How To Blackout Windows (10 Ways To Do It!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Windows are one of the most popular parts of your home. They give you a good look into your neighborhood, let you have a lot of light let in, and also look stylish. Of course, sometimes, all that openness isn’t a good idea. For one reason or another, you might want to blackout your windows—at least, temporarily. Wondering how you can do this? Well, there are a couple of ways to block light from entering your home.

There are several methods that you can use to block all light and visibility out of your windows. The most common methods include:

  • Installing Blackout Curtains
  • Painting Over Your Windows
  • Cover Your Windows With Aluminum Foil
  • Use A Window Cling

Blacking out your windows can help reduce heating and cooling bills, not to mention reduce the incidence of nosy neighbors butting in. Want to know how to use each option? We have the answers you’re looking for.

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What Are Some Easy Ways To Black Out My Windows?

Did you know that people have been demanding window blackout supplies since World War II? It’s true. This was because World War II fighter planes would use the lights in homes to determine where to bomb.

Needless to say, there are a lot of old-school methods you can use to block all light out from your home. These 10 methods below, for example, are tried and true.

1. Installing Blackout Curtains

You don’t get any more old school than this! Blackout curtains existed since World War II and are a tried-and-tested method that involves adding specialized curtains to eliminate light. Using them is simple: just add them the same way you would a normal pair of curtains. If you want to, you can jazz them up by adding blinds underneath or by doing a nice window treatment setup.

The cool thing about blackout curtains is that they are not just regular black curtains. You can find blackout curtains in almost every color of the rainbow. Some even have ritzy patterns that you can enjoy. If you are looking for a way to blackout your windows in a stylish manner that can easily be reversed, this is it.

Not a fan of the blackout curtains you’ve seen on the market? Not a problem. Modern manufacturers also make blackout curtain liners that you can attach to your current curtains. This keeps light out of your home without the aggravating side effect of cramping your style.

2. Painting Over Your Windows

I’ll be honest. Painting over your windows is usually not a useful thing to do, especially if you’re trying to keep your home fashionable. However, it is incredibly useful if you are looking to permanently keep light (and eyes) out of your windows. The paint is opaque, cannot be easily removed, and also will block out most light.

With that said, this approach has a lot of drawbacks. Most cities only paint over windows if a building is condemned and abandoned. Moreover, most people associate painted windows with a run-down neighborhood. As a result, many HOAs will ban this practice outright. Some townships also disallow it for homes that are still inhabited.

Even if it is legal for you to do this, chances are that you still won’t want to do it. In most cases, painted over windows are a clear eyesore. This makes your home “that house” in the neighborhood, and that’s not a nice title to have. Unless you have a truly artistic touch to the paint that you have, you should skip this option.

3. Cover Your Windows With Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil is not exactly what people usually think of when they want to blackout their windows, but hear us out. While this isn’t the most aesthetically pleasing option, covering your windows in foil is a surefire way to eliminate any light from peeking into your home. You might be wondering why we chose foil, and the truth is, there are three good reasons why you might want to use this option:

  • It’s meant to be a temporary fix that is cheap to do. If you need to blackout your windows for a couple of days, this is a good way to do it on the cheap. All you need is some tape and some aluminum foil.
  • It will block out all light. Paint can occasionally have light sep through. Foil? Not gonna happen. Foil is a fully solid sheet of metal. There are no pores for the light to escape through.
  • It can also help keep heat out of your home. One of the reasons why having aluminum foil on your windows makes sense is because it can reflect any heat and UV rays from the sun away from your home. This can help reduce air conditioning bills on particularly hot summer days.

4. Use A Window Cling

Window clings are the new way to get blackout curtains, without actually having to sacrifice the curtains you currently have. Much like using foil, most people use window clings as a way to block out UV rays temporarily while reducing the impact that heat can have on your home’s temperature.

If you love the idea of having your windows painted over, but want to do it in a more aesthetically pleasing manner, then you might want to use a window cling. It’s possible to get a window cling that is geared towards UV protection, if you need to save some extra money. Since it’s not as visually displeasing as painting over your windows, this is also a fairly HOA-friendly way to get rid of light in your home.

5. Install An Awning

An awning is constructed of canvas sheets that are hung outside your exterior window. This stops natural light from reaching the building’s doorway and window space. This ensures full darkness, particularly in rooms.

Do you have a building that faces the sunrise? If so, the light levels in the building should be controlled with a well-placed awning. However, the point where the rays touch the window demonstrates how effective the canopy should be.

6. Get A Mesh Liner

Even if this item does not totally darken your space, it does provide adequate airflow. Furthermore, it is inexpensive and easy to install without the assistance of a professional.

Mesh fabric acts as a semi-blackout material when used between two blackout window treatments. In this position, the mesh brings fresh air to your space while also providing some shelter from the sun.

Fix the fabric pieces to a curtain rod after they’ve been cut out. If you only intend to use this item for a short time, secure the mesh using tape. Replace the adhesive with hooks and install it as an extra curtain for long-term use.

7. Place Privacy Film On The Windows

The use of privacy film is another excellent way to block out light from a bedroom window or any other room.

Plastic is used to create this material, which you may cut and adhere to your window. This device does not completely darken your environment, but it does dim the natural light to an acceptable level.

8. Use Window Tint

Window film also has a narrow profile that allows it to completely cover a window pane. It can darken any place with ease because of its quality. Overall, the rooms you use will benefit from privacy, UV protection, and extreme temperatures.

9. Install Curtain Liners

Instead of installing a blackout curtain, use a liner to minimize the amount of light in your room. If you wish to increase the darkness in the room, you can even attach the blackout lining to your existing curtain.

There are various advantages to using a thermal liner. For starters, it aids in the reduction of electricity expenses to a manageable level. Furthermore, this fantastic product keeps the space cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It also prevents practically all outside light from entering the building.

10. Apply Cardboard

You might not be able to obtain blackout paper for windows in the stores. However, some cardboard sheets or corrugated boards are the finest options. You can use these alternatives by taping them on your window with painter’s tape.

These materials, like other window blackout solutions, protect your eyes from UV radiation and keep the cold out of your home.

Create a blackout room by sticking bits of velcro or cardboard to the edges of the glass if you already have a window film for day and night privacy.

Should I Blackout My Windows?

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to get your home’s windows blacked out from time to time. Some of the most common reasons why blacking out your curtains may make sense include:

  • Personal Preferences. Hey, I hate light. Maybe you hate light too. Who is anyone to judge if you need to avoid sunlight? People who live in an obnoxiously sunny area might choose to get blackout curtains just so that their eyes don’t burn.
  • Sleep Needs. Do you have a window that looks right over your bed? If so, you might find it hard to sleep after the sunrise. This can lead to some pretty bad side effects if you need a couple of extra hours of sleep. Blackout curtains will block the sunlight, preventing your sleep cycle from getting too deeply affected by the sun.
  • Home Decoration Needs. Sunlight might make your home’s decorations look a little wonky in some cases. This is especially true if you invest in a lot of mood lighting or neon signage. If your decor requires no sunlight whatsoever to work, you might want to get blackout curtains to protect your ambiance from the daylight.
  • Air Conditioning. Light increases the temperature of your home as it pours in from the outside. Blackout curtains absorb the heat and keep your air conditioning bills low. If you need to have time to let your air conditioner settle, then getting your windows blacked out can make life a lot more tolerable while you let it rest.
  • Privacy. It’s no secret that having nosy neighbors means that you could run the risk of having a neighborhood gossip watching your windows. It is a legit problem, and depending on the type of town you live in, can make your life hell. Blacking out your windows can help you get the privacy you’re actually entitled to have.
  • Air Raids. Okay, okay, this no longer is that big an issue, but sometimes, you just don’t want people to know you’re home. Blackout curtains help because they obscure everything that goes on behind closed doors.

How Effective Are Blackout Curtains?

Believe it or not, they are remarkably effective. When properly installed, typical blackout curtains will be able to block out anywhere from 95 to 99 percent of all light that enters your room.

It’s worth noting that no blackout curtains will ever be able to block out 100 percent of light, but that’s alright. Most people will never be able to distinguish the difference.

When compared to most other methods used to blackout windows, blackout curtains remain some of the most effective methods on the market.

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Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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