Monday, December 2, 2013

Design Dilemma // A Windows Update

Things have been quite busy since our return from Europe and unfortunately, the blog has suffered a bit of neglect as a result. I'm working at "balance" and not driving myself crazy trying to do it all and as badly as I feel having not posting more regularly, I have been using the additional time gained to get some of those nagging projects done around the house. One of them concerns our west facing living room windows.
Recall, I had shared some of our concerns about the irregular shaped window arrangement in a previous post. While managing around that was certainly our most prominent dilemma, it was just one of several we've been facing. In that previous post, I got a couple of comments that made me rethink and expand our original plan a bit.
The new plan:
Frame out windows with casing
Paint old aluminum window frames black
Hang rod above new casing and flank with drapery panels

We made a decision on the window casing and thanks to Dad, got that installed last week.  But as you all know, one thing leads to another and now I get to reveal the other (embarrassing) dilemma we were looking at solving before we could move on to painting out our frames.
Behold, the mirrored tint that came with all of our windows when we bought the house:

This is an old snapshot, but one that best illustrates what we saw everyday when the sun went down - our own reflections. Curiously, the tint allowed anyone standing on the outside to see clearly in, but prevented those on the inside from seeing out after dark. We understand why the previous homeowners installed tint. Left naked, our West facing windows certainly heat things up on that side of the house. But the mirrored tint would certainly not have been our choice. Did I mention these babies are also single paned? We had installed blinds on the windows, which hid the tint quite well. But we intend to ditch the blinds and leave the windows themselves undressed. The bottom line: the open, steel frame look we are desiring could not be achieved with the cheap looking mirrored tint still on. 

So while most of you were hitting the malls last Friday, I was tearing off our unsightly tint in preparation for a big paint job we now have scheduled for the coming weekend. It came off in big sheets and took only minutes. I smugly stood back and thought, "well that was easy". But the light coming through the following morning showed me that my work was only half done. The old adhesive was fully baked on and still needed to be removed.

Not knowing the best way to go about it, I consulted the guys at Home Depot (who all gave me the side eye, as if to say "don't do it"). I turned to Google and YouTube and in the end, came up with two tools needed for the job: a pack of razor blades and ammonia. So I went at it... for four hours.

I got creative and thought "soaking" would expedite removal. It didn't. Patience and frequent blade changing on my scraper were the only ways to tackle. Had we not had single pane windows, I would have attempted to steam. In the end though, I just didn't want to risk cracking them.
So that's where we are now - windows cased, stripped and cleaned and now, ready for paint. Next up: we'll attempt to get the steel frame look we've always wanted (until we can install the real thing) with a little paint. We also have a bigger paint job planned for the entire room to help brighten things up a bit and return us to a neutral canvas. Stay tuned for more updates...


jackie jade said...

ahh that sounds like such an annoying and tedious project! hopefully it'll start going faster. it'll be so worth it once it's all done!
-- jackie @ jade and oak

celine said...

Kudos to you for all this hard work. It will pay off!!! I too love the steel window look, and I know you will make this awesome!! xoxo

Sharon @ Novara Way said...

I'm really looking forward to seeing the results of this. I think it will be amazing! Well worth the hours of scraping with the blades!

Anonymous said...

Nice! The native look of that bamboo window blinds are elegant. Isn't that expensive. It's quite rare for me to find one like that. Thanks for posting. You have a lovely home.

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