How to Add Privacy to a Patio Door

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Patio doors open a room to the outdoors. They let light in and let you see out. For the times that you do not want others looking in, patio doors can be fitted with options that provide privacy. Here are some suggestions for adding privacy to a patio door.

Things You'll Need

  • Patio door
  • Optional coverings as needed
  • Screen your door. Many patio doors have sliding patio screens to keep out bugs and provide privacy. If your patio door has a screen but it provides no privacy, visit your local hardware or screen repair shop and ask about privacy screen that can fit your frame. If your patio door does not have a screen, you can add one. If you have a standard patio door, home improvement stores may have a screen in stock that can be directly installed with no modifications.

  • Bamboo screens roll up and down to protect patio doors and windows. The bamboo screens are inexpensive and easy to install. They usually take three or four hooks installed over the patio door. The screen clips onto the hooks and is rolled up or down as needed.

  • Drapes or curtains can be installed on the wall inside the patio door frame. Hanging rods and hardware are available at hardware and department stores. Heavier drapes are more expensive and can be more challenging to install. Lightweight or sheer curtains take a simple rod and can be quickly pulled to one end and tied. Be sure the curtain rod is sturdy enough to support floor-length curtains.

  • Holiday door covers are a fun and quick way to provide privacy. These big decorative vinyl decorations are made to cover your front door. They are available at dollar stores, party shops and department stores. Use removal tape to put a colorful or serene picture over the patio door. They are inexpensive and can be changed with the season.

  • Temporary privacy can be a family project. Use butcher paper cut and taped to fit the patio door. Make it a family project to finger paint or poster paint designs on the paper. A parent can use a felt pen or brush to paint lines in a grid on the paper like panes on a window. This makes individual blocks for each person to do his or her design. After the paint dries thoroughly, the home mural can be put on the patio door with removable tape. This is not a permanent solution but can provide a few days of family privacy and entertainment.

  • Sun film can be installed on patio door glass. It comes in shades from light to dark film. You can see out but it is not easy to see in. Light adhesive holds the film in place. Sun film can be purchased at hardware or home improvement stores. Sun film should not be installed on thermo pane windows as it may affect the warranty. Check with a commercial installer who may provide a separate warranty against damage from sun film.

  • Tinted PVC or vinyl film can also provide privacy and is carried by some fabric stores. It is less expensive than sun film and is held in place by static. Just put it up on wet window, squeegee it in place, and peel it off when you do not need it. As with sun film, tinted film can affect the warranty on thermo pane windows. Check with the window manufacturer before applying tinted film.

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