RV Reno – No More Frosted Glass

I’m interrupting my usual travel blog schedule to let you know of a little RV renovation we just completed yesterday. So many RVs come with frosted glass cabinet and pantry doors these days, and while they look pretty, if they are scratched, it’s really difficult to remove the scratch. And let’s face it, when your home is a moving earthquake, stuff shifts and scratches happen. We’ve even begun stuffing pillows, placemats, and small blankets in the cabinets with glass doors just to protect everything.

We had several cabinet doors and the pantry door sustain scratching while moving last summer. We tried frosted glass spray paint (two different brands) and even silver paint markers, and nothing worked. We’d seen a Facebook post recently where someone had actually removed the frost with a small scraper and put up decorative window vinyl. That seemed like a viable option, and there are so many choices out there as far as patterns go. We started with our pantry and laundry doors. (Yes, in our Grand Design 385gk, our laundry room in next to the pantry!)

Since we were doing these door first, I decided to order word decals from Dark Horse Decals on Etsy to give our rig a more homey feel. I spent the better part of Super Bowl Sunday scraping all the frost off and making a huge mess in the rig, even though we vacuumed as we went. I put up the new decals and a frosted removable vinyl on the back. Unfortunately, we could still see through the vinyl and the words didn’t pop like we wanted without the lights being turned on, so we decided to use white contact paper for the inside of the doors. We liked this look much better!

Next came the seven cabinet doors in our living room! Now, I know these were meant for shelves that display beautiful glassware, books, etc., but we live full-time in our rig and move frequently! Storage is at a premium, and I don’t have time to secure fancy stuff for travel, lol.

So, we opted for a less transparent vinyl product that we ordered on Amazon. What we didn’t realize at the time was that it was being shipped from China. You know the old saying “slow boat to China”? Well, I think our product came on a slow boat from China! It literally took almost a month to get here. Fortunately, we are in Yuma, Arizona for the winter, and had time to wait for it to get here.

Anyway, the day finally came for us to tackle the large job of removing the doors, scraping all the frost off, and applying the new vinyl. You know the type – just spray the surface with warm soapy water, apply the vinyl, squeegee out all the bubbles and excess water, and you have a beautiful new window! Or so we thought!

We spent about six hours taking the doors outside to do this job, so we wouldn’t have the mess we had with the closet doors. And at first, they looked great. However, after several hours, we realized there were more bubbles, and the vinyl was beginning to peel! Not the look we were going for.

So, on to our next option. I’ve been a sewer and quilter for most of my life, and most of my home dec projects have involved fabric. So that’s what we decided to use. Here’s how we took our cabinet doors from frosted to fabric in just a couple of hours. Mind you, this did not include removing the frost, just peeling off the vinyl and cleaning the glass.

Before I got started, I purchased 2 yards of the fabric I wanted for the seven doors in my room. Measure your windows to figure out how much you will need. I also purchased this tape (got mine at Walmart and purchased 2 rolls).

First, I measured the size of the glass, keeping in mind that there is a little piece of wood holding the glass in on the outside, so the next step will not be visible.

I cut my fabric to the size I needed before going on to the next step. I worked one door at a time instead of cutting everything first, just so I didn’t confuse the different glass sizes. I didn’t finish the edges, and I also used a lot of steam to press each piece to make sure there were no wrinkles that would definitely show!

I removed the old vinyl and cleaned up the glass. Then I applied the double back tape to the glass all the way around, even over the stuff that’s holding the glass to the frame. It may not stick there, but this ensures you have it on the glass as well.

Next, I checked to make sure I knew where I wanted the top of the fabric to go, so that there would be enough when I got to the bottom of the glass. I removed the white strip on just the top of the glass. I placed the fabric (upside down) carefully on the glass, where I wanted it to go. Once you press the fabric on the tape, it’s hard to remove, so make sure you know where you want it to go! I then worked my way down the glass as if I were doing contact paper, peeling a small section of the tape, smoothing the fabric from the center out, and pressing to the tape as I went.

Once I got to the bottom, I removed the bottom strip and pressed all the way around to secure the fabric to the window. That’s all there is to it!

I chose a pattern that was not directional and that I had already used in other projects in our rig, but the options with this technique are limitless. And, If you choose to change out the fabric, just pull off the old and attach the new.

We are so happy with the results. It took a little trial and error, and frustration, but was definitely worth it!

Don’t be afraid to change up the look of your home on wheels!

Jennifer Skinnell is the author of the Hope Springs Romance Series available on Amazon. Head over to www.jenniferskinnellquilting for all the details as well as a gallery of her quilt projects from before she and her husband became full-time RVers!

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