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Blackout curtains have always disappointed me because they let in far too much light. Both through the fabric itself, and around the edges.

I would like to create a window covering for my bedroom that doesn't allow any light through. Such that I can't differentiate the window from the rest of the wall when it's covered and the room is dark.

My best idea currently is to use plywood and flush mount them with a silicone or rubber lining around the edges to further seal it. They'd open/close like this:

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But I'm worried about the weight of the plywood making it unwieldy to open, and dangerous should it fall. I'm also unsure of the thickness I'd need the plywood to be to both be stable and properly block the light.

Does anyone have ideas for a better material?

An answer to a similar question suggested rigid foam, but I'm pretty sure that foam wouldn't be stable enough for years of use.

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  • My brother used black paint -living room picture window ( rental house). Jul 10 '20 at 1:10
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After failing to find a solution that would (1) look alright, (2) not devalue the house, and (3) be permanent, I looped back and looked to blackout curtains more. The solution I ended up with involved:

  1. Getting blackout roller shades cut to size, installing them myself.
  2. Buying floor-length blackout curtains and sewing magnets into the seams where they meet, as well as attaching velcro to the sides that keep it snug against the sides of the window.
  3. Creating a cornice box to block light coming in from the top.

This ends up working very well, with some minor light spillage on the bottom that's very hard to notice while lying in bed. Best of all, it was inexpensive to do and looks great when opened or closed.

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  • Thanks for coming back and posting your answer. Jul 9 '20 at 22:13
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Interior storm window + can of spray paint? The benefit here is to get something perfectly sized for your window, and designed to be removable. There will be no weight issues, due to the use of plexiglass. (If you want to make it yourself, looking up interior storm windows would still be useful, as they're something designed to fit in a window, completely filling the space.)

You can install a blackout cellular blind that fits into grooves on the sides. Bit expensive, but it has a nice professional appearance.

You can use Command Adhesive velcro strips to hold the sides of a regular blackout blind to the wall to decrease the light leakage around the edges.

You can make your own blinds with blackout fabric and a sewing machine. This lets you select very good blackout fabric, and double it up.

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  • I'm unsure about using plexiglass but you've got me thinking of plastics in general now. I'll accept this as the answer if I end up going with a plastic, gonna be working on this project this coming week.
    – johncs
    Feb 9 '20 at 22:05
  • Black spray paint is definitely the way to go. The hard part is sealing the edges. You need some kind of gasket type of material that seals completely and is 100% opaque. A 2" wide strip of high quality velcro might be ok. Best bet is to spray paint the window glass itself, overlapping onto the edges of the sash.
    – Z4-tier
    Jul 8 '20 at 2:28

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