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What Is Stained Glass Window Film?

A window with stained glass window film on it.
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  • Written By: C. Daw
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 11 July 2014
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For many people, there is nothing quite as exotic and breathtaking as a stained glass window within a home or business, but with the outrageous expenses involved in having one, many people just cannot fit it into their budgets. Stained glass window film, on the other hand, is an affordable alternative that can give the appearance of having a stained glass window. It is a stick-on film that — when applied correctly — makes the window appear to be a stained glass window. It is applied onto the window just like any other type of window film, by pressing it onto the window and using a squeegee to smooth it out, and it can easily be applied by the average person who has a small amount of artistic talent.

There are so many patterns and colors that are available that any idea or need can be met with a little searching. Not only can complete scenes be purchased, but it is also possible to mix and match various window films. This allows for a design that is unique and matches the needs and wants of the particular situation.

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Smoothing the window film is what makes or breaks the design, because it is possible to leave unsightly bubbles underneath the film. When applying the film, one should follow the directions carefully and apply the film in sections, beginning at the top of the window and working down. By taking special care, it is possible for the stained glass window film to look real and to hold up to years of use. It is very similar to holiday decals that many people hang during certain holiday seasons, except on a larger scale.

One advantage of stained glass window film is that it is not permanent, like a real stained glass window is. If a design is needed for every holiday, or for various advertising campaigns, or for simple changes in taste, the film can be removed with a razor. A new design can then be put up in its place.

Many churches and businesses, as well as private homeowners, want or need a stained glass window but cannot afford the time or money that they cost to have installed. Stained glass window film often can fit within a budget for home improvements or business improvements. It can be installed on the window within a few hours, making it an efficient and cost-effective alternative to a real stained glass window.

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Discuss this Article

amysamp
Post 9

Stained glass window film can be very tasteful, but I have seen some designs that in my opinion are not very tasteful and/or not that appealing to my eye.

I guess like any piece of art, the beauty or lack-there-of is in the eye of the beholder. What may look like trash in my eyes, may look like treasure in another person's eyes.

For instance, I think the grapes and vines stained glass film can be quite tacky, but I am sure a wine lover would probably feel differently. I could see the grapes and vines stained glass being appropriate in a kitchen and/or a dining room, but other than that, it seems like it would look quite silly to me.

For me, one should first think about which window or windows they are going to put the stained glass window film on. Then they should pick patterns that would enhance a room, not clash with a room.

I have thought about using a stained glass film for a smaller window located by my front door, but I have not found what I want yet. I refuse to spend money on something that I am not completely in love with.

So for now, I am just going to have to have a little less privacy. Also, if everyone started using this stained glass window film, it would not be as unique as it is right now.

runner101
Post 8

Stained glass windows make me think of my childhood growing up praising the Lord each Sunday at a local church my parent's still attend.

One of my favorite parts of going to church, besides worshiping God, was/is looking and admiring the huge stained glass window that took up almost half of the back wall of the church. It was even more intriguing to me because there was a picture of Jesus as the main stained glass scene, with a dove right above him, and a sheep at his foot.

If I were to ever get a stained glass window film, I would want it to look similar to what I remember of the local church I grew up going to every Sunday. That would remind me of my childhood, but also the importance of putting Jesus first in foremost in life.

Speechie
Post 7

Stained glass window film can be beautiful and add privacy, at a fraction of the cost of having real stained glass put into one's home or business.

I have a few friends who have jumped at the chance of making their home both more private and more artistic and stylish. Most of them did such a good job, unless you are on the inside of the house, and look closely at it, you can not really tell it is just a stained glass film.

A couple of my friends who do not like following directions and/or are not artistically inclined at all did a pretty bad job. They ended up taking their stained glass film down after a few weeks, as it had some bubbles in it and was starting to peel at the edges.

It seems like if you have an eye for art, buying some stained glass window film would be a great investment. You also have to be patient, and willing to follow all the steps and directions, in the right order too. Other than that, my friends' said it was a pretty easy process.

andee
Post 6

I think the idea of stained glass window films are great, but they didn't work as well for me as I had hoped.

I am an elementary teacher, and have one window in my classroom that looks out directly to the playground.

Having windows in the classroom to look outside is nice, but looking directly to the playground is very distracting for my students.

I found a colorful window glass film that I thought would take care of the problem. It was easy to apply and worked great for a few weeks.

After that it started to peel at the edges. I live in an area with a lot of humidity, so think that might have had something to do with it.

I kept the film up for a couple months, but by then, the edges were looking pretty bad, so I ended up just taking it down.

I am glad that I didn't spend too much money on it, as it didn't last nearly as long as I had hoped.

golf07
Post 5

I have always loved the look of stained glass, but didn't want to deal with the expense and labor of installing a real one.

I have a window at the bottom of the stairs that looks out to the street. Although I enjoy having a window there, privacy is an issue.

A friend of mine told me that a stained glass window film would look great there. I never realized there were so many stained glass patterns you could choose from!

It took me awhile to decide on the look I wanted, but have been very pleased with the results. The film still lets in a little bit of light, but I don't have to worry about anybody seeing in.

The stained glass look also gives me a lift every time I look at it. What a great way to get the look of stained glass without the expense.

kylee07drg
Post 4

I bought some faux stained glass window film to cover my bedroom window, because the only view I had was of a brick wall next door. It brightened my mood a lot!

The film is made to look like a painting of a landscape. There is a drawbridge going over a stream, and on either side in front of the bridge are pink tulips. A tree extends over from the right side, and white panels with black lines are used for clouds.

The design and the colors remind me so much of those lamps that look like puzzle pieces stuck together with black putty. When the sunlight shines through the window, it looks even more like a lamp!

shell4life
Post 3

@Perdido – Stained glass window panels are a good idea, because you are not blocking your view of the outdoors from a major window. You can still see through the front door and other windows of your home, and you get to add a touch of beauty somewhere that won't obstruct your view. If I had window panels, I would put stained glass film on them, too.

I helped my mother apply stained glass film to her window panels, and we put them on the inside. If you keep the outside of your window clean, the film will look just as vivid as if you had placed it on the outside. There's too much moisture and too many temperature changes going on outdoors for the film to withstand for very long, so applying it inside is the best choice.

As for cleaning your window, I wouldn't use a regular glass cleaner. It will have ammonia in it, and that can affect how the stained glass window film clings to the surface. We used a gallon of water mixed with a teaspoon of a gentle shampoo made for babies.

Perdido
Post 2

Does anyone know which side of the window you should apply the stained glass film to? It looks like if you applied it to the outside, it would be more vivid and clear, but it would be exposed to the elements.

I have some decorative stained glass window film that I found at my grandmother's house, and I've been meaning to use it. It has bright red roses scattered around frosted areas that resemble snow, and I think it would be so pretty on the window panels that surround the front door. I just have been unsure about how to apply it.

What should I clean the window with? Will regular glass cleaner work, or should I use something else?

lighth0se33
Post 1

I have been thinking of installing stained glass window film on the glass panes in the door between my kitchen and the living room. That way, my family couldn't peek in while I'm cooking to see how far along dinner is, and I would feel more at ease. I think stained glass is so pretty, and having it in my kitchen would make me happy.

My friend has a stained glass front door, and the pattern is very different from most that I've seen. It has brown tree branches reaching across, and two shades of purple flowers are clustered in various spots. Green leaves add another color to the scene.

I would love something like this for my kitchen. I don't want to go with just the typical color blocks, and I think it's great that the film is available in so many different colors.

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