January 11, 2012

Come to My Window

First off, let me clarify that I am not, nor have I ever been, a Melissa Etheridge fan. Rest assured, if Journey had a well-known song with "window" in the name, it would've been game over on the title. With the disclaimer out of the way, let's get down to the dirty...

About a year and a half ago, we replaced all of the windows on the front of the house. The ones we took out were original to the house (circa 1950), and consisted of 4 single panes of glass and the raised wood muntins (also called grids) which, I was surprised to find out are extremely rare nowadays. I asked the guys installing the new windows to save what they could of the old ones, not knowing then that they would eventually become perfect guinea pigs for my newest hobby.

We needed something for a blank wall space above the crib in our nursery so I went to the boneyard (my storage shed) and pulled out one of the windows to see what I could do. "Window art" is pretty hot right now, that is, the re-purposing of old, weathered forgotten windows into new furniture and art concepts. I've seen them made into everything from planters to coffee tables to wall art. Since this was before I dove head-first into this little hobby, I started small...deciding to upcycle this dude into some wall art.

The window, before
Once I started scraping 50+ years of paint off of this thing, and probably getting lead poisening in the process (check back with me in 10 years), I found the original color of the house. I originally planned to scrape down to bare wood and start from scratch, but I'm a fan of contrasting colors in multiple layers on aged pieces like this and it's my party so that's how I rolled.

Hidden color underneath - apologies for the lighting
Now, how to finish it? This was my first experiment with antique glaze. Actually, that's not true, it was my second. But, I'm not showing you my first since I wish I had known then what I know now and it could've been so much better. So, antique glaze...I got it in a tea stain tint from Benjamin Moore, I believe (Thanks to Mal for the tip). However, you can get it cheaper at a big box store and here's a helpful hint I wish I had known...you can tint the glaze any color you want. Kaboom. You just got a knowledge bomb dropped on you. But, for this I just went with the tea stain glaze as is, and here is how it turned out.

"Umm, honey? Why can't I open this window?"
Here it is above Campbell's crib
So, there you go...some scraping, some light sanding and one solid coat of antique glaze. No saws, no screws, no painstaking measurements or even wood glue needed. The end product? A little green, a little white, some raw wood and patina. Urban art at its finest (and cheapest).


  1. you should show it in Campbell's super cute nursery!

  2. Gaines, i never knew you had such craftmanship. Kudos to you! Kelby is not much of a painter unless he has too, which means i would have to get preggos again.

  3. That is so cute! I love the colors you combined to paint the window with. I suggest you paint a garden or any scenic view on the window glass, so you can create a beautiful illusion. =)