Privacy for shower window, when dark outside
February 21, 2023 8:07 AM   Subscribe

We bought a home that does have a frosted window in the shower. However, showering right next to the window, when it's dark outside, is not ideal. How to fix this issue cheaply?

We've tried the silver one way film, but it only works during the day and not at night.
We've tried a plastic shower curtain, but it billows out from air currents and wants to stick to your wet skin.
I hate venetian blinds so that's a no-go.

Other relativley cheap suggestions are most welcome.
posted by luvmywife to Home & Garden (20 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Do you need the window as a window/source of light? How wet does it get?

You can cover the window with opaque contact paper if you don't need to see through it at all.

If the window stays pretty dry, you can paint it with a sheer dark color. Acrylic paint mixed with dish soap is easily reversible. So is white glue mixed with food coloring. But neither will stand up to direct water contact.

If all else fails, stick a few big fuckin shampoo bottles on the sill.
posted by phunniemee at 8:13 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]

A regular shade on the window.
A Roman shade on the window.
A curtain on the window that can be pulled closed.
posted by jonathanhughes at 8:14 AM on February 21

We have privacy film (non-adhesive) on our windows which has the "frosted glass" look to it -- and it blocks surprisingly well.

Amazon has plenty of choices, like this plain one (which we bought).

But they come in a blizzard of patterns, which might help to break up the, ahem, silhouette that I venture to think you are worried about. And some are more opaque than others. Have you examined your options here, when layered on top of the actual frosted glass?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:14 AM on February 21 [7 favorites]

Yeah, those peel and stick options have a huge variety to them. The ones I recently bought almost completely distort the outside, while other have basically been see through. That will be your cheapest and quickest option
posted by raccoon409 at 8:24 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]

Oh, and adding a plant of it can be another option
posted by raccoon409 at 8:24 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]

What about adding some suction cups with hooks to the bottom of the window, and poking the hooks through the plastic shower curtain so it doesn't billow as much?

It sounds like your issue is more...psychological? That people can see more through the frosted window when it is backlit at night?

Similar idea: suction cups with hooks, but cut down the shower curtain to fit inside the window frame. This would take the shower curtain much closer to the glass and help with some of the billowing as well. And it would be easy to remove if you want more light during the day. Pair with a hook to hang up the curtain elsewhere for daylight storage.
posted by purple_bird at 8:48 AM on February 21

You can get shower curtain weights.
posted by ljesse at 8:52 AM on February 21

Seconding that a hanging plant with lots of vines like Pothos could work, or potentially an outside plant on a trellis if this is on the first floor.
posted by veery at 9:32 AM on February 21 [2 favorites]

Frosted glass film comes in a range of transparency. Find one that is on the opaque end of things.
posted by koahiatamadl at 9:47 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Sounds like you don't have a deep ledge but a more traditional casement windowsill (2-3" deep) - I have a similar setup with a claw-foot tub/shower - so you also need the item to be at least somewhat waterproof and not get moldy. Film may not hold up well. How about a piece of inexpensive stained glass that you could hang via suction cup on the window? There's a million out there so it depends on your aesthetic / price point. Like this or this or this or this. It doesn't need to cover the window edge-to-edge, just break up the silhouette(s).
posted by nkknkk at 10:05 AM on February 21 [3 favorites]

They sell stuff at Pier One, shells on string, beaded curtains, shell type discs.This kind of thing. They let in light, but obscure shape and view.
posted by Oyéah at 10:12 AM on February 21

Seconding the privacy film that mimics frosted glass. It's pretty easy to install and it works at any time of day.
posted by Aleyn at 11:00 AM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Oh wait, misread that as saying your window doesn't have frosted glass. Not sure if that's a typo or if that's already the case, but feel free to ignore if you already have a frosted glass window.
posted by Aleyn at 11:07 AM on February 21

There are also "stained glass" window stick ons of the sort that westenvedt mentioned if you like the look of stained glass. I don't know how they'll do with frosted glass but I've used them on plain windows with good success.

Alternatively, if you like stained glass and the window is small enough, your local Renaissance fair will have inexpensive pieces that might suit your needs. You'll want to hang them so they don't move in the window frame but we've done that to block a kitchen window and it's worked well.
posted by gentlyepigrams at 1:31 PM on February 21 [2 favorites]

I keep a bunch of tall bottles of shampoo etc on the windowsill. My window isn't even frosted but it blocks enough of the view that I don't feel exposed at all. YMMV depending on the height and placement of your window.
posted by potrzebie at 1:37 PM on February 21

Just paint it. Keep adding layers until you get the level of transparency you are comfortable with. I can’t recall how many mine took, but just plan on no showers until it’s totally dry, usually 24 hours. Had an apartment bathroom window facing the stairwell.

It’s not very destructive and relatively easy to remove in the future with the right tools. Make certain that the glass is super clean before you start- use alcohol to get it extra clean.
posted by zenon at 2:41 PM on February 21

I echo the frosted stick-on film. Even though it's already frosted, the film will make it more opaque, while still letting light in. However, if the frosted texture is on the inside, the film may not stick to it very well.
posted by dg at 5:31 PM on February 21 [1 favorite]

Two thoughts.

1) Add / relocate the bathroom light. May need to experiment by using a flashlight or a lamp with a long cord and just move it around the restroom to see which is better for the privacy aspect.

2) A "paper venetian blind" for the window. They are very cheap, easily customizable to any window size (with a pair of kitchen shears) and dense enough to block most light.
posted by kschang at 9:32 PM on February 21

Gallery Glass stained glass paint (Hobby Lobby) is what I use to change plain solar landscaping lights into colored lights. I paint the outer panes and they do well enough in all weather conditions.
You could paint several plastic transparent panels that fit in the inside window frame and switch them as desired.
posted by TrishaU at 10:50 PM on February 21

Can you dim your bathroom light or shower by candlelight? Mood lighting! Candles, even the battery ones will add another sensory dimension to your shower, if that's your thing.
posted by pianissimo at 5:26 AM on February 22 [1 favorite]

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