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Topic: Contact paper on windows. Is it REALLY removable?  (Read 20727 times)
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TSmith
« on: June 21, 2009 01:38:02 PM »

Hi, everyone! I'll be living in my first apartment next year (very excited) and I think I'd like to use some sort of film for my window.

The window has no hardware for window treatments, and I'm not allowed to install any. I could probably use a tension rod, but I like the idea of keeping the window simple, as there will be a lot of colors and textures going on already.

I've seen people suggest all sorts of "ready made" products from ikea and home improvement stores, but I'm a poor college student: I'd like to keep the budget for this project around $10. I stumbled upon a project in the design sponge blog (http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/03/diy-project-window-films.html) using decorated contact paper. I like the idea of being able to customize my window clings.

My question is: are they really removable? A commenter on the blog claimed they were, but I would love to hear from you guys. Have you ever tried removing a project like this? How did it go?

Thanks!!
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2009 07:32:51 PM »

Growing up my window looked out onto my neighbors back yard and they had an affinity for skinny dipping. My mom used some frosted contact paper to cover the windows Smiley When I was older I took the paper off the window (like 10 years later) and it came off just fine. There may have been a few sticky spots but there are plenty of products on the market to take off the little smudges (WD40, goo gone, hell even nail polish remover should do).

Good luck and congrats on the first apartment!
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TSmith
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009 03:37:25 PM »

Thanks! That's exactly the kind of response I was looking for. Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2009 04:00:55 PM »

FYI, to remove glue left on surfaces by contact paper, stickers, adhesive tape, masking tape, labels, etc.,  rub  in a circular motion a few times on the glue either some mayonnaise, vegetable oil or peanut butter.  Wipe clean with a  rag or paper towel.  It should come off completely, leaving no trace. 
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TSmith
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2009 08:25:21 PM »

Thanks! That's perfect...and cheap.  Wink
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penguinade
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009 07:11:46 PM »

You can get rolls of "frosted window" contact paper for about $8.  The glue is formulated to come off easily (i didn't even need to wash the windows when i was done using it), and the frosty stuff is backed by gridded paper so its easy to measure and cut
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TSmith
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2009 06:55:38 PM »

You can get rolls of "frosted window" contact paper for about $8.  The glue is formulated to come off easily (i didn't even need to wash the windows when i was done using it), and the frosty stuff is backed by gridded paper so its easy to measure and cut

Cool. Thanks!
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tomico
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2009 12:02:12 PM »

Personally I think it is rather odd that you have a window that you aren't allowed to cover in a conventional manner. Are they "peeping Toms" or not understand the need for privacy? Sometimes the curtains are used to block out that evil blinding sun when you have to sleep during the day because of a night job or a nasty hang over. I feel for you.

If you end up wanting to do something different when you have a bit more money you could make a folding screen that could block the light and the view from prying eyes.

Tomico
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TSmith
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2009 02:33:03 PM »

Personally I think it is rather odd that you have a window that you aren't allowed to cover in a conventional manner. Are they "peeping Toms" or not understand the need for privacy? Sometimes the curtains are used to block out that evil blinding sun when you have to sleep during the day because of a night job or a nasty hang over. I feel for you.

If you end up wanting to do something different when you have a bit more money you could make a folding screen that could block the light and the view from prying eyes.

Tomico

I know! I'm not a big fan of the restrictions, but I have a few good ideas now. Thanks!
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EnginerdLisa
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2009 07:40:10 AM »

Lots of apartment complexes have restrictions like that.  It's not that they don't want you to have curtains, it's that they don't want you to put holes in the wood work or walls, hence why window film and tension rods are okay.  Anyway, I've read a few places that if you soak fabric in spray starch you can then plaster it to the window like window film, and it is removable later.  A link to one website.  Some of the prettier window films can get quite pricey.  I just bought fabric last night to try this on a mirrored closet door in my bedroom.  I will let you know how it turns out. 
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2009 03:47:43 PM »

My aparment manager said No curtains too Sad It makes me so mad!!!
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TSmith
« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2009 02:12:54 PM »

Lots of apartment complexes have restrictions like that.  It's not that they don't want you to have curtains, it's that they don't want you to put holes in the wood work or walls, hence why window film and tension rods are okay.  Anyway, I've read a few places that if you soak fabric in spray starch you can then plaster it to the window like window film, and it is removable later.  A link to one website.  Some of the prettier window films can get quite pricey.  I just bought fabric last night to try this on a mirrored closet door in my bedroom.  I will let you know how it turns out. 

I might have to try that...
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EnginerdLisa
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2009 03:42:13 PM »

Well, I did the starch and fabric thing on one of the mirrored doors.  It was a little hard working all the air bubbles out, but not impossible.  The white on white fabric didn't work well on the mirror as it just looks white with no light coming through.  One word of advice, I cut my fabric a hair too narrow, thinking it would be ok, because I could pull it tight.  It actually kinda shrunk up a bit as it dried, so what started as about a 16th of an inch gap is about an 8th now.  However the door does now smell like lavender because of the starch, so it is like a giant air freshener!
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2009 03:07:34 PM »

  I actually think tension rods give the least fussy look possible for curtains, I made my mom fabric panels that fit well inside the window (looks like a blind) then if she want she can move the rod up or down depending on where the light is shining in and what kind of view she wants.  sometime she pins one corner up on all of them (she has 4 in a row, two sides of the room) and it takes on kind of a nautical "sail" feel. 
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redcleo
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2009 11:05:09 AM »

I recently bought the Ikea frosted window plastic to use on a first-floor bathroom that faces the street. For $5/roll, I covered the bathroom window (standard sized) and a small basement bathroom window, and still had some leftover. The Ikea stuff (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30079228) is held on with just soapy water (kind of like static cling), so it leaves behind no residue and is easy to remove. I recommend it, if you're still looking for solutions.

Just a note that, unlike the starch-fabric idea, the Ikea stuff actually grows a little once wet, so cutting it a bit small is helpful. That, and having really sharp scissors.
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cat2007
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2009 04:59:34 PM »

 Roll Eyes stupid landlords.  I can't paint my apt so must put up with beige walls throughout. but back to your issue. 
contact paper is doable, but I can attest to the fabric on the window. i have a very nice petite rose pattern on my bedroom windows.

items needed to complete project:
material (enough cover glass)  I used a cotton blend but a poly/rayon(for sparkle)blend may work I used cotton flannel
scissors
sharp knife (craft)
ruler
liquid starch (any brand will do)
dishpan (to soak material)
newpaper / freezer paper for template (my first attempt I eyeballed  WRONG, take time to make a template it will save you time later when your cutting material)

here's what I did to block out the neighbors outside light  (as much as I hate to suggest this I despise walmart) look in the $1 fabric bin for a color or pattern you like.
1. measure windows, add 1/8 of an inch for wiggle room. (after the 1st one that's what I needed  to make mine fit perfectly).
2. cut covering  using the template.
3. soak material in starch solution (better to fold or roll* (width of glass) material neatly if doing a small window, squeeze out excess liquid but don't bunch material it will wrinkle).
4. start at top corner and mover across to opposite corner, working material down. (*now if I did it I'd roll it out width of the window that's easier ) pressing out any bubbles/wrinkles as you go BUT IF there is one you miss after it dries take the knife and make a small slit in center of bubble add a dab of starch to area and press smooth with finger.
5. there will be run off  so use some towels to line the bottom of window sill. to protect that precious wood.
6. enjoy your new privacy curtains.

for my dd's room we made a mosaic of her fav colors (pink, purple, black, lt purple, and paisley I just had to do it ha ha)  cut into 6x6 squares. very pretty with the morning sun shining through.
I do not have a working camera to show the windows but they are quiet pretty IMHO.


also if you want a cheap frosted glass look
This is perfect to create privacy, or for shielding an ugly view.

Dissolve 4 heaping tablespoons of Epsom salts in one cup of beer. This will foam. Let set for at least 30 minutes. The salt crystals will partially dissolve.

Make sure your windows are clean before you start.

Apply to window. This can be done with a 2 inch paint brush, but for a nicer effect, dip a facial tissue or terry cloth in the liquid and wipe over the window as if you were washing it. Then while the window is still wet go back and dab and pat at the glass with the wet tissue. (if you get impatient turn a fan on the window as you work I suggest doing a small test patch to get the desired texture you  want)

Mixture dries to form beautiful crystals. This looks even better the next day, and lasts a long time. It can be washed off with water and a cloth and is easily reapplied.


good luck.
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