Friday, February 8, 2008

Privacy, Not Perfection

I love light.  And this time of year, I crave it.

For the most part, our apartment is very bright and airy, except for the hallway.  Stuck in the middle of the space, it gets very little natural light.  We're doing what we can to improve the situation.

This past summer, I found a pair of french doors at the auction.  Paid less than twenty bucks for them.

Alan painted one of them this week and hung it in the bathroom doorway.  It lets lots of light through. 

door before door before

For privacy, I decided to glue tissue paper to the glass.  It's a much more environmentally-friendly option than those plastic films you can buy.  When we had the bakery, we had a big, glass-doored fridge.  I needed to obscure the contents of one side, so I bought a roll of that film.  The fumes from the off-gassing were really horrible.  Never again.


The tissue paper works, with a few caveats.  It's very susceptible to damp, so should really only be used on an interior window.  And in this case, I applied it to the outside of the door, so steam won't damage it.

door after

I thinned down some white glue till it was the consistency of milk.  I painted each pane of glass with the glue and then carefully put a piece of tissue paper on top.  Went over it again with the wet brush to get out any air bubbles.  This can only be done once, otherwise you run the risk of putting holes in the paper.  But don't worry, once the glue is dry, you can brush over it again to really seal up the edges.


I did end up with a couple of small holes here and there.  Fortunately, the glue and water mixture frosts the glass on its own.  If it looked really bad, I'd just clean off the glass and try again - not hard since the glue is water-soluble.

If I lived in a house with small children or pets, I'd put a couple of coats of water-based varnish on top of the paper for protection.




Tara said...

What a great idea this is! I love tuning in here!

Barb McMahon said...

Thanks so much Tara! That means a lot!

melissa @ the inspired room said...

GREAT IDEA! It looks wonderful! You are a amazing!


margaret atkinson said...

that looks amazing, Barb!!!

Barb McMahon said...

Thanks so much! I'm quite pleased with it - it really lets in the light!

Anonymous said...

I'm new to your blog and now a huge fan! What a fantastically 'green' idea, thanks so much! I am looking for 2 french doors for both my dark entry hallway entrance to the living room and a new bathroom entry upstairs to also let in more light (122 yr. old twin victorian - so dark). It's so hard to find the odd sized french door at auctions/salvage shops. Even on the internet. Did you have a hard time with your found doors? I guess slightly oversized is better as you can shave them down or maybe a smaller size and build up the door frame? Crazy. What a painful process to just get a pretty door in place!! I am still looking. You're place is lovely and this picture reminded me to persevere and it will be beautifully worth the patience.You and your husband's hard work is much appreciated. Thanks! - Shelley

Barb McMahon said...

Thank you Shelley! I'm glad you like the site!

I think it's much easier to cut down a bigger door than to try to make a smaller one fit. We're lucky to have fairly standard door openings in this place. I hope you find yours soon!