Home Decorating on a Budget

A simple and inexpensive project to add major character to your home

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When we first moved into our home 20 years ago, there was an accordion door separating the foyer and the family room. It was not my style at all. I couldn’t find a picture, but this is basically what it looked like:

Pretty quickly, we took it down and just had an open entryway, but as soon as winter hit, we realized why the door was necessary. The front of our house is a good ten degrees cooler than the back of our house when winter arrives in northeastern Ohio. You could actually feel a draft in front of this opening, so we hung a giant blanket over it for several months, which worked well but certainly looked much worse than the accordion door!

French doors were the obvious solution, but the opening is an odd size, so eventually we had to order custom doors. Say the word “custom” to me and I get excited, because it means I can add my own spin on the design. They are very basic, but the colorful stained glass panels add an extra flair. The resulting doors are one of my favorite features of the house:

A custom look without the price tag

I loved the look of the colored glass in these doors so much, that I wanted the same for my garage entry door. The view of my ugly garage from my lovely kitchen was really ruining the vibe of the living space. Even at night, when you couldn’t see in there, it looked like a black hole where a scary face could pop up at any moment. (Yes, I have an overactive imagination.)

I put a curtain up, but it blocked out more light than expected. I really wished the windows in this door were stained glass just like my beautiful foyer door, but that solution seemed drastic. The glass windows had to be energy efficient and the trim would probably have to be replaced and re-stained to match, and the whole thing just seemed overwhelming.

In preparation for Father’s Day, one of my children wanted to paint a mug for Dinner Table Doctor. As I was Googling the best way to paint a glass mug, there was my simple solution. Glass paint! For less than $30, I bought the supplies to paint the windows in my garage entry door. The entire project took about an hour.

The new look of the door ties the family room and kitchen together, allows light to come through, and hides the view of the garage. The colors liven up the kitchen area and it is unique.

How to paint windows

Supplies needed:

Window Painting Step by Step:

  • Clean each window thoroughly and allow them to dry completely.
  • Tape the edges, making sure the painters tape covers the wood trim where it touches the glass.
  • Put a few dollops of each color on separate paper plates. Using your sponge brushes, apply paint to the glass with a swirl motion. I used an opaque paint with a very light application, because I wanted light to come through but also wanted to obscure the view.
  • Keep using the swirling motion to spread the paint evenly until you are satisfied with the look. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. The paint will wipe off while it’s wet. Let your creative juices flow! You can choose to paint actual designs on your window if you’re feeling uber artistic. There are plenty of free window painting templates online. Obviously the color choices and possible designs are entirely up to you!
  • Let the paint dry for a few hours, and paint a light coat of Mod Podge over each, using the same swirly motion with a sponge brush. This will add an extra layer of protection and you’ll be able to clean the windows without worrying about the paint chipping. My center window has no color, just the Mod Podge sealer to give it an opaque look.
  • Peel off the painters tape carefully, preferably while the window is still wet. Don’t stress if you get paint on the wood. You should be able to scrape it off gently.
  • Let the paint cure for at least a day before touching the glass.
A close up of the painted window. I only painted them on the outside of the door.

Such an easy, inexpensive project that really elevates the look of a door!

I do have a problem with blank walls, as you can observe in my garage. I think the mural matches the door perfectly! So many things you can do with a paint brush…

Now when you look at my garage door from the inside, you see a beautiful glass work of art. When you approach the door from outside, you are greeted by a cheery burst of color. Plus you can’t see how messy my kitchen is until I actually let you inside the house.

If you try to paint your windows, let me know how it goes and send me some pictures. You can find me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also enter your email address below so you never miss a post.

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