Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who Wants Privacy?

If you recall, we’ve been rocking the paper shades for five months now. We’ve even had company. Gasp. Who have I become?

I don’t know who this new person is, but I miss a bit of the uptightness. Seriously. It was time to get rid of this…

paper shade

I was actually a bit stumped. I think I would have tackled this project months ago if it were an easy solution. I had lots to settle in my brain first, and I needed to get the hubs on board.

Sounds like serious stuff, huh? It’s not.

We’ve never had a front door with glass in it before. We’ve had sidelights and we’ve had transom windows, both of which I admire for their ability to let in light. But the transom window is always too high to see in (unless someone carries a ladder with them, I suppose), and I’ve always kept narrow blinds or curtains on the sidelights.

I appreciate a peep hole more than I should. I feel no sense of obligation whatsoever to answer the door to strangers/salesmen, but I feel a tiny bit awkward staring said strangers in the face and then walking away. I don’t need that kind of pressure in my own home!

The glass in the front door is not frosted or patterned in such a way to provide any privacy. It especially bothers me at night. If we had a true “entryway” (we’ve had a few homes that have had some sort of hallway or small foyer that separates the front door from the living room), it might not bother me as much, but we don’t.

You can see into part of the kitchen, as well as the living room, from the front door. There is a small little entryway area (where I have a dresser and lamp), but it doesn’t really provide much separation from the actual living space of our home like many entryways we’ve had in the past.

So, we’ve just left the paper shades up while we debated what to do.

The hubs actually suggested some sort of camera system (I totally thought he was joking, but it turned out he wasn’t) when we first moved in. That would help with the peep hole issue; I could see from the classroom who was ringing my doorbell and decide not to answer it, but it would do nothing to solve the privacy issue. So I quickly nixed that idea.

I have some window film left over that I bought for a patio door years ago, but this glass is leaded.

leaded glass

All of the lines are raised, so you can’t really squeegee on any kind of film or window tint. Which is kind of a bummer, because I thought a mirrored tint would be perfect; it would let us see out without anyone seeing in. Oh well.

Of course there is always the possibility of a new door. But that is not going to happen right now. I have too many other plans for our pennies.

So I just decided to paint the window. I knew there were faux etching and frosting paints on the market, but I had never used any. I asked around and did some googling. I decided I wanted a spray, just to cut down on the chance of splotchiness.

Hobby Lobby had several color options in the brush-on kind, in case someone wants to do a stained-glass effect. I just wanted it to look frosted. Just something to make it at least blurry when someone tried to look straight in the front door.

It was $8.99 for a spray can (about half the size of a normal can of spray paint), which is more than double the price of the little tubes, but it covers more and it’s way easier in the application. I used a 40% off coupon, so it was $5.39.

frosting paint

I didn’t even worry about taping off the door. I’m going to paint it soon.

My husband was all, “What? You’re just going to spray paint the window? Are you going to tape off the door?” I told him to trust me or something to that effect (and I was shocked he didn’t ask about a drop cloth), then I lightly sanded the window to allow the paint to grip better. The instructions didn’t say to, but I figured it couldn’t hurt. Why would I care if I got scratches in the glass? That would help with privacy.

I cleaned the window twice just to make sure it was super clean.

Then I just started spraying. With the door closed. Right before bed. It was stinky. The hubs asked, “Why didn’t you wait until tomorrow and do that with the door open?” Good question. I don’t know.

I did three thin coats. It was pretty splotchy after just one coat, so I was a bit worried. But as with most paint, it got better after the second coat. I went ahead and did a third thin coat just to make sure it was thick enough and to finish off my can. What in the world would I do with a partial tiny can of faux frosting?

The can did mention that it would appear more frosted as it dried. It was a bit difficult to tell how much was on the window, since it went on wet looking and dried to a frosted finish. I just tried the best I could to spray it evenly, even though it was kind of difficult to tell if I was.

We were both impressed by it the next day. It worked better than I expected. I tested it out at different times through the day with the kids on one side and me on the other. You can’t even see a shadow during the day, and at night you can only see a person if they come right up to the door (and even then it’s just a dark blur). You definitely can’t see anything from the street.

I absolutely could not get a pic during the day without it blowing out (is that a correct photography term?), but here is one from the inside during the night.

frosted glass

And here is one from outside.

frosted glass at night

So hooray. I can’t see who is at my front door. But they can’t see me either, so it’s a trade off I’m willing to make. Maybe someday we’ll save our pennies and get a solid door with a peep hole, like all civilized suburbanites.


I mentioned the other day that I picked something else up from Garden Ridge. I got a mirror for the entryway. It’s a Moroccan inspired shape.

I’m not necessarily a fan of Moroccan style, but I do like a quatrefoil mirror. Who doesn’t? If you’re in the market for one, they’re available at a variety of price points.

quatrefoil mirrors

I was drawn to its glossy white frame. I thought it would be gorgeous on the black chalk wall, and I always say every entryway needs a mirror. I looked at it and then walked away. We were there for closet organization.

Then my oldest son (the budding designer, remember?) asked why I didn’t get it. I said I wasn’t sure if it would fit. He said, “Where? By the front door? I think it’ll fit with a couple of inches left on each side. I really like it. I think it’s cool.”

Done. Kid’s got style! And a good eye for scale. And possibly the power of persuasion.

I knew there was a stud right in the dead center of this wall because we just put it there. I was planning to run wire from each hook and hang it with one screw in that stud. (I don’t know what’s up with those extra holes. They were already there.)

hanging hook

And then I saw this on the backside of the packaging.

hanging instructions

Stupid instructions. You don’t know me.

I sighed and decided they were right. What’s two more minutes of work to measure between the hooks?

measure here

And three more to mark the wall and make sure the line is level?


And another four to drill holes and put in a couple of anchors?


Fine, instructions, you win. But only because we’ve had a kajillion earthquakes recently. I’m not using picture hooks though, so take that. I’ll use screws and anchors if I feel like it.

When you buy anchors, the package will tell you the perfect size drill bit to use in order for the anchor to push easily into the wall. If you need a hammer, you’re doing it incorrectly. It took me years to figure that out for some reason. So there you go, learn from¬† my experience. Read the package.

threesixteenths drill bit


You know what I’m not experienced at? Photography. Who knew, right? Jk.

How in the world does one photograph a mirror? Especially on a black wall? If it looks off centered, that’s because of the black corner. My photography is horrible but my measuring is superb. Sometimes.

So anyway, here are several attempts at a good picture of the mirror.

quatrefoil mirror2 quatrefoil mirror

mirror3 mirror2 mirror

And here’s a shot from the sofa since I can’t get a closer up pic of the door without it blowing out, or whatever it’s called. I love that there is still lots of light, but also lots of privacy.


And here’s a look at the entryway from the vantage point of the front door. (In real life you have a wider view into the kitchen and the living room.)


I’m pleased with how this whole little entry is coming together. I was afraid I might think the classroom wall made this area feel cramped, but the footprint in the entry is really no different than it was with that spindly divider thingy. We lost a bit of natural light from that huge window in the classroom (former formal dining room),


but the front door lets in lots and we have three light fixtures in the “hallway” that was created by adding a wall and pocket doors.

While the footprint is the same in the entryway, it does feel different in the hallway area, simply because it’s now like you’re walking down a hall whereas before it was more like you were passing through a room. We’re definitely liking it though. It’s working well to meet the needs of our family.

I am anxious to get that front door (and the rest of the trim and doors in the hallway) painted. More like I’m anxious for it to be over. Hopefully this weekend. Have a good one, you guys!



  1. Great information and ideas! I see your post is dated April 2014, I need the black framed Moroccan mirror from Lowe’s for $64, but I can’t find it. Can you send me a link?

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