Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Recycled Windows

I actually found these windows behind my mom and daddy's wood pile! See the green junk on the glass and the moss growing on the frame?! These are some OLD OLD OLD windows! There are three of them, and out of the three there was only ONE broken pane of glass. Can you believe that? There's no telling how long they've been out behind that wood pile? 10+ years at least.
 My original plan was to just clean off the dirt and leave the original paint, but the original paint literally came off as I was brushing the dirt off. What didn't brush off came off when I wiped it down with a mild solution of Murphy Oil Soap and warm water, but I had to kill all the funk that was living on it before I brought it in my house!

Here it is after I cleaned it all up. I'm glad I didn't paint it. I think it looks nice just "nude".
This one of the other frames that I decided to turn into an end table. I hate that it looks like Bella is about to poop in the chair! She's actually jumping down, but at least I got a good shot of the table, right?

I used some scrap lumber to build the table. Literally the only real money I sunk into it is the piece of table top glass that I have on order and the legs. Other than that everything else is made from what we had on hand. The box frame is a piece of left over deck board. 

The window frame is attached to the box with hinges so that I can lift it and display my fragile shells and beach glass and other precious things that I don't want the cat batting around. In theory I guess I could just use it without a piece of glass on top, but I'll feel safer with a thicker piece protecting that old window frame glass. 

You can't really see it, but I used Gorilla Glued AND I screwed the legs to the frame as well as brad nailed and screwing a brace in place. This thing is ready for a Cat 4 hurricane!
The legs are a pressure treated colonial style picket from the lumber section for $3.11. I cut it half, sanded it smooth, and painted it. They had decorative "pretty" ones for sale that were almost identical to these, but they were $10.00 each! For $6.22 I got 2 legs instead of $40.00! Plus the pressure treated legs were chunkier and had a more study, rustic feel to me. The furniture legs were too foo-fooy and delicate for this project. 

The crackle technique that I used is simply a coat of Elmer's white glue painted over the dark stained wood. Then I let it dry until it was "tacky", then I went over it with a coat of flat white latex. Because I'm so patient (NOT) I got out my handy dandy blow dryer and sped up the drying process. It was really neat to watch the paint 'cracking' right before my eyes! Once I got the level of 'crackle' that I was looking for I left it to sit and really dry well for about an hour while I ran some errands. When I got back I used some 100grit sand paper and 'wore' the edges down to make it look really worn and old.  

Here's an idea of what it will look like once I get the glass for the top. 

My helper is quite impressed with my carpentry skills!

So if you add up the $23.00 for the glass, $6.22 for the legs,  and $2.33 for the hinges, then we are looking at a total investment of about $31.55. Of course that doesn't include my time, but I'm getting a super cool table out of it, plus I'm saving a little piece of history because I know where the window frames came from. (They came from a REALLY old building that was torn down on the island where I grew up. They're getting close to being 100 years old.)


  1. There's no point in painting the window photo frame, Lissa - the bare image makes it see more classical. But I have to admit I am definitely attracted to the second window you've shown. If I were to recycle again, I would do the same thing - I'll keep that in mind.

    Herb Koguchi

    1. LOL The dog's looking straight at the camera - it's so cute, Lissa!:P Anyway, Herb's right. You know what they say! Nothing beats the classic! There are many ways to recycle window frames, actually. You just have to come up with unique ideas, like what you did there. :)

      Terry Arnold

  2. Cool white piece of furniture;) I'm going to use the technique on my antique desk bought at Salvation Army. I love the white finish!!!