Once in a while it’s refreshing to break away from the standard fare and get out of my comfort zone. Such was the case today in this century-old brownstone, in Pittsburgh’s Northside neighborhood, where I installed window film in two bathroom windows.
Trove wallcovering (troveline.com) sells window film imprinted with their wonderful patterns in a limited number of colorways. Ideally suited for privacy, they allow plenty of light to pass through, while being opaque enough to keep outsiders from seeing in through the film.
Each bathroom in the brownstone had one large window. They don’t make ‘em like they used to. The master bath window was six-feet tall. The windows were new Pella double-hung 2/2′s, installed during a recent renovation. Here are the before photos of each window:
The patterns chosen were Ciel for the Guest Bath, and the ever popular Indi (“The Birds”) for the Master Bath. The raw window film was the frost version, which is just a very subtle stipple texture. The client chose gray colorways for both patterns.
Unlike ordinary wallpaper, where there’s always another sheet to be had from the roll, Trove’s products are printed to order, with no waste. It’s the same as working with an original piece of art; if you ruin it, you bought it. Their window films are no exception. The film arrives with the client’s name computer-printed right at the top edge of each sheet.
The Ciel pattern is a run-on, cursive writing of the phrase “there’s no place like home,” with clouds as the background. In cutting up the film into four individual pieces, one for each window quadrant, I was careful to make sure that the lines of script would line up across the window panes. The window film comes with a release film attached to the sticky side. Until the release film is peeled away, the material can be handled the same as ordinary wallpaper. I set up my wallpaper table, and measuring twice, if not thrice, I cut the individual pieces from the full-size sheet of film.
After thoroughly cleaning and razor-scraping the window glass, the application begins. In the photo below, the upper two panes have had the window film applied.
Below is the finished window.
One of Trove’s earliest and most popular patterns, Indi is composed of birds taking flight. I’ve installed this as wallcovering many times, but it’s a thrill to see the pattern as window film. I wanted the pattern to be uninterrupted, so to speak, as it carried from window pane to window pane. After measuring the muntins and sash frames for their widths, I laid out the master sheet on my wallpaper table and cut out the appropriate areas. There’s no room for error here, so, again, I measured three or four times before making each cut. Afterward I arranged the pieces in their relative positions so as not to mix up the pattern while applying the film.
Below are photos of the finished window. Each individual piece of film is trimmed slightly oversized, so that it butts to two edges — say the top and left side — with the remaining two edges to be trimmed in place. The release film is removed, the glass is sprayed with a special solution, and the slightly-oversize piece of film is fitted into place. It gets squeegeed, trimmed, and wiped down with a dry towel. The finished product is a work of art.
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