How to Blackout Your Home’s Windows with Paint

painting on window

Although there are numerous ways to blackout your windows, one of the most foolproof solutions to achieving total blackness inside is by painting over your windows.

Sure, blackout curtains and shades work well but they often don’t darken your room completely. No matter what, somehow there always seems to be a little bit of sunlight that shines around the edges of curtains and blinds. By applying black paint yourself, you can be absolutely certain that your windows will be blacked out completely.

How might you go about doing such a thing you might ask?

To start off, there are a few precautions you must take: finding the right paint for the job and then, of course, painting your windows effectively while avoiding making a mess.

Although the process of painting your windows is simple, there are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you do so.

Choosing the right paint

close up view of some paint

Before you get started smearing paint on your windows, it is important to first decide what type of paint you want to use. 

If you are fixed on permanently blacking out your windows, you might be interested in using paint that is less likely to wear away or rub off in the future. In turn, most acrylic paints are excellent since they don’t easily rub off glass windows. In fact, these chemical-based paints don’t rub off of really anything quite easily at all.

On the other hand, if you are interested in a slightly less permanent window paint solution, you might be interested in using latex paint. Latex paint is durable paint, yet it still can be removed from smooth glass in the future. Because latex paints are water-based, they are slightly easier to scrape off glass. 

It might be a good idea to go with latex paint rather than acrylic paint because even though latex paints are just slightly less resilient, they are much easier to remove if you want to see through your windows sometime in the future. 

Whatever paint you select, it is important that you choose the darkest shade of black possible.

Painting over your windows

paint brush and can

Once you have selected your paint of choice, its time to prepare to paint.

Cleaning your windows (optional)

washing window with soap

Although it isn’t necessary, cleaning your windows can really help to remove any grit or grime that would otherwise create an uneven painting surface.

Running a soapy sponge over every bit of glass on the inside of your window can do the trick. Alternatively running an isopropyl alcohol-soaked paper towel along the interior of your window will also do. 

Once done wiping down your windows, be sure to let them thoroughly air dry before starting to paint. 

Masking your windows

applying tape on edges of window

Once your windows are done air-drying its always a good idea to mask at least the inner edge of the casing to avoid unwanted paint splatter on the casing and other parts of your window. 

Carefully apply painters tape on these inner edges before your first stroke of paint. 

Painting your windows

applying black paint on a window

Finally, once your windows are masked off, its time to get started painting. 

There really isn’t a wrong way to go about the actual painting process. However, many people prefer to carefully paint along the edges of the window first. Once the perimeter is painted, its easier to go ahead and broadly fill in the rest of the window with paint. Simply make sure that the window is evenly painted over. 

Once the painting is complete, you can then let your window air dry. As the window dries, you may find that there may be some parts of the window where the paint didn’t completely cover the glass. In which case, you may need to apply a second coat of paint, and then wait for that coat of paint to dry as well. 

Removing paint from your windows

scraping glass with razor blade

In the circumstance where you decide that you want to remove the paint from your windows, there are certainly approaches you can take to do so. Keep in mind that latex paint is much easier to remove from glass than acrylic paint. 

First, fill a bucket with warm water and then mix in some dish soap. Take a sponge and soak it in the sudsy dish soap solution before washing the window glass from top to bottom with your sudsy sponge.

Next, grab a razor blade and hold it at a sharp angle to the glass (45 degrees or less). Proceed to lightly scrape away at the paint on the window in short, delicate strokes. If you find that the area you are scraping is dry at any point, use the sponge to wet it again. By scraping dry glass with a razor blade you are more likely to end up damaging the glass. 

Instead of using a soap and water solution, you may also use a glass cleaner. Simply spray your window down with the glass cleaner before scraping away the paint with the razor. 

Once all the paint has been removed, wipe your window back down with a dry rag. If you find that there are a still a few spots of paint left (which there probably will be) wet those spots before scraping over them again with the razor. 

Final words 

Painting your windows is certainly an effective blackout solution. However, there are many ways in which you can go wrong when using this approach compared to other blackout solutions. 

That being said, before you go ahead and decide to use paint to blackout your windows, it’s first important to consider the downsides of using paint on your windows.  

The fact that this solution is relatively permanent can be a drawback instead of an advantage for some. Even though you can scrape the paint off with a razor blade later down the road, in most cases it isn’t easy. Even with latex-based paint, the process is still arduous and time-consuming as well. Furthermore, you can risk damaging your windows in doing so.

Alternative ways of blocking window light can be just as effective, and yet much easier to do. Blackout window film, for instance, is easy to put up, it works well and it’s much easier to take off of your windows compared to paint.

At the end of the day though, to each his own. If paint is your method of choice, by all means, go for it.

For an in-depth approach to darkening your entire bedroom, check out this ultimate guide to blacking out your bedroom!