During the 1930s, the tobacco company W.D and H.O.Wills gave away colourful and entertaining collectors ‘cigarette trade cards’ in packets of their cigarettes. ‘Household hints’ was issued several times, in slightly different editions from 1930 to 1939. Some of the ideas look antiquated and redundant but occasionally there are forgotten gems that are pertinent today. I am sharing this series as a historical glimpse into yesterday’s home maintenance and the occasional addition to solutions for the modern home.
“Here is a quick and effective method of producing a ‘frosted’ effect on a window. Thoroughly clean and dry the glass, and paint it over a smooth coat of white enamel of medium consistency. Then, starting at the top of the window, dab over the surface of the painted glass with a rubber sponge of the type illustrated until the desired effect is produced. A similar effect may be obtained by sticking over the window a sheet of specially varnished paper, which may be purchased in a variety of patterns.”
This is an easy idea to modify by changing the suggestion of using white enamel to a water based paint, so that it can be removed more easily. To make a water based paint stick to a glass or shiny surface, add a tiny amount of liquid detergent, which will act as a surfactant and by reducing the surface tension so the paint will not ‘bead’. Instead of using an overall texture with a plain sponge, simple shapes can be cut out and used to create patterns on the glass.