Pretty as a Picture (Window) | Bower Power
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Pretty as a Picture (Window)

2011 December 9
by Katie

It’s not blaringly obvious.  Not like the teal or Pepto carpet…or the tan painted trim…or the crazy red basement…but it’s there.

staring.

right at me.

everyday.

It’s the picture window in our kitchen.  From most of the photos you’ve seen, it’s your basic Hanes white underwear.  What you don’t see is the skidmarks…err…the fog.  That’s right.  It’s one of those big double paned glass windows that got moisture trapped in between the panes…causing it to fog up faster than a 18 year old’s memory at a rush party.  And since replacing such a huge window isn’t in the Bower budget, I decided that if you can’t hide it, I would try my darndest to make it look intentional.  Enter my dear friend Martha Stewart.

She doesn’t know it but we are close.  I paid her salary last year.  and the year before.  But don’t tell her, I don’t want her to get all weird around me.

I decided to stecil a pattern directly onto the inside of the window.  I know.  I am coo-coo.

The stencil was actually on sale and I had my bonus coupons in hand at Michaels so this entire project cost less than $10.  Plus, the stencil came with a bunch of other options if I ever want to stipple my way into stenciling again.

I used the ‘frosted effect’ paint that was also at Michaels (half off) and I love it.  Plus, it’s way safer than the actual etching stuff (which smells and can be caustic)…AND this paint can be removed (whereas if I took the big plunge into etching my big ole window and hated it, well, too bad soo sad.

Ta da!

One finished stenciled window.  oh and here’s probably the best photo to see the actual fogginess compared to the other windows.

It’s super subtle and hard to photograph – which is why all these photos show the inside so dark.

BUT I think it accomplishes my ultimate goal of taking the window and making it blend a little better…making it more intentional.

plus, I dig the overlapping circles.

Here’s a close up so you can see how the paint actually looks.

Obviously you can’t Windex this or it would come off…but obviously I am not a window-washing type of person….I’m more of a window-shopping type of person :)

And yes, I did this a long time ago – right before my sister’s wedding in September and so far, so good…even with the little hands in the middle, I just do quicky cleanups with a paper towel with a light spritz (careful not to get the paint).

And yes, it’s far from perfect…but honest to goodness, it looks more perfect in real life because of the way the light shines through.

Maybe I’ve lost it…painting windows.

Or maybe it’s crazier that I have like a hundred photos of this window on my computer.

If people saw what was on my computer they would think I’m nuts.  Window pictures.  Quick google searches to complete randomness – like “how to tan a hide”…it involves battery acid & salt, who knew?!…and “blue balls christmas”….you don’t want to know what comes up….and ‘what is the little space on your lower eyelid between the lashes and the eyeball called?”…..crucial to life info.

You see how when more light comes in, it kinda disappears?  Yeah.  That happens a lot…but for some reason, making the edges more fogged up with the paint makes the entire thing better to me.

And because I know you’d love to see it at night – here she blows.

What do you think?  I rarely ask your opinion…but sometimes I love it, sometimes I can’t wait to replace the window completely….so I’m on the fence…with an extra cheek leaning more to the pasture of likage…



102 Responses leave one →
  1. Jill permalink
    December 10, 2011

    I LOVE IT!! And thank you for inadvertently giving me some help on fixing the windows next to our front door!

  2. Ann permalink
    December 10, 2011

    We had a foggy window caused by a gas seal leak (I think it’s fairly common). I hated it! I hired a window company to come and replace the gas seal. The removed the window, did their thing, and put it back.

  3. Kendall permalink
    December 10, 2011

    Hi Katie,

    The only thing I have to say is that I recently learned what that space of eyelid is call between your lashes and your eyeball….it is the waterline!

    I was watching a beauty tutorial on a website called the beauty department that mentioned it. Oddly and randomly enough the website is backed by Lauren Conrad of The Hills fame. Strange world! fun website though. I learned how to do a fishtail braid there as well.

  4. Haley permalink
    December 10, 2011

    I really like the pattern but could see how the fog could still get annoying.

  5. Megan permalink
    December 10, 2011

    I’m just glad to read there’s someone else who doesn’t clean windows. :) Big windows are totally awesome, especially when you are rocking a great view, but cleaning them…..ugghhh. I wish it were as easy as that commercial with the guy and girl in the backyard with the pool.

  6. December 10, 2011

    Great idea! It’s perfect!

    sorry, your comments are in the top

  7. December 10, 2011

    I love it!

  8. Tracy B permalink
    December 10, 2011

    I am LOVING this! I think you totally achieved the effect that you wanted. (Making the fog look intentional). Plus I love this if you decide you don’t like it anymore you can wipe it off with windex. How long did it take you to complete it? I have been thinking about stenciling the ceiling in my half bath, but after reading you girl Sherry’s post about how long it took her to do the office I have been weary.

    • December 10, 2011

      About an hour…one nap :) That’s how things are measured these days – in naps :)
      xo – kb

  9. December 10, 2011

    I think it’s a great solution. It does exactly what you wanted it to do and makes the frosted look seem a little more intentional. You’re so creative.
    -Diana

  10. Alison permalink
    December 10, 2011

    Hey Katie,

    I think it’s a really creative temporary solution to the problem, but I’m kind of in the camp of replacing/removing the moisture from the window. It’s not because I think the stenciling looks bad, because I actually really like it and would probably tell you to do something more permanent on the new/fixed window. I think the window should be “cleared” up because it would drive me absolutely bonkers to have the foggy view all the time in an area of the home where the view should have more prominence.

    That’s just my two cents. Love your blog and love seeing what you come up with.

    Alison

  11. December 10, 2011

    What a way to work with what you’ve got!

  12. December 11, 2011

    Fantastic! Its so subtle, but it does an amazing job of breaking up the picture window. I love it!

  13. kemper permalink
    December 11, 2011

    Katie, all of our windows and doors on one side of our house we sold over the summer had this problem. As per the home inspection they had to be fixed…something about leaky seals…losing heat/air…anyway, we had a glass place replace all the seals and he cleaned the windows as he did it. It was around $1000 for 8 double paned windows, 2 single windows , one single door and 2 large sliding glass doors. Just something to file away for future fixes if you’re interested.

  14. Randa permalink
    December 11, 2011

    Your line about being on the fence & the extra cheek had me laughing out loud… funny! :)

    I am squarely in the “liking it” pasture myself. And if you fall over one day into the “hating it” pasture, you could always just take one of the recommendations above regarding fixing the seal.

  15. December 11, 2011

    I love the idea. It’s not permanent so you can change it if and when you want to. It’s also a very creative way to blending in the problem, until it can be fixed later. :)

  16. December 11, 2011

    I second (or like 50th) the whole warranty thing. We moved into a house with like 6yr old windows – about 4 of them had the whole fog type thing going on and I contacted the manufacturer. They shipped us out new window ‘sashes’ (we were able to pop them in ourselves since the whole thing was removable). But your stencils do look awesome!!

  17. Anna permalink
    December 11, 2011

    Looks great! And it is awesome that it isn’t permanent in case you want to do something else in the future.

  18. Kelly permalink
    December 11, 2011

    Hi Katie!

    Would you ever paint the legs or the spokes of the chairs white to help tie them in to the table/bench/upholstery? Or is it their complete redness that allows them to “pop”? I think they’re ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL, but I would just love to get a look into your brilliant design mind!!

    Thanks and God Bless! :)

    • December 12, 2011

      I definitely think that their complete paint job in red makes it look best…although I think painting them white completely wouldn’t be a bad option either. In my opinion having a chair in a completely different color makes it look a little more mix-n-match…casual and not too matchy matchy :)
      xo – kb

  19. Tara permalink
    December 11, 2011

    U blow my mind in the creative department. I think it looks cool. Had u asked me I would have thought it was made to be like that for privacy. Works for me. I like how u did the trick with the window for your bathroom too!

  20. December 12, 2011

    Longtime reader (like – forever, longtime) first time commenter! This house down the street from me went up for sale not too long ago, on BOWER BOULEVARD!

    http://www.realtor.ca/propertyDetails.aspx?propertyId=10954058&PidKey=-469952021

    Every time I drive by I think “Katie would probably find it hilariously awesome to live on Bower.” Talk about ultimate Bower Power! And hello, the california closet inside is worth the look at the pictures!

  21. December 12, 2011

    That is awesome – I really love it! There are several windows in our home that I’ve been considering treating with that stick-on frosting material. It never even occurred to me that paint is an option, let alone paint that I could remove in future. Thanks for the great idea.

  22. Jason permalink
    December 12, 2011

    WARRANTY?

    Did you check with the manufacturer about warranty coverage? Most reputable manufacturers offer some sort of warranty against seal failure (10 years, 20 years, lifetime, etc) and most are transferable from owner to owner.
    Hopefully you looked into it before painting the window (it looks great) as that has likely voided any warranty you did have.
    It also isn’t just the ugly appearance of the moisture between the panes of glass, but it is a performacne issue as well (the insulating value is decreased by approx 70% when the airspace is not sealed).

    • December 12, 2011

      Question – why would painting the window make the warranty be voided? Isn’t it just like a window decal or a 3m hook or something else you would typically stick to the window? especially since it is completely removable?
      And I am definitely going to look into the warranty info – if I can find it online (since the house was a foreclosure, there was no inherited info on pretty much everything!)
      xo – kb

      • julianna permalink
        December 12, 2011

        Things like window films for frosting glass can sometimes cause thermal stress on windows. So some window manufacturers say that putting window films, etching, or paint can void the warranty. I’m a little fuzzy on the physics, but I assume it has something to do with sunlight absorbing unevenly? Anyway, since your paint is removable, if you are able to file a warranty claim, you should probably remove it before anyone comes to check it out (just to be on the safe side).

  23. December 12, 2011

    It looks great, like it was meant to be that way! Such a great idea!

  24. December 12, 2011

    This has nothing to do with your post (btw, the window looks amazing), but have you seen this bacon ornament!? http://www.fredflare.com/APARTMENT/Bacon-Ornament/

  25. Lady permalink
    December 12, 2011

    I love the frosted look, but unfortunately I have a child who is amazingly good at putting sticky fingerprints all over the windows. Mine would need to be washable.

    Maybe some contact paper would work for that? You know, the kind for making windows more “private”? Like Sherry & John’s kitchen/side door window! Though the cutting would be awful and take forever…

  26. Lady permalink
    December 12, 2011

    And I forgot to mention that I have a crazy red basement! Carpet, doors and trim! Maybe they filmed a bad 70s Austin Powers type movie down there?

  27. Sishya permalink
    December 12, 2011

    katie,
    timing!!
    i have a problem too…
    i created it..actually.
    the previous owners walled off two windows in the living room making it all too dark for us…so we decided to let in the daylight!! now it is winter and looks great. but when summer comes, living with windows and no window treatments in Arizona is not fun.
    the other problem i have is that it has a steel lintel? (i am unable to drill holes into the window wall..:(
    anyway, wanted to get your expert advice on what you would do for:
    1. creating privacy
    2. energy saving option

    thanks so much..sorry for all the rambling..:)

  28. December 12, 2011

    That looks wonderful! What a great idea. :)

  29. December 12, 2011

    LOVE it! What a good idea! After reading this post, I’m thinking of a window in my house that could use some “painting”! Thanks for sharing! :)

  30. December 12, 2011

    I love what you’ve done with the window….it’s looks awesome!..it really does: great job!!

  31. December 13, 2011

    I have that same issue with my sliding glass door in my kitchen! I hate the fog! This is a great idea and I think it turned out cute!

  32. December 13, 2011

    I love it! I’m working on the furniture in my new office and using stencils to personalize it. Stencils ROCK!

  33. Jess permalink
    December 13, 2011

    Katie-You literally make me LOL. I love reading your blog (I stumbled over from younghouselove.com…which I also LOVE), your decriptions are fantastic and your projects are creative. Keep it up and a Very, Merry to you and yours!!

    Jess

  34. December 14, 2011

    i just pinned your dining room. it makes me happy. i love the red chairs, the farmhouse table & your choice of wall color. the whole package is just plain fun! thanks for the inspiration!!!

  35. December 21, 2011

    Thanks for the inspiration, Katie! I just painted my windows too! http://twosmithereens.blogspot.com/2011/12/little-privacy.html

  36. Bridget permalink
    December 27, 2011

    We have been contemplating stenciling our kitchen windows because I don’t want curtains or blinds in there and hate looking into our neighbors house….this gives me the confidence

  37. January 5, 2012

    Hello. I live in the city and my windows are totes useless since I never draw the curtains. So I’ve been thinking about frosting for awhile (to get some beloved daylight every now and again) and your lil post made it seem pretty easy. But what is this paint that you used? I went to my local craft store and all I could find was Rust-oleum Frosted Glass. Big Mistake. Huge. 1. I now know I’m not into huffing, and 2. It stinks and sucks. What is this Martha frosted glass you speak of?

    • January 5, 2012

      It’s sold at Michaels…do you have one nearby? Otherwise I think you probably have to look up where Martha’s products are sold :)
      xo – kb

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