Monday, August 22, 2005

Window Trim

I spent some time this weekend stripping window hardware. Not a glamorous job, but fairly easy and rewarding. Like every other old house, the hardware in my house had been painted over a bajillion times (in addition, note the lovely paint/glazing job on the picture)

I've been restoring my 80 yr old windows one at a time. Admittedly, this project has taken a really, really (did I say really?) long time. Mostly, because I don't like disassembling the whole contraption. Secondly, because stripping paint is a pain in the neck (even if you have a "method."). But, I'll talk more about the windows themselves in another post.

The windows I am working on were in various stages of waiting for primer to dry, for glazing to skim over and for mildewcide to be added to, I decided to tackle the hardware.

Most old house owners know (or quickly learn) the trick of boiling painted hardware in water & baking soda (I tried just water once and it didn't work as well). It works nicely. I have an stainless steel pot devoted to this task. I throw the hardware in the bottom and cover it with the solution and then bring to a boil for 15-30 minutes. The paint just peels off. You are left to polish the hardware up with some steel wool.

Its always fun to see the hardware once the paint is gone. The top row in the picture is from the bathroom....a nice shiny nickel finish. That is except the window pull which is a flat cast metal. I have these pulls on all my windows. I actually wonder if they were meant to be painted as they are pretty utilitarian and do not match the other hardware.

The bottom row is from my upstairs window. This set is kind of cool because it mixed two types of metal - brass and a silver colored cast metal. At first I thought that a coating on one of the pieces had just worn off, but then discovered my kitchen hardware is the same mix of two colors. These are my favorite. I haven't seen them anywhere else - original or reproduction.

Finally, on the far right in the top row are copper holders for a roller shade. These copper shade holders are on all of the windows on my first floor. The other window hardware on first floor is otherwise all oil rubbed bronze. All in all, a nice mish-mash of different metals.


Greg said...

Nicely done. I had no luck with the boiling. I don’t think I let it boil enough. I can be impatient. I’ll have to give it another try.

Trissa said...

I hadn't heard about the boiling- thanks for the tip. I will try it out soon. Your hardware looks great!

StuccoHouse said...

Next time I'll take photos of the boiling proccess. It's nifty. I'm as Impatient (note capital I)as they come....and this is the fastest, easiest method I have found. You throw it in the boil....paint peels off. All of it. The boiling breaks the bond between paint and metal.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...

Does this also have the result of stinking up the house?

StuccoHouse said...

Christopher - It actually is not too bad. I keep the cover on while it is simmering and the door shut to the kitchen. You can smell it, but it is not awful....and it is wet,so they are not lead fumes (and added plus).

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