Spray And Pray: Should You Choose Privacy Spray or Film To Frost Your Windows?

Frosting your windows is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to maximise privacy in your home, and is particularly useful for maintaining privacy in bathrooms, bedrooms and guest rooms. However, purchasing pre-frosted glass, or having glass frosted with involved methods such as sandblasting or etching, can be an expensive and time-consuming process.

As an easier (and cheaper) alternative, you might wish to consider using frosting sprays or films on your windows, which allow you to convert ordinary windows into obscured frosted glass very rapidly. However, These sprays and films have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to consider your needs before deciding on the frosting method that's right for you.

What are the advantages of using privacy sprays? 

  • Easy to apply: A steady hand and some tape to protect your frames and walls are really all you need to effectively use privacy spray, and professional-looking finishes are easy to achieve without the need to call in expensive professional assistance.
  • Reversible: If you change your mind about frosting a window (for instance if you repurpose a room for uses which require less privacy) window sprays can be safely and effectively removed, using generic solvents or specialised solutions designed for removing privacy spray.
  • Inexpensive: Privacy sprays are generally cheaper than films that grant equivalent amounts of privacy.

What are the disadvantages of using privacy sprays?

  • Difficult cleaning: Many conventional window cleaning solutions are too harsh for privacy spray, and may cause it to peel away or become transparent more quickly. Sprayed windows can still be cleaned with ordinary soap and water, however.
  • Surface preparation: Effective use of privacy sprays requires thorough cleaning of the window in question before use, and any dirt or moisture accidentally left behind can leave you with an unsightly or uneven finish.

What are the advantages of using privacy films?

  • Durability: Privacy films are likely to last longer than sprays, and are more resistant to fading caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
  • Easy to clean: This durability also extends to cleaning filmed windows, as privacy films are highly resistant to most window cleaning chemicals and can be scrubbed and wiped without causing visible damage.
  • Choice of finishes: Using privacy films also allows you to choose from various designs and tints, with complex patterns that resemble expensive etched glass readily available.
  • Even finishes: Using films also provides you with an even finish right to the corners of your windows, while sprays can be difficult to apply in these areas and may provide less privacy.

What about the disadvantages of using privacy films?

  • More expensive: Privacy films tend to be more expensive than sprays, especially if you choose tinted or reflective films.
  • Difficult to remove: If you decide to convert your window back to ordinary transparency removing privacy film can be difficult, requiring careful use of a sharp knife or razor that may scratch the glass beneath.
  • Must be cut to size: Sizing your windows accurately before purchasing and cutting film is vital; undersized strips of film may not provide adequate privacy, while oversized strips leave unsightly bunched edges around your window that may allow moisture to become trapped between the film and the glass.