Sunday, January 31, 2010

Speaking of "Tammy's Room"...


This is the room upstairs at the front of the house above the front parlor.  The stained glass window in the bay faces west, there is a south-facing window, a southwest facing window a northwest facing window and a door on the north side that goes out to a balcony.  The fireplace is angled in northeast corner of the room to the left of the door to the hall.  The corner opposite on the right has a rectangular cedar-lined closet with a built-in cedar storage chest that was added by the last guy.  It's a useful space, but frankly, the craftsmanship is hideous and I hate the thing.

There's storage above the closet that has a louvered door-Hey!  Wait. just. one. minute!  Is that one of the missing interior shutters I've been looking all over for?????  Well, yeah.  I found all three missing shutters forced into service as doors to the overhead storage in this room and in the master bath.  This is the kind of stuff that makes me crazy about the last guy's "renovation".  I mean, really.  How much could an actual door for the things cost?  At least I know where the shutters went and they've all been accounted for.



Upon investigation of said overhead space, we discovered that there was once a built-in corner unit that mirrored the angle of the fireplace on the other side of the wall.  Nice.  Guess what will be coming out and what we'll be putting back in when we get to this room?

We've been told that this room was originally the family library.  If so, I suspect the corner built-in was once a nice bookcase for those treasured books.  Having a private library and owning books was a big deal and reflected a family's social status during the Victorian era.  Not only did it mean that you could afford books, but also that you could read-not something everyone could do back then.  So, there was a library here somewhere and we're lucky enough to have some of the actual books and a letter from Harry (Henry) when he was at university at Vanderbilt to his sister that he had acquired a new volume for their library.   If this room was indeed the library, then it stands to reason that it's possible that it also had seating, right?

Prior to the previous owner purchasing the property, there was a huge estate sale and pieces of the family collections were spread far and wide-and from what I hear this place was packed with great stuff including plenty of Civil War treasures which are in huge demand around here.  Everything went.

One day we were at an antique shop in Jackson and came across a settee and two chairs.  The wood was dry but in great shape, they were sturdy, interesting, and reasonably priced probably because they looked like they had been in a store window for years and the upholstery was shot.  Donnie mentioned that they were similar to the design on the mantle in "Tammy's Room."  Perfect since that's where we were planning to put them anyway.  So, we brought them home and put them in "Tammy's Room."


Once we had the set in the room and compared it to the mantle, questions began to arise.  There are 11 trees across the back of the settee.  Of the hundreds of settees and chairs we've looked at we'd not seen this design on anything before.

Now have a look at the mantle.


There are 11 little trees in the negative across the top of the mantle.

So, did this furniture and this mantle used to be in the same room together as the family library???  Or is this just a bizarre coincidence?  And if not, is there significance to the number 11 or is that just how many little trees fit comfortably across each piece?  I wonder if they're pecan trees since this is the part of the house that was built when the house was named.  Maybe there were 11 pecan trees on the lot.  I don't think they represent the children as I think there were only 5 that I've been able to discover that were living at the time.

I'm hoping someday we'll be able to find out-not only about the furniture and mantle, but also about the use of the room as there's a gorgeous mantle in the downstairs master bedroom which makes me wonder if the library was downstairs with the other formal rooms and was moved upstairs sometime later.  I'd love to find the blueprints!

This room is way down the "to do" list but happens to be one of the few that I actually have a plan for.  It seems like it should be pink, green, and cream.  While I don't really care for whitish walls, they just seem to be right for this room and apparently, the last guy thought so too.

I've picked up a few things as I've run into them even though I wasn't actively looking for things.  When the right thing comes along, you just get it whether you need it immediately or not.  Having a goal, reasonable restraint, and being willing to wait for "the right thing" keeps all that potential over-shopping in check.

The first thing I picked up was this really cool crewelwork bedspread.  It's not a hundred years old and not Victorian, but this isn't a museum so I don't think the furnishings and fluff need to be era-appropriate.  I like that impression of the "passage of time" in my rooms.


You'll also notice that quite often I choose things that don't match-like say, this bedspread and the wallpaper that I'll show in a minute.  The colors are wrong.  In truth, there's a reason this doesn't bother me a bit.

A couple of houses ago, I was looking for some red velvet drapes to go in a new room I was working on.  The walls were a reddish-maroon damask wallpaper.  In the typical fashion, I brought home a pair of two possible best-matches.  One set was a dead-ringer for a match.  It was perfect.  The other set was slightly "off" in color.  They were hung on two windows where they could both be seen at the same time.  As I stood there checking out the two different "looks" I was surprised to discover that the perfect match made the room so boring and the not so perfect match enhanced the other things around it and made the room more interesting.  The "perfect match" went back to the store and that's where I got my "The perfect match is often the least interesting" theory although I suspect plenty of other people already know this.

So, on to the perfect fabric for the settee and chairs which I found accidentally while shopping for something else.  Perfect for what I wanted without necessarily being a perfect match to anything else.  Isn't it pretty?


Now for the one thing I'm still waiting for but at least I know where to get it when I'm ready unless House Vernacular decides this is no longer a historical paper.
 
Isn't that just fabulous???  Here's the thing.  I just clicked my link to House Vernacular to see what the pattern name was called and here's the message on the page:

We regret to inform you that House Vernacular is no longer accepting orders. We thank our customers for their support and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
Sincerely, The Staff at House Vernacular


You have GOT to be KIDDING!  I'm hoping this isn't permanent, but I suspect they're out of the wallpaper business.  I'll have to do some snooping around.

Well, here's the wallpaper I could have had if I had figured out what I needed and ordered it a year ago.

 
Ceiling paper

 Frieze


 Walls

Wall & Frieze

Ok, I think I found a backdoor and was able to send them an email, so I'll wait to see what they have to say before panicking.  If I didn't love this pattern so much, I'd just skip it as I think Bradbury may be more cost effective, but this is just beautiful and I want it for that room!  I'm disgusted.

Meanwhile, here's the view of the Methodist Church from the front window of the room-obviously not taken today since church was canceled due to snow.  Only in the south. :)

One More Fireplace!

I was tinkering around upstairs last week and went into the room we call "Tammy's Room" (because my friend Tammy stayed with us for several months when we first bought the place)-the friend responsible for helping me "free" the walled-over dining room door.  This bedroom was always freezing even with the central unit going.  Oh right-back to the point.  I noticed there was not only a set of gas logs just setting there in the opening not doing a thing (moved from somewhere else at some point and forgotten about), but there was also a capped gas line still in the room.  Well now, what's the point in that???


Next trip to ACE for more weather stripping and I picked up a gas line long enough to hook the thing up.  10 minutes later there was a working heat source in the room!  Before using it for any length of time, Donnie cleaned it and I pulled all of the old newspapers out of the flue.  Works great!  I turned it on when I was in that room earlier and it went from 43 degrees in there to the most comfortable room in the house in no time.  I'm so excited!


You know, I've kind of enjoyed being home all the time with nothing much to do but piddle around and leisurely work on those "one of these days" projects.  Of course at some point later, we'll work on making it look a little more attractive, but in the meantime, one little thing on the wish list has been accomplished and we have another bedroom that is comfortable enough to use.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Obligatory Snow Pictures

Since we only get about one good snowfall a year that sticks, here's this years photos.  They aren't as cool as previous years since the yard lights are out of commission since we're going to run a dedicated circuit for exterior lighting.  Oh, well.  We took these about an hour ago.  It's been putting down fine snow and little balls of ice all day and it's colder than the dickens since the wind is blowing.


Actually, I took that first one earlier today...obviously.



Well, that was fun.  I'm ready for summer.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Products of Pecan Place

2 trees produced a 129 pounds of pecans-and that's just the ones that fell into our yard.  The neighbor behind us also collected an abundance on their side of the fence.  There are 3 other trees that still need to be picked if I can work up the energy to go out in the cold and kink up my back picking them.


A few bags looking all tasty and posing with Donnie's vintage scale

I took the ones I picked to a place that shells them and left with what turned into 28 pounds of clean pecans.  I roasted them in the oven to dry them out so they wouldn't mold and dang they're good!  Since it wasn't biting cold this afternoon, I took them outside with a hair dryer to blow out the little skin part that comes loose when you roast them.  That little skin part is kind of bitter-kind of similar to the skin on a peanut.  I'm going to hate to see the electric bill from running the oven for hours and hours.  Cleaning all the skins, bad pieces, and shell fragments is a tedious and time consuming affair.  Now I know why pecans aren't cheap!

The process is kind of like this:
  1. Pick them up out of the yard-this is hell on the lower back
  2. Take them to the sheller-at $.40 a pound in the shell-or spend the rest of your life cracking them by hand.
  3. Clean the non-edible stuff out of them-this means examining every single one-putting aside the ones that didn't get extracted from the shell and the riff-raff at the bottom of the bag for examination later.
  4. Roast them in the oven at 225 until they look kind of shiny and kind of medium brown
  5. Remove them from the oven and let them cool
  6. Put them in a large trash bag-this allows static to pull off some of the skins
  7. Shake, fold, stir, whatever until nice clean pecans are at the top
  8. In the meantime, address that bag of riff-raff cause there are several pounds in there-way to many to waste.
  9. Get a scale and start weighing out 1 pound freezer bags of roasted pecans until you get to the area that starts having skins
  10. Get a table, a hair dryer, and an extension cord and take them outside.
  11. One cooking sheet at a time, take them outside and use the hair dryer to blow out the skins.
  12. Bring them in and weight them out and bag the clean ones.
  13. Repeat this process until they're all done and pray that you have room in the freezer until you decide exactly what you're going to do with all of them since a person can't use all those for a household of 2, by this time they're become pretty costly with the expense of cracking and electricity, they were way too much trouble to just give them away-cause my back still hurts, but they're frozen and safe and sound and ready to become something really tasty!
 I'll let you know what I come up with. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Irresistible Details

I don't know if it's all those paint-by-number sets that I did as a kid or just a natural impulse to want to paint out details, but I've been itching to play with this little beauty for some time.



Just look at all those pretty things going to waste in a shroud of uniform color.  So, should I or shouldn't I?  In the end, I just couldn't help myself.  This is a gas insert that we got at a friend's auction.  If I remember right, it was ten bucks.  TEN BUCKS!

I had forgotten about it and didn't realize how pretty it was until we were working on the Peacock Parlor and Donnie dragged it in from the shop to see if we should use it in there.  Oh, absolutely!  He cleaned it up, tested it to see if it was functional-works perfectly-and gave it a fresh coat of paint.  Even plain, it's a pretty piece, but in a room full of patterns, movement, and embellished trims, it seemed like it was wasting its visual potential against the plain blue of the tile surround.  With everything else being decorated with details, the insert and surround seemed to me like someone dropped the ball in this area.

Yesterday while Donnie was at work, I started "playing" with it.  Due to looking at wallpaper designs and paint color selections of the era, where color combinations would make a modern-thinking person cringe, I saw the colors I wanted to use.  This is a mystery to me as I actually see finished projects as opposed to thinking them out.  The colors I knew I was going to use actually did make me cringe, but I followed the vision anyway.



As of last night, this was the base polychrome scheme.  Ouch!  That's some obnoxious color-and flat looking too.  Reminds me of something a child would create.  All of the line details were just missing and it all looked too new and too cheap-but this was the first step.  Toning down the colors at the outset would have obliterated them during the "aging" process.  I let it dry overnight.

The newel post project was a warm-up exercise to tackling the completion of this one as I wanted to be warmed up before starting the next steps.  Tentatively, I began at the top to experiment with what the results might look like.


I pondered about the medium that I wanted to use for the aging process and in the end chose the orange cast of the MinWax Olde Maple PolyShades that we've been using to bring out the richness of the wood trims and doors.  Using the same color would help integrate the insert to the other colors in the room.


As you can see from the detail on the header, the Olde Maple ages the painted areas and enhances the glow of the gold background while returning dimension to the stems, leaves, and flowers and gives it a subtle appearance.



I don't do "pop" and I wanted the insert to appear feasible for its era.  Although this is an Art Nouveau piece and the colors would have been different, I used colors that are more likely to be seen in the high Victorian era to integrate an non-era appropriate piece into the overall color scheme for the room.  I think it turned out lovely and as the oil-based PolyShades mellows slightly, it will be even more attractive.



Now it seems right with a little design against the plain tile surround.  I think it's just enough without being overdone and gaudy.

With all things, I like to stand back away from the project and have a good look at everything in context.  I find it's easier to determine when things are "off" when seen from a distance.

I still think it's perfect.  Truth is, last night when I was painting out the details, I stood outside the door and looked in to see if where I was going was in the right direction.  It's all about perspective and you can only judge that from a distance.  Needless to say, one of our favorite smoke-break pastimes is to peek into our own windows.  It's amazing the things we've decided about the inside by standing on the lawn!





Today's Little Crafty Project

My friend over at "At Home With A Country Lady" posted some refinishing projects she did on some accessories that looked fab!  She used Gel Stain-a product I'm totally unfamiliar with-to antique or change the color of some things.  They turned out great and I thought about a little project I've been considering for a while but never got around to doing.

We'd been looking for something to set on the newel posts in the stair hall since we bought the place.  One day while scrounging the Nashville Flea Market, there was a guy pulling things out of a tangle of stuff in the back of a truck.  It wasn't what I would call a high-class booth by any means.  BUT, as we were passing by, one of these ladies caught my eye.  Happily, after digging through boxes of what-not, another one was unearthed.  Hey!  We've got a pair and they'd be perfect for the newel posts!  While we paid $20 each for the Plaster of Paris statues-probably $15 more than they were actually worth, we were tickled to death with our find and indeed, they were just the thing for the posts.  So, the base is wider than the top of the posts and I didn't care for the dead-looking finish color, but it was a small compromise given that they were perfect otherwise.


We didn't want to drill holes in the posts to mount them, but the solution presented itself in the form of a roll of stick clay-like stuff I found in the shop that had been used to adhere/insulate the storm windows by whoever installed them.  Works like a charm.  The only problem is that I had planned to do some other kind of finish on them which I had been putting off because I mounted them for the historic home tour this spring and now they really don't want to come off.  I'm tellin' ya, the stuff is sticky!

My thought was that I'd like to try to make them a bronze color but was having trouble getting up the initiative to start using a thin stain with the likelihood of drips while they're mounted.  Rita's post provided a solution I thought would work, so I picked up some red mahogany (if you haven't noticed, I'm addicted to this color stain)  and thought I'd give it a whirl.

I thought I'd just start a section and see how it worked then wipe it off if it looked terrible.  One thing lead to another and I had the skirt finished out.  I'll mention at this point that it is much easier to work from the top down, but I wasn't expecting to be happy with the results on a first try, so I didn't figure it mattered.  So, above the waist is the original finish and below the waste is a thin coat of red mahogany over the metallic gold which maintains some of the illusion of metal.

The second one went more quickly as I worked it from top to bottom and had learned what to expect from playing with the first one.  I used an old, weathered chip brush that was pretty stiff and worn halfway down to the nub so I could get the minimum about of stain shoved into the cracks and crevices, apply a thin layer overall, and allow for striations-think brushed nickel and the like.  Once the stain started to cure, barely stroking the brush over the surface helped smooth the finish even more, but still left faint striations.  I brushed the whole thing out in straight lines like something that might have been cast in a mold, and tried to resist following the flowing lines. For the bases, I just created a textured effect by tamping the brush randomly over the surface, allowing it time to set-up then diffusing the texture by tamping some more.  I they turned out pretty good, but now I want to work on restoring the tired-looking newel post they're sitting on!  I'm going to try to behave.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fantastic GlasTile, Inc

Once upon a time, I decorated (and plumbed, and wired, and installed tile, and provided general handyman services) to make a living after being laid off from my real job due to a site closure.

One of my projects was to rework a master bath that I had hung a Monet "Waterlillies" wallpaper in several years before.  My client wanted to replace the carpet with tile and put in a usable whirlpool tub as well as a tiled shower.  She wanted to keep the wallpaper and work the changes to compliment the waterlilies.  On one of my shopping trips to look at possible products for the tilework, I discovered the perfect solution-glass tile.  Not your standard colored paper or paint on the back glass tile, but iridescent tile that was colored glass made from sand-not recycled window glass.  It was perfect.  The showroom where I found it no longer carried it but gave me the information to contact the company.
 
The tiles are made by GlasTile and each tile is handmade by the couple who owns the business and is fired in kilns in their shop.  They were wonderful to deal with.  Their prices are higher than the machine-made painted-on-the-backside nonsense you find with most glass tile, but aren't that bad given that you have a high quality handmade product.

We chose the lavender and a pale green 2x2 iridescent textured square as accents to the 4x4 frosted pale blue iridescent tiles by Oceanside glass and the sand colored porcelain tiles that we would also be using.


Backsplash and surround for the whirlpool tub


It was in this bathroom that I learned to tile-and with glass none the less.  We chose a sanded thinset for behind the glass as you can see through the tile to the sandy texture underneath.  For a bath where the setting will be water, shells, the beach, and so on, the sand gave the perfect texture.

Don't worry, I won't go into installation details and yet another "how-to" for the day.  Maybe some other time.  My point here is to introduce a company and a line of products that I think very highly of and can't wait to try to use them again.    What I like about them is that the tiles don't have that "clean-lined", modern, contemporary look that is common with most glass tile.  These are unique as are the lines they offer-which I'm excited to say they've added to since the last time I visited.


Completed shower tilework

We have a couple of fireplaces that no longer have surrounds-or hearths for that matter-and I'm dying to play with combining some of the various lines they offer.  Are they period correct for our house?  No.  BUT might the Victorians have used them if they had been readily available (which I don't think they were at the time) along with their stained glass windows and Tiffany lamps?  I'd almost bet on it. 


Shower wall detail with iridescence

Have a look around the site.  They have some pretty stuff!  Check out the gallery where they've been nice enough to showcase pictures of customer installs-this project being on of them.  Not bad for my first tile job.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with one of the lines I'd like to use someday:


(Disclaimer:  This photo is a link from the GlasTile photo gallery.  It is possibly another customer's install.  It is not my work or my photo and is merely for show and tell on this blog.)

Happy shopping!

Spring Break in January?

The temperatures this week have been wonderful and now that the windows and doors have been prepped for the next cold stretch-which starts tomorrow I believe-it was time to get out of the house and play and this weekend I did just that.

I'd been thinking that I really need to get those bulbs that I dug up last summer back into the ground before they ruin and there was this little irritating area next to the wall of the parking lot that I thought I might turn into a partial shade bed.  Of course this all began simply by wanting to get some of the daffodils back into the ground.  Of course once that was done I got to pondering what else could be planted-irises near the wall where the digging is shallow, some lavender plants that I have no idea what they are but there are only a few-surely I could poke them in there some where...etc.

The next thing you know, I had 2 boxes of bulbs replanted around the back yard and a new bricked off bed near the gate.  One thing leads to another.  Here's the new little bed.


I did a little mock-up so that I'd know what I planted where.



Hopefully, it will look something like this as it blooms-not all at the same time of course.


Can't wait to see stuff blooming there!

Christie's Seat-Of-The-Pants Delights

Lemon Pecan Pancakes




  1. Mix up some pancake batter using the directions on the box
  2. Toss in a handful of roasted pecan pieces that happen to be in a bag on the table waiting to be measured, bagged and put in the freezer.
  3. Splash in some ReaLemon lemon juice until it tastes like you think it should.
  4. Remix batter
  5. Melt a sliver of real butter in the skillet 
  6. Pour in the batter, flip when ready
  7. Remove from skillet
  8. Melt a little real butter on top
  9. Add maple syrup
  10. Crown with a plop of whipped cream 
It's pretty good!  Donnie says "Move over Cracker Barrel! He's staying at home for breakfast!"


Note: I made one with oil instead of the butter in the skillet to see if it made a difference.  I didn't tell Donnie it was different than the other two because I doubted there'd be a noticeable difference since it's just a small bit of butter.  I was surprised when he mentioned that it didn't taste lemony and asked why.  That little bit of butter enhances the flavor of the lemon.  Who knew?

By the way, this is NOT diet food! :)

Restoration of a Queen-Simple Window Repair

Since I've been working with the windows, I thought it might be a good time to share another important aspect of increasing the energy-efficiency of old windows.  This is one of the attic windows that was in appalling condition as there are no storm windows on the attic.  Mind you, this was a window that was part of the "renovation" of 30 years ago and I've never been able to understand how when you have such lovely things to work with that a person would drop the ball on things that are important to protect-functional windows being one of them, beautiful ones being the bonus.

This was the condition of the window when Donnie brought it down from the attic. 


If you'll notice, there is plenty of damage, missing pieces, crappy paint job, peeled off paint, dry wood, and failed glazing compound.  There is nothing energy-efficient about a window in this condition as there is little left to keep drafts from blowing right in.

Here's a detail of the muntins and mullions.  You can see the cracked glazing compound as well as some broken muntins (the horizontal pieces) and separating mullions (the longer vertical pieces).  It was in really sad shape and while I'd replaced the glazing compound in several windows before, I'd never had to actually replace missing, split, or rotted parts, so I got my window restoration education from this sash.


The first order of business was to remove the glazing compound and carefully remove the glass.  Next was to strip the old paint from the exterior of the frame, sand off the dead wood, and apply a couple of coats of linseed oil to put some moisture back into the wood.  There are other products on the market for conditioning wood, but I've always used linseed.  I chose linseed over tung oil for this part because the color of the interior side of the frame was very splotchy colored and I knew I was going to want to try to even it out with some stain.  Tung oil dries to a hard finish much faster than linseed which is why I went that route-I wanted the stain to soak into the wood, not lay on top of it.


I took a break from working on the sashes to see what could be done about the glass panes that had paint slopped all over them.  As you can see, it looks like there was no effort at tidiness employed when these windows were painted.  Usually I do my glass cleaning with a razor blade as it's quick, doesn't burn your skin, and has no fumes.  Stained glass however, can't be effectively scraped with a razor as the surface is textured.



After giving it some thought, the no-brainer answer was to clean them with liquid paint stripper and a soft tooth brush.  The results look like new:


So, now it's back to the sashes.  Once prepped and well oiled, it was time to play with some stains.  The trim in the house is red oak however the window sashes are pine.  To add the orange-reddish cast to the sash, I first applied a red oak stain which turned them quite orange.  As you can see, the light red oak stain allows noticeable discolorations from water stains.

 
Next, I applied a thin coat of red mahogany stain over the red oak which knocked down the intensity of the orange and produced some color dimension as well as helping to blend in the imperfections and make them less noticeable.  It's the same concept used with creating color uniformity in modern kitchen cabinetry-which is where I learned this useful tactic.


So now we have a top and bottom sash that look convincing enough to be the appropriate color and continuity for the wood windows and trim in the rest of the house that has undergone over a hundred years of the aging process.  I put three coats of oil-based varnish over the stain.  I was delighted that these turned out so well.  It's a shame they will be in the attic where they will never be seen.


Now for the hard part-figuring out how to fix the broken and missing pieces of the frame without having any experience or even having needed to give it a thought before.  After pondering and wandering around the house and shop looking at objects, the right possibility presented itself in the form of a paint stirring stick.  While they come in slightly different thicknesses, they're generally made of a soft wood that can be cut to the length needed then split along the grain to the desired thickness to make the depth needed to function as a muntin.  Muntins, being the horizontal element of the grid are more susceptible to damage than mullions (the vertical members of the grid) since water can pool there and rot them out especially if the glazing compound is missing as there is no longer an angle to divert the water away from the glass.  Glazing compound failure can allow water to seep or pool on the muntin as well and is also a cause of damage as is evident on this sash.


The supplies I used for the project are as follows:

  1. Chisel-to remove the damaged backsides of the muntin
  2. Measuring guide (I can't think of the technical term for the thing at the moment)-for measuring  the length of the muntin
  3. Paint stirring stick-to use as a replacement part
  4. Awl-to poke holes in the paint stick and exterior of the remaining muntin
  5. Hammer-to use with the awl
  6. Utility knife-to cut the paint stick into strips
  7. Toothpicks-to stabilize the paint stick to the backside of the muntin
  8. Wood glue-(not pictured) to glue the toothpick to the paint stick and the muntin

Step 1-use the chisel to remove the backside of the muntin until it is fairly flat and will make a suitable surface for attaching the replacement part.
Step 2-cut the paint stick to the necessary length
Step 3-cut the paint stick to the desired width to match the existing muntins
Step 4-poke a couple of starter holes in the thin side of the paint stick so that the toothpick can be inserted.


Break a toothpick in half and stick the pointy end into the starter holes in the replacement part.  Gently hammer them in until the point sticks out the other side (as shown on the toothpick on the left).  Cut off the excess toothpick where it will stick into the muntin with the utility knife (probably around 3/8" to 1/2" protruding from the stick)

Put a little glue (or chalk) on the end of the toothpicks and position it evenly on the frame over the damaged area.  This is just to mark the proper position of the replacement part so that you know where the holes in the remaining muntin should go.  Once you have the locations marked, use the awl to poke the holes at the markings.  Be careful not to poke the awl all the way through to the interior surface of the muntin.



Dry fit the replacement part to the holes in the muntin and make any needed adjustments.
Once you're satisfied that it will be a clean, flush fit, fill the holes in the frame with wood glue and run a bead along the length of the muntin.


Fit the replacement piece into the holes, cut off any bits of toothpick protruding from the front of the replacement piece, wipe off the excess glue with a moist paper towel and move onto the next one.  Pretty simple and cheap to boot!

Here's the repaired frame with its replacement parts.


When everything is dry, you can put a little primer on the areas that will be covered with glazing compound as well as the noses of each piece.  Some people don't prime behind the compound (there are reasons, but I won't go into them right now) and others do.  I'm not sure which way is the most correct or if it even matters, but I chose to prime everything.

Once all of that has dried, it's time to reinstall the glass.  When I remove the glass, I stack it top to bottom, left to right and keep them oriented the same way that they were when I took them out of the frame.  Masking tape stuck to the back of each pane of glass and marked with the position in the frame and which direction is "up" is great for keeping track of what goes where since the pieces sometimes don't fit any other hole than the one they came out of.  Yeah, I know I'm anal.

Once you have the panes positioned back in the appropriate openings, use some glazing points to hold the glass in place.  Because muntins and mullions are thin, the glazing point will likely poke through to the other side of the wood, so you'll want to stagger the positioning of the points which will help keep the adjoining pieces of glass in place.  Something to consider before installing the panes is to run a whisper-thin bit of caulk (I like to use clear) around the backside of each opening.  This creates a cushion between the frame and the glass which eliminates rattle, provides sound-proofing, and the prevents dust from lodging in any irregular gaps in the wood.  The key here is thin as you don't want a lot of goop squeezing out onto the textured surface of the panes now that they're nice and clean and paint-free.  You can also use a thin bed of glazing compound for this as well, again thin being key.

Once you install the glazing points and the panes aren't moving, turn the window over and clean off any excess caulking from the interior of the panes while it's still wet.  If you've used the glazing compound as a bed, there's no rush on this part as it takes several weeks to cure and will remain easy to clean up for months.


I'm not an expert when it comes to making beautiful joints with the compound on an entire window at once-or at all for that matter.  Since time wasn't of the essence on these windows, I chose to do the compounding in 2 parts-mullions first, then when the compound was solid enough so as not to try to stick to my tools, I worked the muntins.  On a standard plain glass window, I work the whole thing at once as the spaces are big enough to do without too much trouble, but with these tight little panes, it was less stress and a cleaner job to do it this way.

I used the old-fashioned DAP brand compound for the windows I've done so far.  I've heard high praise about other products, so being an experimenter, I may try one that doesn't take a month or more of dry-time before you can paint it.  I'll go into window glazing some other day as I have a full set of pictures of accomplishing that task as well.

Now, ya've got to adore a man that doesn't notice that you look like a homeless chic (my signature style, it seems) but is so enamored by what you do that he'll take a picture of you looking like this and post it on his blog!

Once the glazing compound has cured enough to paint (which in our humidity, the DAP takes about a month) I applied three coats of oil-based gloss black.

While it doesn't look like a brand-spanking-new window, it certainly is improved!


Inside of sash stained with red oak, then over-stained with red mahogany.

 
 The completed outside of sash-what you see from the street

 
  It's hard to believe this is the same window!

So, with a little time, patience, common sense, and a good cup of coffee at hand, there's no end to what can be achieved.  This was a pretty simple project that didn't take all that long to do, but the results are astonishing.