Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Little B&A Action

Work on the windows has been slogging along. These windows were the last of the copious amounts of woodwork in the dining room that remained to be stripped of paint. The windows themselves are in surprisingly good shape. I mean, they don’t open, because they’ve been hopelessly painted shut for decades, but at least they are not rotten. The reason I’m surprised that they are structurally sound is because they are south facing windows. The sun hits this side of the house relentlessly as it makes its way across the sky. The 2 windows in the upstairs part of this same bay have not faired as well.

There are no Before & After shots of the windows just yet. They are still a work in progress. I do have some shots of the sash locks, though. Even though these windows won’t be able to open, that doesn’t mean they won’t get a proper set Victorian Sash locks.

The B


And The A


This is actually 2 different locks, but believe it or not, they are essentially the same thing. It is amazing the detail you can hide under 10 or 20 layers of paint. Every time I see something like this I'm reminded of Jerry Seinfeld's skit about how every time he paints his apartment he notices that the room gets a little bit smaller. Even though it is just a thin film of paint, you can feel the walls closing in. After a while, things start to become unrecognizable. The wall outlets start look like a pig is trying to force his way through the wall from the other side. In my case, the sash lock now looks like a large insect has been accidentally painted over on top of the sash.

Next, I’ll enter the real money sucking phase of the project. Paint and plaster is relatively cheap when compared to stainless steel chimney liners, journeyman masons, and high-end window treatments. It could be beans and rice for me next month.

10 comments:

Karen Anne said...

What gorgeous sash locks. What would possess someone to paint over these...

I got some of the double hung windows in my old bungalow to open by gently tapping a wide tool in between the stuck together parts, all the time hoping the glass wouldn't break.

By wide tool, I mean something that looks like a putty knife but has a several inches wide blade. Just one of the nameless items I have somehow acquired over the years for unremembered purposes ;-)

Robin said...

It seems your pictures are not showing up. Would love to see what you're talking about. Thanks!

Greg said...

Robin,

I'm not sure why you can't see them. I can see them in Chrome and FireFox. What browser do you use.

Karen,

Yes, I suppose unsticking stuck windows is fairly easy. Unfortunately, all of the ropes are broken and the weights are down in the pockets. Not to mention that once I get them unstuck they would still not move too well. They need a major overhaul, and that is just not going to happen right now.

Greg

Karen Anne said...

Another trick is to rub wax, like blocks of paraffin along the edges to help them move smoothly.

Greg said...

Oh, if it only it were that easy. To get to the point of rubbing the wax it would require several weekends of work.

The plan is to do all of the windows as one project in the same fashion I did the electrical, plumbing, gas, and exterior painting.

schneptune said...

Oh, the revealing of Victorian work from under decades of paint. Just brings tears to my eyes. One more reason (like the shingles under the asbestos) that the Petch House was a diamond waiting for you to polish it! How neat that no one ever thought to "modernize" or remove those beautiful old locks.

Greg said...

Yes, it is amazing that as much as this place seems to have changed over the decades, really, a lot of it stayed the same.

jenny said...

Hah! I'm doing the same thing! Check out my Oct. 16 blog entry on "Jenny on Argyle".

Triton said...

how cool! i happen to have 2 identical sash locks that i picked up somewhere along the way. but they dont have the peice that they actually lock into unfortunately, but these HAVENT been buried under paint.

slateberry said...

Seemed like John at the devil queen lived on red beans and rice through most of his saga. To a southern girl, that don't sound so bad...

I'm the opposite of you. Rather than do all my windows at once, I've pledged to do one per summer. I should be done when I'm 88. Terry Meany's Working Windows book helped me figure out exactly what I wanted to do. Then I met a carpenter who specialized in windows the other day. First carpenter who ever told me NOT to replace my windows. That is the secret formula for instant respect from me. anyhoo, he said when I redo them, make the first exterior coating west systems slow-cure epoxy. Never heard that one before but I'm definitely considering it. I mean, I can't use historically accurate lead paint on them anymore, perhaps this is the next best thing?