Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sometimes I Impress Myself

This is a story about a window. In August 2001 I took this photo because I just knew there was something behind the wall. It made a hollow sound when you knocked on it.

You can see the same window in the background in this picture taken in 2004.

There are two other windows in the room and they got stripped

and eventually finished in 2005.

Last year in December it still looked like this

While the other two looked like this.

I paid a lot of money for those curtains and I don't want the third set to sit around in boxes for years so I decided it was time to restore the woodwork to this window. Getting one inch thick wood is impossible and getting custom cut pine boards was going to cost me $20.00 a linear foot so this one window was looking to cost $480.00 in wood alone. I compromised and bought three standard 2 X 10 pine boards and some 1/4 inch thick lattice. I also bought a small can of gun stock colored wood stain and a quart of amber shellac and did my magic. I experimented with color on the base and corner molding cut from the standard boards. I had to use paint thinner to dilute the wood stain as I applied it to reduce the intensity of the orange color it made the wood. The lattice was added to all the edges to give the illusion that the boards were one inch thick. Total cost was $156.00 for wood and stain but since my palm sander fell apart on me mid project there was an additional cost of $50.00 to replace it!

I was smart enough to realize that things are not always the same length in old houses so I started by putting the top boards in place first. Then the bases.

Turns out this was a smart move because the vertical boards are one inch longer than the other ones around the room. Anyway, after a single coat of diluted stain and five coats of shellac, we have this

The color is near perfect with the rest of the room. Now all I have to do is finish the rest of the window with a few coats of shellac and get those curtains installed. This is how I impressed myself ......


Wendy said...

Nice job! I have to ask, though... what's on the other side of that window that had a previous owner wall it up?

Gary said...

If you look at the black and white photo of the house from 1892 on the top left of the page you will see the small side porch. This is the window that leads to this porch which was turned into a closet. We plan to restore the porch one day.

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