Our New Old House

1918 Bungalow


Archive for the ‘woodwork’ Category

Keepin’ It Classy

Here at Our New Old House we like to promote participation in democracy, even when sawing mitered corners for quarter-round trim.

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Here are the pieces for the living room and dining room cut and ready to stain.

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We went with 3/4″ rather than the usual 1/2″ quarter-round trim because the gap between the baseboard and the floor was pretty big. We wanted to make sure to cover it all up and give it a nice clean look. Take a look at these before and after pictures. I think we’re well on our way to nice and clean.

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Controlled Chaos

Chaos is no stranger at Our New Old House.

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Fortunately, this is controlled chaos. And out of the chaos, a beautiful room full of woodwork is emerging.

The masked man lurking in the shadows is K.O. Armed with a sander and an indomitable will, he helped me sand and prep all the woodwork in the living room.

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Now it looks amazing!

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We also installed the freshly stained stops on the windows and put a final coat of sealant on them.

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Living room windows: COMPLETE!

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Continued Window Progress: Nearly Done!

At the time of my last post the remaining windows in the house looked like this:




While I had a great experience learning how to refinish and reglaze the window sashes myself, I decided in the interest of time that hiring someone to do the sashes while I refinished the frames would be best.

I found a local contractor who was willing to work on the sashes while I prepped the frames. When we got the sashes back from him, K.O. and I took turns cutting slots into the sides of each sash so they could run on the metal weatherstripping rails we’d be installing in the frames.



We used heavy duty chemical stripper to remove the paint from inside the frames. Though we didn’t test it, we were fairly certain that several layers of the old paint contained lead so we worked with gel chemicals and mineral spirits to keep as much of the paint contained as possible. Once we had the wood as clean as possible, we sanded the insides of the frames to restore the beauty of the natural wood grain and prep it for sealant.


We sanded for a long time and grew very attached to our safety goggles and face masks. We loved wearing them. We never wanted to take them off. Can’t you just see the love in my eyes for these oh so fashionable accessories?


In between what seemed like endless days of sanding, we measured the frames, ordered the metal runners from Dorbin in Chicago, and did the necessary prep work so they’d fit around the weight pulleys. For that I used a pair of tin snips. Tin snips seem to come in one size. One size does not fit all. Maybe someday they’ll make tin snips in my size.


There were some hard to reach areas where the chemical stripping gel just didn’t get the job done.


For those areas I used my Dremel tool.


Here’s one of the areas around the pulleys in progress.


I needed to replace about half of the weight ropes. Once I did that we were ready to install our newly refinished sashes. Here’s one of the dining room windows going in.


At the time of this post we’re still waiting for the stops to come back from being dunk stripped and we need to install the locks and lifts. The facing parts of the trim still need to be sanded, stained, and sealed. But in the meantime, the sashes work, they are beautiful, and they are amazingly airtight and rattle free. Here are a few of our nearly completely rehabbed windows:




Riding the Rails

My updates on the windows keep trickling in slowly. If you’d like to see more about the process up to this point, read these past entries:

Windows To The Soul

My Windows: The Lost Images

Window Prep Continues

A Spa For Window Sashes?

It Doesn’t Take a Boy Scout To Tie a Good Knot

The latest step in rehabbing my 100 year old wood windows is to install metal rails that the sashes will slide along as they move up and down. The rails serve two purposes: to make the surface between the sash and the frame smooth so the window glides better, and to keep drafts of air from coming around the sides of the sash.

Here’s the first strip installed. It is attached to the frame with flat head screws that rest flush with the surface so the sash doesn’t catch as it glides by.


In this picture you can see the unstained parting bead that goes between the sashes and the unstained panel that provides access to the weights. The metal strip goes over the access panel and alongside the parting bead. If installed with screws, it can easily be removed to get to the access panel.


A view of the strip on the other side:


My bedroom has windows again!


Also currently in progress are the living room windows. Since I’m running into a time crunch with these I’ve hired a local craftsman to reglaze and refinish the sashes for me while I strip the paint and prep the frames. I’ll be giving them the same metal rails as I did with the ones in these pictures. More pictures coming soon!

My Bathroom: The Rest of the Story

Some people said they wanted to see more pictures of my crazy bathroom in its recent stages of transformation. I am nothing if not obliging. Here, you dirty voyeurs! Feast your eyes on the nitty gritty recesses of my bathroom.

You may recall that when we decided to put up wainscoting, I allowed Brandon, my cousins, sister, sister’s boyfriend, and myself to draw on the bathroom walls.


Then we put up some shelf paper because we weren’t able to tackle the job of putting up the wainscoting for a while and we needed it to look nice and be easier to clean in the meantime.


THEN! We took the shelf paper off in anticipation of the wainscoting installation. That didn’t go so well.


BUT THEN! The carpenters from Loki’s Garden put up the wainscoting and our bathroom began to look beautiful.


Next up: patching a few plaster flaws near the ceiling, some fresh and lovely blue paint, and a fresh coat of primer and paint for the woodwork. Also, the tub will get paint. And shiny shiny feet.

Hooray for shiny feet.

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