How often do we begin and finish a project in a single day? Almost never around these parts but today was an anomaly: I was able to strip and stain an old stained glass window and get it hung. It fit just right.
14 months after putting in new windows in the living room, I finally got the last of them stained this weekend! A before and after:
Notice that I slightly tweaked the window configuration to break up the lines a bit. All in all I’d say that’s a pretty good transformation. Full living room photo gallery is here.
Done! Or at least until this summer when I finish off the other window but I’m not thinking about that right now. What began in September and was originally going to just be a bit of paint and lipstick on my oldest son Christopher’s room turned into the classic rehaber project. But I must say, as with every room rehab we’ve done so far (Aiden’s bedroom, living room), this is my favorite room so far. It involved layers and layers of paint over layers and layers of wallpaper all on top of calcimine paint on top of plaster. There was paint on doors, on windows, on trim. Lots of stripping, sanding, staining. Cursing. New lighting (over old gas pipes). Some new hardware, some old hardware cleaned up. And for the most part, I actually enjoyed working on it. Christopher made for a good supervisor and the occasional assistant and is a great tenant (although his rent check is a bit late).
Take a look:
And a reminder of what it was when we bought the house:
I’d like to say that I plan on taking a bit of a break but I’m pretty sure I’ll start another project. Potential projects include the dining room, entryway, upstairs hallway, or the sunporch/office. If you would like to see all the pictures documenting the rehab process of Christopher’s room, the gallery can be found here.
As with nearly all projects, the devil is in the details. So while the window is just a window, there are a ton of different trim pieces to strip, sand, prep, stain, finish and assemble. Along the way I re-weighted the windows and replaced the sash cords. There is some touch up painting needed and, as I’m sure you can see from the picture, I still need to strip and stain the picture molding (along with the other window in the room). But for now, I’m celebrating.
Not shown in these pictures is the new light fixture courtesy of Rejuvenation. More to come…
Progress around Portland FourSquare has slowed to a snail’s pace as of lately but I thought I would update with a few pics to let you know that not all hope is lost.
The living room isn’t quite done but we did make a monumental step in the right direction. With the weather above 60 degrees on Saturday (finally), I got to stain one of the new windows we had installed. With sashes removed, I was able to tape off all the hardware and glass.
It’s been awhile, but this room looked nothing like this before we started. As a quick reminder, this is what we were dealing with:
I’ve got 4 more windows to stain in this room which are all dependent on getting good weather for. Once those are done, this room will be almost finished. Can’t wait for the final unveil! Here are the pics of the progress.
Admittedly I was a bit burnt out around New Years. Combined with the final push to open up Pilot Wealth, a man can only take so much sanding, pre-conditioning, staining and finishing. It looks great – don’t get me wrong, but I was (am) going through one of those classic home rehaber phases where you start to imagine evenings without house projects. Or weekends filled with…I don’t know…things that have nothing to do with your house.
But waxing poetic and pity parties won’t cause the dust cap above the base molding to magically finish and install itself. So what shall one do? That’s right: get distracted.
We got the new windows installed in the living room and dining room and they look outstanding! Did you know that you are actually supposed to be able to open double-hung windows? Who knew. I still have a little trim work to do on them but they look great. They do however highlight how crappy the old windows in the house look. But one step at a time.
With the windows out of the way and woodwork calling my name, I opted for some electrical work. After a quick visit to the Rejuvenation sale this past weekend I came away with a new fixture for our entryway. Check out the before and after! Hmmm….the paint looks a bit drab and the trim is awfully white…
Since I was doing such a good job of ‘woodwork denial’ I continued on my lighting journey and finally replaced the fixture in the upstairs hallway.
With that completed, I must say that this house has quite the stories up it’s sleeves. I have now replaced 3 light fixtures in this house and found old gas pipes each time. Does anybody have any pictures of what these old lamps looked like that would have been here originally? It’s amazing that there are any houses still left from this vintage with all that gas throughout the house.
Finish the living room by Thanksgiving? Of what year?
We are making progress though and it’s beginning to come together. We didn’t realize how tired and dirty the room looked prior to our efforts.
To the punch list:
- Ceiling painted.
- Trim detail in the ceiling that was too ambitious to strip has been painted.
- Walls stripped, cleaned, repaired, taped, skimmed, sanded, primed and painted.
- Original window and door trim has been stripped, repaired, sanded, and stained, and for the most part installed.
The missing cap moulding and stop moulding are purchased care of McCoy Millwork and are currently in the basement being cut, assembled and stained. I couldn’t wait on staining and finishing these pieces so I temporarily installed the top case moulding to get a much needed pay off. You know, some reward for all the work? I can already tell that there will be a bit of artistry in blending new wood with old wood via the staining process. Any tips? So far I’m just thinking a couple extra coats of stain. The baseboards are still in need of being sanded and stained but they should go relatively fast compared to the 400 pieces for the windows and doors openings.
As with every project, we deviated slightly from our intended route. An ongoing conversation in our household has been stain color. With Aiden’s room, we went with a mahagony stain that looks great but bordered on slightly too dark. This time around we went with Minwax Red Mahogony Gel Stain and I think we found what we were looking for. With the danish oil for the finish it should gently age and darken over the years and be perfect.
Windows are loosely scheduled to be here around December 16th – hopefully everything else will be wrapped up by then. In the meantime, here are the pictures.
I hope the holidays have been treating you well!
We’re making progress. The walls are done and primed. The trim has been stripped. The windows have been ordered. It’s still a disaster but that’s progress, right? RIGHT?
After fixing the cracks and loose plaster, we ended up taping all the walls with a fiberglass mesh. The plaster was in pretty good shape but hopefully the fiberglass will prevent any future cracking (and yes, I know it’s total overkill but I had to do it at least once). Once cut and applied we set about mudding the walls. This was my first time mudding and it definitely took awhile to get used to but after applying 1/3 of the compound to the floor, I finally got the idea. We knocked off the ridges, gave it a second coat, and were able to sand that down to the smoothest wall I’ve ever seen in a 100 year old house.
I then set about stripping the window stools in place as if I had tried to remove them I’m pretty sure I would have cracked them into pieces. With 100 years of hideous paint removed, Christopher and I then sanded them down. They should look great!
We finally submitted our window order. We ended up choosing the Marvin Ultimate Insert. We were torn between the Marvin and the Milgard Wood Clad window. They were both great windows but the Douglas Fir Marvin was that much more period appropriate – we were even able to get them with ogee lugs on the top sash. We opted for a two tone window on the outside with a different colored sash from the trim. The inside will of course be stained fir. After much debate, we decided to tweak the large middle window in the living room. Instead of the typical, equally tall sashes, we went for the short top sash and tall bottom sash (oriel style?). I think it will break up the huge expanse of windows nicely and add a little more flair (always need more pieces of flair). The only drawback to awesome windows: the wait. Hopefully they’ll be installed by Christmas. Luckily we’ll be able to take advantage of the tax credit which equates to 30% credit on materials that qualify, up to $1500. Needless to say we will be utilizing the full credit.
The only known distraction left (that is planned) will be the addition of some some in-ceiling speakers. Thanks Bungalowcious for that inspiration.
I’ll begin sanding and staining the trim this week as well as purchasing some trim which was removed during some horrible late night party back in the 1950′s. If I’m real ambitious, I’ll finish painting the ceiling…but I hate painting. Especially ceilings.