I live in a room where there is a transparent glass covered slot above the door. I want to cover it up but I don't want to make it completely opaque as it is the only way it wakes me up in the morning as sunlight enters through it!

So I am looking for an idea like spraying water or moisturize the glass so that outsiders cannot see me but sunlight can enter. Any help is great!

  • Do you need this to be reversible?
    – Mołot
    Mar 11, 2017 at 9:28
  • @Mołot Yes, in case while leaving i may wipe it off or remove it which will be useful when i go to some other room...
    – BAYMAX
    Mar 11, 2017 at 9:38

11 Answers 11


If you need this to be easily removable I suggest you make up a saturated solution of salt and water (keep adding salt until the salt won't dissolve any more) then spray it on the window. When it dries it will do a dandy job of scattering light. Removing it is a simple matter of wiping with a wet paper towel.

  • Nice,well is this safe in rooms like will it attract any insect towards the salt ? just out of curiousity will it give shining effect ? @Bob Jarvis
    – BAYMAX
    Mar 28, 2017 at 13:51
  • The problem I see with this is that flakes of salt will fall off when you slam the door.
    – k-l
    Apr 17, 2017 at 0:50
  • Tch-tch. Didn't your mother ever tell you "DON'T SLAM THE DOORS!"? :-) Apr 17, 2017 at 15:47

It is very usefull (and cheap btw) where nothing can be see through it by eyes, but sun (or light from another room) can pass it.

So we talking about privacy window films.

image iamge1

You can find it (in my country) almost on any bookstore. It so easy to set it up, or to remove when you don´t need it anymore.

  • Note that most of these are attached by applying a soap and water solution to the window, and then putting the privacy window film on top of this. This actually holds the film in place. Also note that if you don't want to buy privacy window film, this could possibly be achieved by using a non-transparent piece of thin plastic.
    – holroy
    Apr 19, 2017 at 18:19
  • This is also widely available in hardware/home improvement stores and on Amazon.
    – Allison C
    Dec 20, 2019 at 20:15

Craft stores, when I was a kid, carried a paint-on glass coating that dried to a crystalline appearance. The colorless variety blocked very little light, but it scattered very effectively -- meaning nothing behind the painted pane was visible as anything more than a blurred blob. I don't know if this stuff is still sold, but I don't know any reason it wouldn't be, unless it was found to be carcinogenic in the past fifty years.

  • Just Google "spray window frosting" - they still make it. From a fiver [£$€] upwards. I use it in my apartment, very effective.
    – Tetsujin
    Mar 10, 2017 at 17:59

If you don't need it to be reversible, you can make a glue chipped glass. It is traditional, so don't know if it even counts as hack, but is fast, simple and cheap.

  1. Buy animal glue. Bone glue, fish glue, the kind that needs to be applied hot. It's cheap (may vary from area to area) and can be found in art stores, woodworking supply stores etc. It is also needed in musical instruments repair. There is a chance you or your friend already have it, if you like to tinker with wood.

  2. Prepare it as described on the package.

  3. Wearing safety goggles and gloves, paint your glass.

  4. Go get a cup of coffee when glue cools down and hardens.

  5. Remove glue. Again, wear goggles and gloves. With glue, your will also remove very thin chips of glass. Random patterns may look like ice, floral patterns etc, or like nothing particular, but no one will be able to see thorough.

This method is traditional, and glass will look good for decades if not centuries.

You can even add some patterns yourself - if you put leafs on the hot glue, and press them firmly, they will "guide" how glass chips. Results are not exactly predictable, but that's the beauty of it.


Somewhat similar to the tissue paper suggestion: waxpaper. It is cheap, quick, and less likely to tear than tissue paper.


A Mexican recipe for home made glue, probably the cheapest reversible and multipurpose solution to your problem: (walls won't stop the peeping toms, but dirt cheap Mexican engrudo will!)


A traditional recipe for a non-toxic, biodegradable, DIY adhesive compound


  • 100g (~3.5oz) wheat or corn flour
  • 1 liter (~1/4 G) of cold water
  • 5 cc (2 tsp) of vinegar (or 2 teaspoons)
  • Optional: vegetable coloring of your choice.


About 1liter (1/4 Gallon) strong natural methylcellulose paste adhesive, non-toxic if accidentally ingested.


In a pot, dissolve some of the flour in a little water until there is no lumps. Add some more water, then more flour untill both ingredients are fully mixed with no lumps (if you try to do it all in one go, you'll get a lumpy mess)

Bring the preparation to a low heat and stir with a wooden spoon. Continue stirring until it begins to boil, and at that point, remove from the heat. Let cool, add the vinegar and mix.

If desired, add a few drops of vegetable coloring of your choice.

Without coloring, the end product will be an off-white tacky paste, (yellowish color approximating the hue of the flour used). When applied to glass, it will behave as a light diffusing, translucent coating.

Handling, storage, shelf-lifetime, and safety.

For this project, probably the best result will be using some
sort of light wide woven fabric, such as the emergency bandages you can
find on any first aid kit. A decorated tablecloth is also great idea (see pictures for what to expect of the finished project)

You can also use paper (very thin) for translucent effect or even leaves and cutouts such as depicted on other answers in this thread.

You'll need enough to cover the surface of the glass to be privacy- enhanced. Just soak the bandages or paper on the engrudo, saturating them. Then apply and spread over the glass.

Use a wide paintbrush to apply, or, if you know how to handle them, you > can use a spatula to even out the fabric or eliminate bubbles.

Applying first coat on glass, applying a decorated tablecloth, creative application of cheap old newspapers on glass:

Let it sit on a well aired room. Curing times are comparable to commercial white glue. May vary depending on the grain of the flour used (coarse = slower fine = faster) but YMMV.

When done, you can store the unused engrudo on the fridge for about a week. After that, dispose with the rest of your biodegradables. Remember to label it for storage while in the fridge. It's not toxic, but not particularly tasty either.

Guaranteed to keep the baddest hombres from peeping if properly applied.

Bonding materials details

Excellent for everyday tasks requiring adhesives. will bond strongly on Paper, cardboard, wood, and particle boards, calcium substrate ceilings and porous stone or masonry.

Not so good for bonding plastic, synthetic materials or smooth non-porous surfaces such as glass or walls coated with acrylic enamel. On these surfaces you may need to reapply after a few years (therein lies the reversibility of this project)

Engrudo will perform competitively against similar fossil fuel based solutions (I'm looking at you, white glue) on chores such as furniture and upholstery repair, wallpaper application, detailing creative art using wood, paper or cardboard, etc.

All this with the added advantage of being non-toxic, biodegradable and fun to make, plus it's dirt cheap.

You may have all the required ingredients and tools already laying around in your kitchen.


To reverse your privacy-enhanced glass, just tear off the fabric using a spatula or knife to remove stubborn residues, specially where glass meets masonry or wood. Most of the cured adhesive will just fake off the glass when pulling the fabric. This will be relatively easy and leave no permanent stain or mark because Engrudo will bond poorly with glass.

Why it works, science

By heating the water and flour mixture you are creating a cellulose rich saturated colloidal suspension, When you ad vinegar, it w will react with the acetic acid. This chemical reaction will yield a dense methylcellulose solution having specific shear thinning viscosity and a high wet adhesive tack.

It bonds particularly well with other cellulose rich materials, since cellulose will form long interwoven molecular strands, that extend the existing strands on paper or wood, effectively "fusing" the materials in a process analogous to that of arc welding in metals, or the action of cyanoacrylates on resins and plastics (superglue!)

Additional facts, fun, trivia

A slightly lighter mixture of engrudo (diluted with a bit more water for larger yield, increasing absorption on paper), Is still used to soak printed kraft paper posters on it, and then applying to walls/masonry on public buildings for advertising purposes.

It's applied using a long paintbrush resembling a broom, taking the just soaked on engrudo poster and spreading it out on the wall surface. Engrudo will bond with the masonry, trough the porous paper and the end result is a nearly indestructible advertisement. Wooden telephone posts are used for this purpose too, with subsequent applications taking advantage of the substrate created by older layers of engrudo soaked posters. (Just apply the new poster on top of the older ones.)

I've seen maintenance crews sandblasting old advertising affixed to churches and public building walls using this technique.

Examples of nearly indestructible advertising:


How about one-way mirror film?

You can apply that to your existing windows. With your home inside generally being darker than the outside, it would let a good amount of light in while looking like a mirror to outsiders.

The downside is when the inside of your home is much more brightly lit, the one way then becomes transparent. But you can fix that by reversing behavior with a window shade - open the shade when you turn out the lights to go to sleep. Close the shade in the evening when you need privacy and it's dark outside.


You could experiment with white glue (eg. Elmers school glue) diluted 2:1 or 3:1 and a bit of dishwashing soap.

It may not last all that well if your windows get condensation.

You could also try aerosol hair spray- maybe you have some around.


A really cheap answer would be to cover the glass with thin white paper (tissue paper) or cloth (thin scarf, handkerchief, j-cloth) or plastic (a supermarket bag).

You can use pins or thumbtacks or use a water-soluble glue so you can get it off again someday.

It doesn't have to be white. Try using different colours. You can combine your material in a mosaic to make a stained-glass effect, which would be cool when the sun shines through it.

  • But when I remove it, the paper would come out , How there be any kind of staining effect ? .
    – BAYMAX
    Mar 13, 2017 at 10:21
  • 2
    Stained-glass is the effect you see in church windows. It isn't stained, the glass has been coloured by adding minerals while it was molten. The bits of coloured glass are joined together in a mosaic by strips of lead, to keep it wind and rain proof. At primary school we made the same sort of effect by glueing coloured plastic onto transparent plastic to make a picture or pattern, then attaching it to the window so the sun shone through.
    – RedSonja
    Mar 23, 2017 at 12:52

Stores in Usa such as Wal-Mart sell sheer drapes that are blackout. Alternatively, try a dollar store pop open style winshield visor, which would be the least expensive, and easily removed. A third option is to (for removability sake) put a few ruff+fluff dots (ex., Velcro(TM) ) above your subject window and matching dots on a large pillowcase or fabric layer shower curtain cut-to-size. When not in use, hanging ends can easily tuck in above edge. Ruff+fluff is easily removed afterward. Or fashion ties out of leftover material to secure drape out of the way. In Alaska folks often use regular tinfoil to cover windows. Tape on the glass removes easy, and its cheap.

  • A desirable solution would NOT be opaque. The light was to pass but not a clear view to preserve some privacy.
    – Stan
    Jan 21, 2018 at 19:33

I'd suggest taping some bubble wrap over the window. You can probably scrounge some for free. And as an added benefit, it increases insulation.

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