How To Block Light From Top Of Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains are a great way to eliminate a significant amount of light coming into a room. But leaking light can still seep through the top of those window treatments. So what can you do to eliminate this issue? We researched and consulted with different experts to give you the following answer.

Here are some of the ways you can block the light from the top of blackout curtains:

  1. Install a cornice board
  2. Install a window valance
  3. Use magnetic tape

It’s important to know the details surrounding these procedures. That way, you can avoid costly mistakes. So continue reading as we talk about the steps to these techniques in greater detail.

photo of a black colored black out curtain installed on a huge wide window of a bed room, How To Block Light From Top Of Blackout Curtains

How Do You Block The Light At The Top Of Blackout Curtains?

In this section, you’ll learn about different DIY-friendly techniques to help you block the light that’s leaking from the top of your blackout curtains.

photo of a window room with blackout curtains light on top still get through

1. Install A Cornice Board

Cornice boards often function by blocking portions of window treatments, such as hiding clamps and rollers from the public eye. These accessories can also do a good job of shielding the light from seeping through the top of blackout curtains.

Take note that you have two options to choose from before tackling this job: 1) build a cornice board or 2) buy a kit. Once you have the cornice board that fits the top of your window, move forward by following these steps:

What You’ll Need

  • Cornice board
  • Hand drill
  • Drill bits
  • Tape measure
  • Pen or pencil
  • Molly anchors
  • Flathead screwdriver

Step-by-Step Guide To Install Cornice Board

Step #1: Find The Right Location

Use the tape measure to figure out the appropriate location for the cornice board. It’s a good idea to have the board at the center of the top of the window frame. Doing so may eliminate the possibility of an awkward and unappealing placement. Mark your ideal placement with a pen or pencil afterward.

Step #2: Loosen The Bracket

Stick the flathead screwdriver in between the board and its built-in bracket. Wiggle the tool slightly to create a small opening.

Step #3: Install The Board

Mark the areas on the wall at the top of the blackout curtain for the pilot holes. Next, drill the holes and install the brackets for the cornice board. Secure the brackets with the fasteners that should be in the installation kit. Place the cornice on the brackets afterward.

Check out this cornice board kit on Amazon.

Take note that this process can be easier to complete than intended if you make or buy a cornice that’s slightly wider than your window's frame. You can also watch the video below to gain additional insights into the steps mentioned above:

Check out the following video if you want to build a cornice board:

2. Install A Window Valance

A window valance serves a similar purpose to a cornice. Perhaps the main difference between these two window accessories is that valances often use thinner fabrics as compared to the thick boards used for cornices.

Still, valances can be great choices if the tops of your blackout curtains don’t have significant light leaking through. But make sure to make or purchase a valance that fits your window to avoid encountering size issues.

So follow these general steps to install your window valance above your blackout windows:

What You’ll Need

  • Window valance kit
  • Hand drill
  • Pen or pencil
  • Tape measure

Step-by-Step Guide To Install Window Valance

Step #1: Find The Right Location

Take note that it might not be a good idea to use a level for this step, especially if your house is quite old. It’s because attempting to level the valance while the window and the blackout curtain aren’t parallel to the ground can look unattractive.

Instead, copy the alignment of the top of the window or the blackout curtain for the valance’s alignment. Then, mark the preferred placement with a pen or pencil.

Step #2: Drill The Holes

Place one of the valance brackets on the wall at the top of the blackout curtain. Then, mark the holes with a pen or pencil for the pilot holes. Create the holes with the drill afterward. Next, do the same steps for the other brackets in the kit.

Step #3: Install The Valance

Screw the brackets into place. Then, insert the valance through its curtain rod. Finally, hang the valance above the blackout curtain.

Check out this blackout window valance on Amazon.

You can also check out this video for a visual guide highlighting the steps mentioned above:

Method #3: Use Magnetic Tape

Keep in mind that the appearance of magnetic tape may not match your blackout curtain’s design. But it’s a quick and easy way to eliminate the light leaking from the top of your window treatment.

You only need to peel the tape’s adhesive backing and stick it above the blackout curtain. Apply super glue to the adhesive if the tape can’t hold the weight of the blackout curtain.

Check out this magnetic tape on Amazon.

What To Use Instead Of Blackout Curtains?

photo of a window of a room on the outside of the house properly sealed

Aside from your blackout curtains, you can use DIY solutions to block the light coming through your windows. Some techniques you can use are:

  • Drape your window with a thick, dark towel.
  • Stick aluminum foil to the glass pane.
  • Tape cardboard to the window frame.
  • Apply blackout film to the glass window.

Check out this blackout window film on Amazon.

How Can I Darken My Windows Without Curtains?

photo of a glass window with privacy tint on it, white light on the other side

You can install window film if you don’t want to use curtains to dress your windows. But take note that window films often have varying light-blocking capabilities. Some of the window film types you can find on the market are:

  • Solar control: Generally offers little light-blocking prowess but can be a practical choice for keeping homes warm in the winter.
  • Blackout: Similar to blackout curtains, blackout window films block almost all light coming through the windows.
  • Whiteout: Unlike blackout films, white window films only obstruct a reasonably small amount of light seeping through windows.
  • Reflective: As its name implies, it reflects both light and UV rays to help minimize heat and glare entering the room from a window.

Despite the different window film choices, the installation for each model is quite similar. Here’s a quick view of the general setup procedures:

Step-by-Step Guide To Adhere Window Film

  1. Spray a mild soapy cleaning solution on the glass window pane to remove loose dirt and debris.
  2. Wipe the window with a clean microfiber towel.
  3. Cut the window film to size.
  4. Peel off the film’s adhesive backing from one side. But don’t peel the entire sheet yet.
  5. Spray water on the glass.
  6. Place the film on the pane.
  7. Remove the adhesive backing from the window film carefully.
  8. Use a plastic card or similar object to scrape the bubbles from the film.

Check out this self-adhesive window film on Amazon.

Keep in mind that you may need to repeat this procedure multiple times to cover all the windows in a room. You can also watch the video below if you prefer to look at a visual guide for these steps:

Final Words

photo of a black colored black out curtain installed on a huge wide window of a bed room

A range of options is available for you to block the light leaking from the top of blackout curtains. Choose from different techniques like installing cornice boards and using magnetic tapes.

Think about the various solutions available and follow through with the option that can provide you with the best results.