Like blackout curtains, blackout shades provide a means of blocking out sunlight and other exterior lights that may hinder sleep. Unlike blackout curtains, which install over a window in front of any blinds, however, blackout shades install inside the window frame, which makes it possible to hang the shades behind wood blinds.
When installed inside a window, blackout shades create a barrier between the glass window and the interior of a room when the shades are pulled down. If you want to let light in through a window in which blackout shades are installed, you can raise the shades by pushing them up from the bottom or pulling the pull string, depending upon the style of the blind. Blackout shades can be found in many of the same stores that sell standard shades, blinds and curtains, including home stores and department stores.
Determine the Space
Before buying blackout shades to hang behind wood blinds, check the amount of space in the window frame behind the blinds. Use a measuring tape to measure the distance between the back of the window frame and the bracket for the wood blinds. Buy a blackout shade for the window that has a bracket with a small enough width to fit into the available space behind the blinds' bracket.
Hang Blackout Shades
Hang the blackout shades behind the wood blinds much in the same way that the original blinds were hung. To ensure a proper installation, make sure to follow the directions supplied with the blinds. As a general rule though, install a shade on the window by screwing the main bracket supplied with the shade into the top of the window frame and then inserting the top of the shade into the bracket.
If you have blackout shades installed behind the wood blinds on your windows, you shouldn't need any additional coverage to keep light from coming in from outside. If you would like to add a window treatment to the window as well, you can always install curtains over the window. Since the window frame will already be full, you will likely need to install the curtains using a standard curtain rod that hangs on the outside of the window frame.
Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.