About faux stained glass window film

Written by l. bradley
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About faux stained glass window film
Stained glass window films made from photographs of stained glass appear realistic. (stained glass 3 image by Cesar Andrade from Fotolia.com)

Faux stained glass window films give interior decorators and hobbyists an attractive option for covering a window that looks out on an unappealing vista, and work nicely in home and business settings. Window films allow light to shine through while providing privacy. Styles range from historic to contemporary, with surfaces resembling many types of glass. High quality window films produce the impression of elegant, expensive decorative glass at a fraction of the cost.

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Decorating

Faux stained glass window films come in a wide variety of styles suitable for any interior. Some resemble the look of frosted glass and are monochromatic or white. Others imitate the look of colourful, detailed stained glass. Both frosted and stained glass films are available in floral and Art Deco styles that are compatible with retro and Victorian-era interiors. Geometric patterns reflect simple, modern tastes. Faux window glass films are easily cut and formed to any window style. Films come in rectangular sheets of varying measurements, rolls and pre-cut shapes such as decorative corners, medallions and borders.

Geometric, repeating patterns work best in large windows with measurements that fit the repeating patterns exactly. Small floral, or flowing abstract imagery works best in older multi-paned windows, or small windows as custom cutting of organic shapes is generally more forgiving than geometrics.

About faux stained glass window film
Large, geometic stained glass designs work best on large windows. (stained-glass -3 image by Marina Subocheva from Fotolia.com)

Types and Styles

Window films are either adhesive-backed or static cling. Static cling films are easier to remove and are reusable, but are more difficult to clean as they attract dust. Adhesive films are removable but not reusable. Cleanup of adhesive residue is required after removal. Faux window glass films are easily cut and formed to any window style. Films come in rectangular sheets of varying measurements, in rolls, and in pre-cut shapes such as decorative corners, medallions and borders.

Some stained glass window films are graphically designed to resemble traditional leaded stained glass mosaic techniques. New films are photographed directly from real stained glass panels and are very realistic in appearance as the inherent textural variations in stained glass are apparent.

About faux stained glass window film
Organic, irregular shapes work well in small spaces, or on arching and circular windows. (vitrail image by chantal cecchetti from Fotolia.com)

Preparation

Good glass preparation is key to successful window film installation. Scrape away any residue of paint or any raised surface with a razor blade. Wash glass surfaces with a clean rag dampened with equal parts of water and vinegar and a drop of dish detergent to remove any oil or grease. Wear latex gloves when installing window film so oil from your hands doesn't transfer to the glass.

Installation

Carefully measure the windows you want to cover, especially if you are cutting the stained glass window film to a custom or irregular-sized window. Draw an outline based on measurements on the back of the film. Add an extra inch around all outlines before cutting. Window film shrinks after it is removed from the paper backing. Follow manufacturer instructions carefully when applying film to any window. Use a squeegee to remove air bubbles under the film. Press all edges firmly into window mouldings then trim away extra film with a sharp utility knife.

Care

Faux stained glass window films retain a bright, colourful surface for years with minimal care.They are resistant to the effects of heat, cold, steam and humidity. Take care to clean the film with a soft cloth dampened in water, vinegar and a drop of detergent. Always avoid abrasives.

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