitchen (here I am being creepy and demonstrating the problem, which you can read more about here).

Since we were eager to get rid of this bi-fold door that was currently acting as a privacy solution in the interim…

… at first we figured we’d throw up a cheap wooden blind over the glass side door, remove the dark pocket door, and consider our problem solved. Well, after buying a bamboo rolling shade from Home Depot, we realized how much light it blocked and after learning that our kitchen is a black hole in the mornings (it’s the only room with no windows to the outside world- the window above the sink looks out into the sunroom) we didn’t want anything that would block too much light.

That’s when we opted to go the frosting film route. We used the same materials / techniques that we employed in our basement a while ago, so you can read that step-by-step guide here (and see what film we chose). The only issue we ran into this time was bubbles.

Some serious, annoying, won’t-go-away bubbles. You always have these at some point of this process, but it usually just takes a few squeegees to get them out. But these bubbles weren’t bursting, no matter how hard Sherry squeegeed. And it totally burst our bubble (too corny- had to cross it out).

We hoped it was just an issue with not having applied enough applicator spray to each surface, but we feared it was a problem with the temperature of the side door (instructions said not to apply it in under 40 degree weather, which it definitely was on the other side of that glass). We crossed our fingers, peeled off the permanently bubbled film, scraped some residual glue off of the window, and readied ourselves to try again (fortunately our leftover scrap of film was perfectly sized for a second attempt). And this time we used a boatload more of the applicator solution to keep things nice and slippery so no bubbles could take permanent hold.

And it worked. Phew.

Our next little project was the removal of those shelves next to the door. We love bonus storage just as much as the next blogger, but we couldn’t figure out exactly what we’d want there since it’s not concealed- and we learned that coming through the door with our hands full meant that we routinely bumped into whatever was on those shelves anyway. So we decided to take them down and instead turn it into a place to hang art or a frame collage someday. Every laundry room needs a little space for the eye to rest and art always makes it feel a bit more welcoming and less utilitarian. At least that’s what the wife says. She’s more of the decorating brains. And I’m the take-those-shelves-down brawn. Although Sherry does get down with the power tools when the mood strikes.

While I was in the midst of unscrewing things (despite it being about 10:30pm) we thought we’d keep the momentum going and get rid of the shutters on the laundry room window too (to make room for an eventual set of blinds/roman shade/curtain).

So by morning, our laundry area was looking more like this:

No shutters, no shelves, but a bit of touch up painting to be done.

And we’re still getting a nice stream of morning light coming into the otherwise pitch black kitchen in the early morning. Frosting film was definitely the (nice cheap) way to go.

Have you guys frosted windows with the same film stuff from Home Depot? Have you ever encountered the not-coming-out-no-matter-how-hard-you-squeegee-bubble problem? Was it due to temperature or lack of applicator spray? Or something else entirely?

Psst- We announced this week’s giveaway winners back on the original post. Click here to see if it’s you.


  1. Anne Lee says

    Hi J&S, I’ve been following your posts close to a month now while I was searching for some moving-house tips. You guys have been an inspiration and we (me & hubby) are excited to put much of your ideas into our new place soon (though it’s rented).
    We used frosting film on a glass window before…and yes those bubbles will appear. What we did was cut a small slit on the bigger bubbles using a thin blade or cutter and press (more like knead) the air out. Once done you’ll hardly notice the lines!

  2. heartartz says

    Looks brighter, lighter. Wow…Great work so far.
    That washer/dryer looks small. You talked about appliance upgrades. Any plans for lager sized washer and dryer like you had at old house? How would they fit in the small space laundry room?
    Loved seeing your “list” Can’t wait to see things crossed off the list.

    • says

      Hey Heartartz,

      Our old washer & dryer were actually a “Whirlpool Sport” set, which is the smaller models, so the existing washer and dryer in this house don’t feel very small since we’re used to modestly sized laundry appliances already. But we will definitely see what’s on sale when we upgrade and go for the best size/deal!


  3. Blair says

    This is a totally random question, but it does have *something* to do with laundry, so I’m counting it. I know that ages ago you all stopped using dryer sheets (as have I). Do you notice that you have problems with static cling in your laundry, especially in these drier months?

  4. Hollie says

    Thank you so much for posting this today! The timing couldn’t be more perfect! I have those narrow windows on each side of my front door. I love the light that it lets in, but I don’t like that anyone who steps on my front porch can see inside. Yesterday some weird lady stopped by selling meat out of the back of her truck. Strange. I normally hide, but she spotted me! Definitely frosting the windows TODAY!

  5. Christi says

    Have you thought about a garage with a loft or bonus room above? Your “alley” of a laundry room would be perfect for a stair case?

    Just thinking – I love the new house!

    • says

      Hey Cristi,

      That would be super fun down the line but right now we have lots of space to grow. We also have a nice new roof (just installed in the spring by the previous owners) so we would hate to rip it up to create a loft just yet. Love the creative idea though!


  6. says

    I was wondering if you guys are considering relocating the washer/dryer to a whole different area and knocking down the wall between the laundry/kitchen area?

    I’m talking way, way down the line!

    • says

      Maybe waaaay down the line but since we want to keep the existing cabinets and configuration of our kitchen, knocking everything out just to move it back a few feet seems like a lot of work!


  7. says

    I love the new house and I’m currently living vicariously thru you two since I can’t do anything to my rental…(bummer)…but when I get my own house…LOOK OUT!

    And yes, it was the temperature that was causing your bubble issues. My fiance does tinting along with his auto paint business and that is always an issue when someone comes to have it done in the shop. We don’t have a heated shop and the paintbooth usually has a drying car in it…so tint waits until the temperature is right.

    Sometimes, you can overcome the temps with more spray, but more than likely those bubbles will pop up again before it’s done drying. Looks like that door gets some sunlight though, so it should dry flat if you got the bubbles out with more spray.

  8. WendyMI says

    I have one of those long, invasive windows next to my front door. I bought one of those printed vinyl clings at Home Depot with a purple/green orchid pattern on it. Still lets some light in but definitely gives me privacy. The only thing that I don’t quite like is that I cannot always identify who is at the front door, but that’s a very rare occasion. =)

    Loving the updates so far.

  9. Laura says

    I used the frosted film from Home Depot on my living room windows, which face the sidewalk and parking lot for my 4-plex. The first application was full of bubbles, and I could NOT get them to smooth out. The second application I made sure the film was dripping wet & the window was dripping wet, and it adhered smoothly. I still need to remove the flawed initial sheet of film & re-do that window, but at least we have privacy+light in our previously cave-like room!

  10. Ana Silva says

    I have used that privacy film before. We had this second story bathroom and this tiny window so we used the film to get privacy and keep the light. It worked wonders. I liked that we didn’t have to use any kind of curtain/blinds, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *