Window rehab – part 2

Week 16 – Joe

Window rehab has been an ongoing project all summer.  It is something I can work on in between big projects.  Realistically, it will take me months and months … and months.  My previous post about windows was all about the trials of removing, stripping paint, scraping paint, breaking windows, sanding, and priming.  I have all 8 of the kitchen sashes done and ready to bring back to life.  I intended to stop with just the kitchen, but there were three window panes that needed to be replaced and we wanted all the kitchen windows to have the old glass.  This meant stealing that glass from other windows in the house.  The two remaining windows on the south side of the house are the worst, so I decided to go ahead and take those out to investigate any repair needed…  and to put that glass to use for the kitchen windows.

These windows were much easier to remove because I wasn’t dealing with interior paint (just wood on the inside).  The kitchen is the only room downstairs that has painted trim.

The bathroom window

Upon closer inspection, both of the wood-trim windows on the south side of the house need some serious repair.

Someone's attempt at repair on the exterior of the window
Someone’s attempt at repair on the exterior of the window

It’s hard not to look at this adorable window repair and think that the former repair person had no clue what they were doing. Secretly, one of our fears is that some future owner of our house will think the same of us.

As you would expect, the lower parts of each sash (where water is likely to collect) are always in most need of repair.  Out of the four sashes, two of them are going to need complete replacement and two of them need the bottom horizontal piece replaced.  I found a place on the near eastside that does historic window work.  They can replicate the exact sash for $85.  Seems pretty fair to me.  I hate to lose any original part of the house, but the two sashes I have to replace were just too far gone to repair.  I have checked the rest of the windows in the house and I’m pretty sure there aren’t anymore that will need replacement.

Anyway, here is what I did on the kitchen windows that have already gone through the first phase…

First, I cleaned off the paint, glazing, and general crud.  I started off using a razor, but then switched to a larger scraper and made much quicker progress.

Scraping and cleaning the glass
Scraping and cleaning the glass

Seeing these clean 100 year-old windows (in all their wavy splendor) was a nice spirit booster!

Wavy glass
Wavy glass

After cleaning the windows it was finally time to use the glazing putty.  I have done a TON of research on how to restore windows to try and make up for my former lack of window repair knowledge.  The glazing part is the most important and the part I was most worried about.  All my research indicated that I should not use DAP.  Unfortunately, DAP is the only product carried in any of the hardware stores.  I actually ended up ordering a gallon of Sarco Dual Glaze.  I read that this stuff was what the professionals use, was much easier to work with and would yield better results over time.  I was not disappointed…  it WAS easy to work with.

Glazing putty
Glazing putty

I first smashed putty onto the small ledge on the inside of the frame (sorry, forgot to take a picture of that part).  Then I set the glass gently on top of the putty and work around the edge, gently pushing the glass down.  Once the glass is settled, I put in the glazing points.  These help keep the glass in place.  I get a little nervous any time I put these in because you have to apply pressure to the point and wood, but NOT the window.

A glazing point
A glazing point

Once you have the glazing points in you can flip the sash over and remove the excess.  Then the flip the sash back over and apply putty to the exterior side of the window.

Glazing compound on the exterior of the window
Glazing compound on the exterior of the window

One of the big purposes for the glazing compound is to keep water from getting in between the glass and the wood, so the glazing on the exterior is angled.  This part requires a little skill, but I figured my delicate musician hands would be able to handle the finesse required for this task.

Looks good to me!
Looks good to me!

I was pretty darn excited about my first two windows.  It all went according to plan without any issues!  The next morning I was not so lucky.  (Sadly, you know where this is going.)  After I had painstakingly cleaned the next pane of glass I began the process of applying the glazing putty and then setting the glass in.  This window was a little different because it didn’t have an interior ledge on all four sides.  On one side it just had a slot for the glass to slide into (kind of like the back of some picture frames).  This means that I had to get the glass into that slot then push down on the remaining three sides to get the window to sit all the way down.  I was moving very slowly and methodically, but then I heard a snap!  I didn’t see it at first, but when I did my heart just sank…  followed closely by a rapid increase in body temperature and the urge punch something really hard.

Breaking another beautiful window
Breaking another beautiful window

It turns out that there was a little bump of wood that I could not see because of the putty.  When I was applying pressure the glass got caught on this one spot and then eventually cracked.  Big sigh.  I made a mental note of one more thing to watch out for on the other windows I still have to do.  I got all 8 of the kitchen windows reglazed this week (while the framing was getting done).  The next step is to wait for the glazing compound to dry (2-3 weeks) and then wait another month to be able to paint them.  That’s okay, that gives us plenty of time to figure out our exterior house colors.  I just can’t decide if I should repair the storm windows after I’m done with all the other windows, or if I should do the storm of each corresponding interior window to protect all my hard work from the weather.

There are 14 windows in house (not including the large muli-window in the parlor or any of the doors).  Each window has 2 sashes and an additional storm window with 2 panes of glass.  I’ll do the math for you…  56 separate piece of glass!!!  The 2 storm doors have 8 small panes EACH!  The parlor room window(s) has somewhere around 17 panes of glass.  That is a grand total of 89!  I have already removed, repaired, and reglazed 8.  I am going to stop doing the math.  Slow and steady, right?

Follow our story and read the next post:Brain Explosions

Read the previous post: Finally! Something new…walls.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Aunt Janet says:

    Slow and Steady Joe…..Slow and Steady. So sorry for the loss of another Wavy Window Pane. Again as you said….SLOW AND STEADY. Have a good week. Hugs, Aunt Janet XOXO


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