Monday, September 20, 2010

DIY! Saving an Old Wood Window

 Where I live there are an abundance of fabulous old Victorian homes with amazing woodwork. Fortunately, a large majority of those homes are being restored - this is definitely an area where people value their history and architecture. Unfortunately for me {for purely selfish reasons} I cannot seem to find an old wood window anywhere...until recently...I found 4 great old wood windows at the dump! They were a few bucks a piece, and, no, they are not Victorian, but they are wood!
I was thrilled. So many ideas…but for now this one!

Saved Window
Click HERE for a PDF tutorial
* Old wood window
* Gorilla Wood Glue
* Vintage image. I used this ONE from The Graphics Fairy. 
*DecoArt Acrylic paint (for all over or touch ups). I used Americana Bleached Sand.
*Deft Semi Gloss Wood Finish Spray from Rockler.
*DISChangers - I used two 2" DISChangers...view their product chart to determine what you will need
*Dremel Multi-Max {How much do I love my Dremel?!!!} or sand paper
*Inkjet Waterslide Decal Paper (squeegee, fixative, mounting fluid). Your preparation will vary depending on the brand of the decal paper

1. My window was falling apart. I cleaned it up - I purposefully did not sand away or cover up the nicks and dings - and carefully used Gorilla Wood Glue to solidify the joints by gluing the window back together. Let dry.
2. If necessary  - or desired - hit the spots that are bare {if any} with paint in desired colors. My window happened to already be painted in a buttery ivory color, but there were a number of places that needed some paint. I Used DecoArt's American Acrylic Paint in Bleached Sand to put a light coat all over the window. I left a lot of the “old” there.
3. After the new paint is dry, use the Dremel {or sand paper} to distress the new paint.
4. Cover window glass and spray the wood frame with the Deft Wood Finish.
5. Print vintage image onto waterslide decal paper (using glossy setting for paper). Follow manufacturers directions (mine are as follows)
* Let ink dry for 60 minutes.
* Spray with fixative and let dry at least one hour.
* After dry, cut closely around image.
* Prepare lukewarm water in a dish large enough to submerge decal.
* Place image in water…as it curls up, gently uncurl it.
* Let sit for 30-60 seconds or so.
* Remove from water and place on window by gently holding decal in position and sliding backing away.
* Use squeegee to GENTLY remove excess water and air bubbles.
* Let dry.** The edge of the decal will dry almost invisible.
 6. I used 2 - 2" DISChangers, one on each corner, to hang my pretty window
NOTE #!: I cannot actually show you it hanging right is part of a redo of my living room you just need to wait another week or so for the final reveal! There is one {or twelve} more window project that goes along with this!

**NOTE #2: I rubbed a little hard {gentle is not always in my vocabulary} when I squeegeed my water out and some of the decal ink rubbed off. Honestly I did not mind it...IT made it look old...which was the point anyway!
DISCLOSURE: As part of The DIY Club, I have been supplied with vendor sponsored products to complete my projects. The opinions are projects are my own. See, my disclosure policy for more information.


  1. OMGosh..I want an old window really...REALLY bad..I just love what you did with this. Looks fabulous.
    .{{{{you have a purple chair?}}}

  2. Wow - this is beautiful Holly!!! I love what you did to the frame and the decal is perfect. Can't wait to see the living room reveal! :)

  3. That is so great! What a beautiful little window! I love decal!

  4. Dearest Holly
    I know I've told you before, but I will say it again and again. You are one hell of a wonder.
    I was lying in my claw foot tub : ) after re-aranging my little cottage kitchen. Yesterday I finally bought myself a chandelier. I've been wanting one for 3 years now. I guess I was trying to find "the one" at a thrift store, or garage sale, but time was running out lol. Randy , (thanks for the well wishes for him BTW, let me know what your mom puts in those shakes) put it up late last night. Ok back to the tub thinking. I'm wondering how on earth you do what you do, and do it so well. You are so much like my BFF Julie in Vancouver. She's always doing something, re-arranging furniture in the middle of the night or making something out of nothing.
    These windows remind me of our late nights in her garage over 15 years ago. She had a garage full of windows, beams, old frames, you name it she had it. We used to go road junkin' and garage salen' together all the time. She opened up a cute little shop called "Through the Garden Gate". The gate used to "creak" when you walked through it. I'm going on a tangent again. Stay with me lol
    Soooooo when I saw how cool this window of yours looked, I had to comment. i come often and look around : 0 that sounds weird LOL OMG I must be tired.
    So dear HollyL, coming by to say how much I love your blog. Mine is so piddly ass compared to some of your gals. I'm running out of "family" stories to share, kind of. I'm in a "FUNK".
    Love ya for coming by my little neck of the world. Stay cool and creative.
    Love Claudie

  5. Holy Holly is that long enough for you???? You did say PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE. I like well mannered ladies : )

  6. Wow, Holly nicely done. Glad to hear that dumpster diving paid off well with the wood window find.

  7. It must be window week! I found an amazing 12 pane old window at the antique store for $15! I have been hunting for one forever! I love what you did with yours, it's gorgeous!

  8. Looks great, so glad you found your windows!

  9. Holly, thank you so much for the sweet comment you left for me. I am honored that someone with your talent and following would follow me! What an encouragement that is for me! I will be following you, too, for inspiration!

  10. You did a fab job! Thanks for the tutorial. The decal is perfect!!

  11. Thanks for visiting A Shabby Life, Holly! I love your window and water slide decals. I have the decals, now all I need is a window. If you happen upon another one, could I have it please?

  12. Hi, Holly! Your window is wonderful! I love the way you take these things and give them new life! I have to get myself some old wooden windows;0) Thanks for sharing.

  13. Hmm...does it count if the wood windows are still IN your house? ;)

    Unfortunately, our 109 year old Victorian still contains a few of the old giant wood and wavy glass windows. Can you say, "cold winters?"

    I do love what people (and you) do (have done) with that old wood window. Very neat!

    I just can't "think crafty."

  14. Holly,

    This window is perfect! I love the decal as well. You diy'ers are so much more creative than I'll ever be! I'm amazed every time I stop by!

  15. Holly,
    I've been on the lookout for some neat vintage windows and love your idea! Thanks for sharing it.

  16. My goodness Holly. Your DIY skills know no limits. Another remarkable project that started from a dump.

  17. That is so cool. I literally have 15 doors and windows sitting in the garage waiting to be made over. They are so unique and I love thinking about their past lives.

  18. Oh wow Holly, this is amazing!!! Really gorgeous and such a great tutorial too! Thanks so much for linking this up to Brag Monday.

  19. inspire, you inform, you teach, you create...what don't you do?! :>

    I've never heard of waterslide decal paper or disc hangers before, so thank you for the introduction to two new practical goodies!

    I have heard of the Graphics Fairy before and don't we just love her?! :>:>

    Do you know what else I'm lovin' right about now?? Your custom window! And yup, yup, oh so looking forward to your other twelve DIY moments, in addition to your living room. Maybe you'll inspire me to get on my own. Wait!! Maybe you already have!?! I brought home a new lamp (okay, so that's not DIY, but it was inexpensive and brought my living room out of the dark ages and does coordinate nicely with my favorite accent pillow in the whole house that's on the chair next to the table it resides, does that count?! :>:>) on Friday.

    Fun post, glad I made it by! :>

  20. I cannot possibly wait an entire week (or so?!) for that reveal. I love living room makeovers! I'm sure this is going to look beautiful when you're all done :)

  21. i LOVE LOVE LOVE this!! and am SO very excited for the reveal! wee!

  22. I have been on the hunt for old window for such a long time... I love what you did here... one day I will find one!

    Have a great week!

  23. i would LOVE for you to give us a video tour of your home sometime. just sayin'. :)

  24. What a great idea. I love the character in these old pieces.

  25. Your window is wonderful! Love what you did with it!


  26. LOVE IT HOLLY! I remember the days when you could always count on finding a few of those wonderful wood windows at the dump ~ with loads of history and tons of character...alas, those days are no more! So happy you scored a few and transformed them so beautifully! xoxo, Jenn

  27. You know when I come over here and read your DIY posts I actually believe that I could maybe, possibly, do this. delusion suits me.

    Thank goodness for people like you to teach people like me stuff like this. I would never "see" the finished product like you do. I could probably do the actual steps, however, I would never dream up the projects to begin with. You look at an old window and see something beautiful and magical. I see trash.

    *sigh* There is no end to your talents! :D

  28. That window is fantabulous!! I would love something like that in my kitchen!

  29. I don't remember if I commented on this project or not but I do remember seeing it. I am seeing a lot of really great projects with these old windows and now I would like to try doing something with one myself. In fact, if I find one small enough, I have the perfect place to hang it.

  30. Holly this is SO amazing! Hope you link it up to A Crafty Soiree. I'm going to spend some time looking through all your recent posts once I get the monkeys to school xoxo

  31. I really like this, I use old windows all the time...great idea!

  32. See I don't think of stuff like this. And when I am at Michael's I get overwhelmed. It's awesome to have people like you show me what I can do with something ordinary like a window and turn it into something extraordinary.

  33. LUCKEE! I am on the prowl for windows myself!

  34. I love it! You did a great job! Thanks for stopping by and joining us this week at Anything Related!

  35. Funny when I was a little girl I lived at 508 West Main Street. Of all my addresses that is the only one I remember and I moved from there when I was seven. Anyways that is what caught my eye, the name of your blog. Of course your blog is sweet too.

  36. Holly, I don't know how you do it all! You create beautiful crafts, blog, always leave such thoughful comments, write, plan parties, and are a wonderful mother! What a great project:) Could you send some of your boundless energy over here too? Thank you for joining us at A Crafty Soiree! I hope you'll come back next week and link up again!

  37. Love this! I have an "extra" window after making some fun art pieces for my girls' room. I was wondering what to do with it and now you've given me a great direction to go in! Thanks!

  38. Saving or recycling something and using it as a display is definitely great. Thanks a lot for sharing.

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Thanks for stopping by and joining the conversation! I sure hope you come back for more!