Monday, November 15, 2010

swanky curtain rods

One of the original reasons for fixing up the windows in this room is so I could finally put up some worthy curtain rods. As you can see in the pic above, come afternoon sun this room can really heat up. In summertime it becomes a blazing inferno. Thus the need to diffuse the light coming into the dining room. You can't see it here, but we actually put up a faux stained glass sheet over the big middle window. This helped bring down temperatures in this room big time. But there was always a need to put up some curtains over these windows both from a heat control standpoint and for privacy. Since these are in the back of the house, I guess heat control won out.. It's been five years that we've lived in this house and we still don't have curtains up downstairs -- these will be the first. I still have the other set of windows in the dining room to overhaul before dressing them up. Then we can finally go for the ones in the living room.

Ok enough with the backstory. I've had my eye on this set of curtain rods since we bought the place. We actually have a pair of the same style in the upstairs bedrooms with a nice oil rubbed bronze finish. I always wanted brass for the formal rooms though. As you can see they are a nice and shiny brass, which I'm not really a fan of. However these are unlacquered so over time will patina to a nice aged brass and match the rest of the brass hardware downstairs. They are nice and beefy though and are pretty heavy. Hopefully a future owner doesn't think they need to toss them as they were somewhat pricey. In fact, my wife has taken to calling them the $XXX curtain rods. I won't divulge how much they cost, but they weren't cheap. Let's leave it at that.

Something else that left a bad taste in my mouth is rejuvenation kept getting my order wrong. I ordered these way back in july and only now do I have the complete set I ordered. I know, I know.. The first time I got one mismatched set of finials. The second time I got my brass finials except they were lacquered. Third time's the charm I guess, as I now finally have all hardware in unlacquered brass. I wasn't too happy about that, but dammit I wanted these rods. It's taken forever, but I am finally content with my dining room windows. Helps give me a little motivation that I can actually finish a project and am not completely crazy refinishing all this wood..

Sunday, November 14, 2010

dining room windows saga continues

Wow it's been a while since I've posted anything resembling progress around here. Not to worry, I've been working on several projects. This would be my first blog worthy post in a while. As you can see above I've finally completed the far wall of windows and woodwork in my dining room. It's not a good picture since the light blasts through this room and it's hard to not wash out the detail. I actually sanded down, filled, stained, & poly'd a fairly significant part of this wall. The good thing is I think it's kind of hard to tell what was pseudo-original and the work I just did. I guess that's kinda the point -- I want it to look like it's always been that way.

Let's see, I completely redid the wood trim that spans over the top of all three windows as well as the upper/lower sash of the right window. I partially redid the left window sash and the center window. I also did some touch up on some of the lower trim underneath the windows. I refinished both window sills too. Thankfully I was able to match the color of the stain pretty well. I would call the stain color I'm going for something like an amber caramel. It has some orange-red tones, but the caramel richness helps keep it from looking too bright and light colored. After I put on the second coat of poly did I finally say to myself "wow, that looks pretty nice". I think so at least. It's not perfect, but I think it is so much better than what it used to look like. I can't believe I've been working on this wall for this long. Yes I've been distracted with other things along the way, but for the most part I've been working these off and on since july.

I'm hoping to get started on the trio of windows on the side wall next. Like these, the window sills are crap and need total refinishing as well as a few spots where old curtain rods used to be. There is some rot on the same places as the ones I just fixed, mostly the detail edge of the sash where it meets glass. To help make the back windows bulletproof from any future abuse, I used the same methods for the exterior of applying wood preservative, wood hardener, & epoxy/filler. The color is a little darker and redder than the rest of the stain, but I felt this was a worthy compromise. So like the back windows, I want the side windows completely solid inside and out. Hopefully a future owner of this house appreciates the work I've put into them and doesn't toss them out for some cheap vinyl..

Anywho, here's another picture that shows the three finishes in all their glory. The top finish is the despised ebony stain (which I'm still working on eradicating). The middle finish is the new stain/poly. And the bottom finish is the pseudo-original finish. I think the bottom two are pretty close and I don't think you'd really be able to tell they're not the same finish unless you got right up to them in certain areas. The sash detail that touches the glass is mostly the only place this is most obvious. There's more to the story so you'll have to wait till next time..