Monday, October 4, 2010
The story about THE WINDOW
I found this old chippy 6 paned window on a curb in Kenmore square. I saw it and instantly wanted it, the only problem being that it was under a pile of other renovation refuse, bricks, wood scraps, sharp broken pieces of glass and tile... and I was on my way home from work wearing a hard to move in pencil skirt and heels! I managed to dig it out from the pile though (I got a lot of strange looks as I did).
Once I removed the heavy items on top of it, finally able to get to the window I was digging for, I had to pause for a moment, as I came eye to eye with a tiny gray mouse, who had apparently just been hanging out chilling on top of my window under cover from the other pieces of trash. He looked terrified, he completely froze in place on top of my window. We stared each other down for at least 30 seconds, my not wanting to try and shoo him for fear of getting bitten, and he perhaps thinking that if he waited long enough I would leave. We both stood our ground. I saw his body trembling, quick mouse-breaths and the whir of mouse-y heartbeats were almost audible to me, as I stood suspended, unnoticing of anything else happening around me. Eventually someone walked by on the sidewalk, and their movement seemed to snap the mouse out of his mouse-y trance, and me out of mine. He ran from the window, and down under a root of a nearby tree. I tried not to think of mouse-y germs and diseases as I picked up my window, and proceeded to walk it home. And let me tell you- it was terribly heavy, and the day was terribly windy, and as I mentioned above I was truly not dressed for the task, so I had a hell of a time. And yes, the first thing I did once i got it home was to wipe it down with disinfectant, and wash my hands for about 10 minutes straight.
I knew I wanted to keep some of the chippy aged character of this unique find, but the last thing I wanted was to keep it white. My kitchen had enough white as it was, go check the "before" photo in this post if you haven't seen it. So I choose not to strip or sand off the existing paint, but instead to add a very thin coat of orange on top of it. I did not, however, wish to keep the messy why-not-paint on the glass while you're at it look of this piece- I guess whoever painted this last didn't bother to scrape off any paint they may have accidentally gotten on the glass. Too bad, because if you go after those bits with a scraper when they haven't completely cured yet (say in the first 24 hours after painting or so) it is a breeze to scrape off. Waiting 10 years, however, makes that a very daunting task. It took me more than an hour to scrape off the excess paint from the glass, and my arm was tired and sore by the time I was done.
Next I gave a super light sanding to the paint surface- not to remove the paint underneath, but just to give the new paint something to stick to. Then a couple very thin coats of the orange paint left over from the hook-rail, applied with a sponge brush. I also screwed in some little "D" hooks in the back corners for hanging, and wiped down the glass with glass cleaner.
Here it is hanging in my kitchen on the top right.
I still plan to put something behind the glass, I am leaning toward mirror, to reflect the light from the pendant which hangs in front of this window in it's spot in my kitchen. Originally I was planning on using decorative paper, I even ordered a 30"x30" wallpaper sample in the pattern used at the heading of this blog from this website. For $5 including shipping they sent me a nice big sheet of this paper, and the woman I corresponded with in customer service was great- I wasn't sure what size the samples came in, and knew I could only make use of one if it was large enough for my project, so I wrote them an inquiry, detailing my project, and the by the end of that day I had heard back, and was told the sample size is usually 24"x24" but if I noted in the order comments that I wanted 30x30 they would happily send it to me! This was such an easy interaction, I feel sort of sad now that I don't think I will be using it, I was planning to email the customer service rep who helped me with a finished picture of the project and thank her again for her help! Anyone have any fun ideas to use up a 30"x30" piece of unique vintage inspired kitchen wallpaper?
PS- you can check out a new change this window saw recently, when I redid my kitchen here.