Our 100 (and one!) year old home has the most gorgeously pulled glass windows, complete with functional (albeit laboriously painted shut) weights and pulleys. I love these windows and we are delighted to restore them to their former glory softly filtering sunlight into our home, filling the space with breaths of fresh air. A cheerful bright light will tumble into our house during the day, and a warm comforting glow will radiate from our house in the evenings. I adore these old windows. We have found someone who knows how to properly restore 100 year old windows, not an easy feat in 2017 Dallas. It is indeed an intricate, pricey, meticulous, and delicate process. Although it would have been easier in many ways (time, cost, emotions, coordination) to simply replace these windows with brand new look alike windows, I am beyond happy with our choice to keep the original windows and give them the love and attention they deserve.
Below is the picture of our first fully restored window located in the front living room. It was hidden for decades behind a bookshelf on the interior and by shutters on the exterior. Please reference this earlier post for further information on this window and all of our other 100 year old windows: Maplewood 100 year old windows
Here are some pictures of the current window restoration process taking place in our home. Once the window is removed from the home it is carefully moved to our garage for the restoration process. Each window is handled delicately, individually, and gently. There are several individual components of a 100 year old window, including several that move, some more expectantly than others. Moving parts include the rather heavy and free swinging (once removed from the wall) counter weights, individual panes of glass (truly divided light), putty, points, both separate sashes, pulleys, and hardware. Each interaction with the window outside of its original situation in the wall is an opportunity for breakage. Yes, we have had a few panes break early on, but it seems as though the quirks of our windows are now understood and very few breaks are anticipated moving forward. To replace a broken pane is sad, but doable with either modern made restoration glass which imitates aged glass or to find salvaged windows and replace truly old glass with truly old glass. The later is certainly our preference. Well, the preference is actually to not have any broken glass, but as we all know, life is not perfect and unexpected accidents happen, so it is best to take comfort in knowing there is indeed an acceptable plan B (or C or D…).
Current room of restoration: Second floor sleeping porch/playroom. Remember most of these windows were hidden behind modern drywall!
Below: Here is the set up in our garage. The metal trough to the left is where the windows are placed and covered in a bath of chemical solutions to remove the many layers of paint. The wooden stand to the right is where the windows are placed after their bath for further hand cleaning and new putty.
Below: Close up of the metal trough and in progress window. You can see this window has not yet been “bathed”. The paint is still intact.
Below: Close up of the wooden stand and in progress window. Here you can see the window post bath, gorgeous 100 year old wooden frames as fresh as the day they were made.
This is an arduous process, and it is 100 degrees here. These guys are doing a tremendous job with this rather delicate and tedious task, and they listen to the oldies radio station, which just makes me happy whenever I walk in the house. Slowly but surely these windows will shine brightly again and again, day after day, year after year, in this magical home.
Below: Evie, my ever loyal and entertaining helper, checking on the house before we worked on her swimming today.
Love and hugs,
ps…I was going to do an update about the new windows that were replaced (due to inaccurate sticking measurements) tonight as well, but I am worn out and Sofia needs some snuggles. So, the next update will have to wait until tomorrow! Thanks for following along with this grand adventure!