Frosting a window allows light to shine through but blocks a detailed view through the window, offering a sense of privacy. Achieve the look with privacy film, frosted-glass paints or a homemade Epsom salt solution.
A window privacy film offers a means to add privacy to any window without altering the glass. These translucent films work like contact paper or shelf paper, sticking on clean glass surfaces. To use the film, thoroughly clean the inside-facing portion of the glass, scraping away any paint drips or bits of other debris that may prevent the film from resting flat against the glass. Measure the window; then cut the film an inch or two longer than needed. Spray soapy water on the glass; peel away the film's backing paper; then smooth the film onto the glass. Spray the outside of the film as well, and use a squeegee or plastic scraper to smooth out all the air bubbles. Window privacy films may be peeled away when you no longer need them. Etched-glass privacy films are available as well, offering detailed designs that look much like true etched glass.
Frosted Glass Paint
Frosted-glass paints range from brush-on craft paints to spray-on solutions that are ideal for windows. Some of the frosted-glass paints are designed to be washable -- if washed gently -- while others may rub off if washed, so check the product label carefully before settling on one option. Many frosted-glass paints scratch easily as well; some are designed to be more temporary than others. If covering an entire window pane, the spray-on version will most likely result in a smoother finish than brush-on frosting or etching creams and paints. Clean the window thoroughly; then mask off any areas you don't wish to paint using masking tape. Open other windows in the room for adequate ventilation and wear a respirator or mask to avoid breathing in the fumes. Spray the window in overlapping bursts of paint, holding the nozzle down before you spray the glass and not letting go until reaching beyond the end of the glass; otherwise, the paint may leave blobs or drip. Look through the window once the paint dries; if it isn't quite opaque enough, apply a second coat. For tiny decorative details such as an etched flower design, use stencils and a frosting or etching paint; both brush-on and spray-on versions will suffice.
Homemade Temporary Treatment
If you simply want to frost the windows for a temporary decorative treatment, mix up your own frost solution using 1/2 cup of Epsom salt, stirring it into 1/3 cup of warm water until the salt dissolves. Add a squirt of dish soap; then apply the solution over the glass with a microfiber cloth. Dab any drips gently as you spot them.