Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Kitchen Window Etching the techie way!

Now here is my next problem to solve, our house faces a road with nothing but the driveway between whats happening in the kitchen and the passing pedestrians and cars! This became more apparent when I re-fitted the kitchen as I took down the old blind etc.

I looked into electric blinds, however I found they are either huge money, or not really suitable for what I need.

So my solution was to put my vinyl cutter to good use.

I you want to do the same project you will need the following:

For a plain etch:

Window Etch Vinyl - Readily available from many re-sellers or ebay, I picked up a 5m roll for £25

Squeegee - Felt edged is preferred, although I used a teflon one

Sharp knife

Masking tape

Water and washing up liquid

If you want a design cut into it like mine you need:

Vinyl Cutter or access to one, alternatively drop me an email and I can cut you one for a small fee!

Application tape

I will do the instructions for a cut design, if your not cutting it or don't have the access to the kit some of the steps may not be valid.

1. Do some measurements of your window, and decide how high up you want the film to go.

2. Think of a design! (Harder than you think)

3. Create you design using your favourite design package, and export it to your cutting software.

4. Load your etch vinyl into your cutter, I will assume you know how to use the cutter etc.

5. Cut away, then when thats done the laborious task of weeding your "seemed a good idea at the time" design out.

6. In order to be able to apply the vinyl with no bubbles etc to the window you will need to apply application tape to the top of your weeded design.

7. *Important step* Clean the window as best as you possibly can, including the rubber seals around the edge, the application process will draw any dirt etc out.

8. *More important* Measure the window again, exactly! Measure inside the rubber seal, then take 1-2mm off each side for your vinyl measurement, there needs to be a slight border to allow the water out.

9. Take your masking tape and measure out a line of it across your window at the height you want you etch to start from.

10. Cut your vinyl exactly and squarely to match your measurements, this should now fit very nicely into the window.

11. Make up a mixture of washing up liquid and water, I just did this by guesswork and the texture of the liquid i.e slippy to touch, now apply this to the whole area you are going to apply the vinyl to, this will allow the vinyl to move during the early stages.

12. Carefully remove the backing sheet from your etch vinyl, taking care not to get any debris on the sticky side.

13. Gently stick the top edge of the etch exactly below the edge of the masking tape line, take your squeegee and gently work down the vinyl, sticking down the vinyl and working out the air bubbles as you go, this may take some time. You may need to check from the other side of your window as some of the bubbles aren't visible from inside.

Once your happy that its in the right place, no bubbles, etc walk away for 12-24 hours, if your anything like me do not be tempted to peel the application tape back to see, not even a little bit!!!

12-24hrs later! Carefully remove your application layer, very carefully then stand back and admire your work!

Any questions drop me an email


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