Four years ago, I installed decorative window film on the lower half of my bedroom windows for increased privacy. At the time, I meant to add plain, frosted window film to the living room windows, as well. Somehow four years managed to pass before I finally got around to it. However, after much delay, I did finally get the living room windows covered, and I am thrilled with the results. As you can see in the photo above, the film offers and incredible amount of privacy, without sacrificing light. I picked the simplest, frosted option from Home Depot.
Here's the window before the film was installed--any passerby could see right into the apartment when we had the curtains pulled back.
The first step to installing window film is to cut it to size. Be sure to measure your windows very, very carefully. You'll want to cut your film about 1/8-inch smaller all around than the actual window size, so you can fit it into the frame. I used a T-square and a rotary cutter for straight lines. When cutting, press down hard, as the film is thick enough that you need to apply some pressure.
The sealant on my windows isn't perfectly square at the corners, so I trimmed every corner of the film into a rounded corner, so it would lie flat and not touch the sealant.
Make sure your windows are very clean. Fill a pray bottle with water and a few drops of dish washing detergent. Spray the windows so that they are completely wet. The manufacturer doesn't instruct you to do this, but I found it helpful to pre-spray the back of the film itself in addition to spraying the window.
The final step is to place the film on the window and smooth it into place. Use your hands to position it and then take a credit card (or in this case a Starbucks gift card) to smooth out all the small air bubbles beneath the surface. It's important to be patient with this step for the best-looking results.