3.07.2011

Readying for Replacements

We're exhausted. Did you know that windows have to be prepared to be replaced? Not the sashes of course, but the interior trim. And if you remember how horrid our windows look, you can just imagine the state of the trim. So every day for the past few days we've spent hours preparing our windows to be replaced, which has involved sanding, scraping, filling, sanding, scraping, sanding, filling, sanding and painting because doing the same while carefully cutting in around new window sashes would be nothing shy of absolutely maddening.

We started with the trickiest of the windows - the second story window in the stairwell. Scraping and prepping this window involved maneuvering a tall ladder on angled stairs and then crossing my fingers and hoping the neither the ladder nor I would slip. I hate ladders, but S claims his hand isn't steady enough to paint trim. I paint, S scrapes.
Thankfully the high stairwell window didn't need much scraping, unlike both windows in the guest room and the window in the bath. The sills on all three windows went down to bare wood by the time S was finished with them. 
We're counting on the little lead test kit that said that at least the top layer wasn't lead paint. We were pretty careful, but the whole task was messy and miserable according to poor S who turned to ask me a question and had eyebrows full of paint chips.

On other windows we just needed to scrape a little bit of flaking paint and then smooth the rough areas with some wood filler.
All of the windows needed to have several small holes filled where curtain rods used to hang and most of them had weird gouges and other imperfections all around the trim. We couldn't figure out what the gouges were from, so we just did our best to fill them while contouring to match the style of the trim. In the end they looked better than what we started with, but not perfect.

The bathroom had something really funky going on under the windowsill where the wood meets the tile. Someone had globed on caulk two inches down onto the tile and up around onto the wood sill. We were a little worried that we were opening a can of worms when S took a putty knife to it:
But the tiles underneath the globs of caulk were fine. Just a little caulk applied neatly and we'll be good to go.
Our backs are sore, our hands are sore and we're generally pretty cranky. After spending so much time getting intimately familiar with our windows and all of their broken panes and layers of crusty, peeling paint, we're really glad we decided to replace v. repair. They're just in such bad shape all around, except for the shiny white trim, of course
Next up, we're moving on to doors. Check out the yellowed paint behind our bedroom door where a mirror used to hang compared with the white we're using. Pretty grody, no?
We definitely could have used another day to the weekend, but maybe the work week is just what we need to recharge so we can tackle the doors next weekend. I'm ready to put the white paint away and check this job off our list. How did you spend your weekend?

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5 comments:

  1. Good to see the window project is coming along nicely!

    Don't you hate globs of caulk? Whoever re-did our bathrooms did a really shotty job when it came to tile placement and caulking. Tiles are uneven and gobs of caulk everywhere [hence why we are re-doing the bathrooms :) ].

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  2. Ohhhhh boy. This is a HUGE effort. Just a little word of encouragement/commiseration, from someone who has *been there.* We replaced 25 windows in our house, which meant taking out the trim, scraping, adding the new windows, replacing, caulking and painting trim... yada yada yada. You get the picture. It is NOT fun and not easy, but it's WORTH IT in the end! :) We love our new windows! Good luck!

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  3. Wow, I had no idea about replacing windows. So glad to know as we would love to replace our 1970's windows!! Thanks for the tips :)

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  4. I hear you on adding another day to the week-end!
    That yellow door is lovely! :Pi

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  5. All of our doors used to look like that!!! In our case, I think it was combination of old paint and nicotine/smoke stains. YUCK!!!!!! It will be awesome though!!

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