Old windows are glorious things of beauty, and the wavy glass they possess are no small part of their classic winning looks.

If you've ever had a chance to see the undulations of light cast by a ray of sun through imperfect included glass, or enjoyed the subtle dance of fractured and warped reflections caused by true divided light windows with subtly bubbled and wrinkled glass, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

In our window restoration we've gone to great lengths to build a steam box in order to remove and protect the unbroken original glass from our window sash. We consider ourselves extremely fortunate to have many panes of our original 130 plus year old glass. Even though many of the pieces are scratched from years of use, we will certainly protect, restore, and reinstall these original panes whenever possible. However, some of the panes of glass are cracked or have been replaced with modern glass over the years.  

Of the four panes of glass I had removed from the first set of two over two window sash we're restoring, one was a more modern replacement, one was broken in the corner, and two were still usable and in good shape.

We planned to replace the broken and modern pieces of glass, so the hunt for the replacement began. I set the two that I was going to use off to the side to glaze them, and set out to find my replacement glass for the other two pieces. 

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Our first window restoration is entering the home stretch!

In our last few posts about this project we covered old putty removal in a DIY steam box, paint stripping, repairing the broken sections, and applying Blopentine (Boiled Linseed Oil + Tupentine) to the stripped antique window sash to rehydrate and protect the sash. We also detailed how we used a bath of water and linseed oil soap to protect raw cast iron hardware. That linseed oil is a little bit of liquid magic y'all!

The next steps in our restoration of the 130+ year old original window sash for our home are critical. With everything repaired and stabilized, beyond putting glass back in, from here on out the whole process is all about steps to turn these sash into a window, and to keep water and weather from infiltrating the window and the house.

Allowing plenty of time for the blopentine to dry and fully cure, I applied a coat of oil based primer over the entire sash. I like to start priming at this stage of the game, before placing the glass, for several reasons. First of all, it’s far easier to prime without concern of getting it on the glass. Second, I worry that the sash wood will suck the moisture/oil out of the glazing putty before it skins and cures, causing it to wrinkle and crack.  Ultimately, priming it first gives another protective barrier that will let the putty set up as it should. Third, it allows us to ensure paint covers the sections of the sash that will ultimately be covered by other things, like weather stripping and sash lifts.

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Have you ever had a friend or family member coming stay with you, quickly glanced at your guest accommodations, and thought to yourself "UGH! I don't want to force this person I care about to stay in this room!"

After years of having a guest room that was "good enough," a string of planned visits from guests in the upcoming months had me taking stock of our little guest room. This is the same room we gave a light makeover to some seven years ago, but since has been largely unimproved. Well, I recently looked around the room I realized that it may have been close to good, but wasn't what I wanted it to be. Besides not looking how I wanted from a decor perspective, we've been using it to store rugs we've moved from their prior rooms, the central vacuum attachments, and various miscellany that had been misplaced from other locations in our home. It was time for an upgrade.

This all started pretty innocently. Besides the accumulation of junk, the bed and box spring were sitting directly on the floor, where it's been since our last update in 2011. There it sat, still waiting for the bed that Alex will eventually build (but hasn't yet). I had grown sick of the bed on the floor look. When a neighbor gave us a metal bed frame he was planning to throw away, I figured it was a good chance to overcome this single annoyance with our room. 

Having the bed at a normal height made me realize we needed a proper bed skirt. Simple enough, right? And while we're at it, it was spring, so time to swap the heavy comforter for the lighter white matelasse coverlet. Here's how the room looked as we tried to prep it with what we had.

Besides missing a skirt, the problem I ran into is that the white coverlet we put on the bed from Spring to Fall has a large brown stain on it, courtesy Mel and a cat vomit incident last year. Now, I don't know about you, but as a guest staying, well, anywhere, I'd prefer to not have cat vomit stains on my bedding. Beyond the stained bedding, I felt like the red stool and recycled wicker baskets as night stands, both "rescued" from the curb, were far from ideally functional.

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The end of April 2018 marked the 7th birthday of Old Town Home and is a milestone of sorts in our time as bloggers. Seven years! I think Internet years are like double dog years.

Since we're talking dog years, it is very appropriate that our blog is seven (or one in dog years), and the topic of today's blog post just happens to involve one particular dog of ours. Our favorite female canine, Lulu, has been a member of our family for just a little longer than we've been blogging. She'll be celebrating her ninth birthday in a few months, and we've had her as a member of our family for just about seven and a half years.

Lulu has an affinity for climbing trees while chasing squirrels, throwing herself against the door when packages are delivered or a friend comes knocking, and generally guarding our home.

Like a seasoned veteran of the body-guarding business, she's honed her skills over the years. She covertly lurks, often appearing to nap, but her senses are always heightened and she's perpetually ready to spring into action to save the day. Evils such as letter delivery, or another dog barking a block or more away don't have a chance when Lulu is on duty. It doesn't even matter if she's upstairs, she'll make the mad dash down our wood stairs and leap towards the door at full speed!

Unfortunately, for our wood stairs, Lulu's skill as a guard dog has taken its toll. Lulu's nails apparently act as razor sharp talons when she's on the job, and years of her relentless pursuit of ensuring a danger free home have left their mark. Some might say she's neurotic, perhaps a bit over-zealous. Those people would be correct. But we love her nonetheless.

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The last time we tried to install two part crown moulding, I think we almost got a divorce.

Okay, so I may be exaggerating a little, but it wasn't pretty. The first time we tried to install two part crown was in our living room project, and it was ugly. I'm talking ugly on both the initial work on the install, and our frustrated communication with each other.

At one point in the process Wendy got so frustrated with me (which was likely well deserved as I had gotten very frustrated with the crown moulding) that she had to walk away and cool off, lest she end up maiming me with my own nail gun. The problem was that she chose to walk away to take a walk around the yard (and out of ear shot) without realizing I was standing on a ladder and holding the crown in place above my head...with one end already nailed...and my nail gun out of reach. I ended up holding that piece in place for nearly 20 minutes until Wendy returned. Upon her return, I politely asked her to hand me my nail gun before my arms fell asleep.

Though we really love how the crown turned out in the living room, the strife it caused during the process had us a little gun shy when it came to doing the same in our dining room project. Two part crown helps mask wavy plaster walls, and provides a great nailing backer for crown when studs aren't predictable or available, but the difficulty of install when your ceiling and walls are not consistent (because you live in an old house), certainly makes it tricky. But alas, we want to be cohesive on the first floor, so two part crown it is!

One thing is for sure, our dining room project is humming right along! We last gave you an update on our Master of Plaster base coat. The next time we were back at the house we followed the base coat up with a quick finish coat of plaster to complete the room. The finish coat goes on smooth and easy, and is very thin. The best part is that you can work really fast with the finish coat, so the whole room only took a few hours.

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