By Caroline Tahana
When we first inspected this house, I instantly fell in love with the massive double hung windows that feature throughout. The heritage and character they bring to this house is just so rare these days. A lot of people would just replace them with new modern windows. It is easier and sometimes cheaper to replace them than it is to strip them and restore them. But not with this house…
We have slowly started to strip these windows down any spare weekend we get! There are nine windows in total we have to restore! And that’s not just on the outside, that’s the inside too!
We first started to strip them using paint thinners, this was just too messy and dangerous as paint thinners burn skin! Lesson learnt with this one!
I got some quotes on acid dipping them but the quote was absolutely too expensive, especially since it’s something that we can do ourselves and doesn’t require a trade or skill. A bit of elbow grease was the only option left for us, one window at a time!
After the messy lesson with the paint thinners I hopped on Google to find my answer, as Google always knows what to do! My answer: the heat gun! This thing is amazing! It just strips the paint straight off! You have to be very careful not to let the heat stay in one spot for too long as it can burn and then actually make it harder to take off. But once you let it bubble up, just scrape it straight off. It’s amazing to see the different layers of paint and colours this house has taken on over the last 40 years. White, grey and even an ugly brown were the colours that unfolded strip by strip!
Our idea is to repaint these windows a black satin finish rather than gloss as gloss will show every dint from the past 40 years. Gloss is ok if you are painting new frames as the timber is normally perfectly cut and finished but because our frames are old and full of character, we will use the satin finish so the dints aren’t highlighted after all that hard work. We think the black colour will tie in nicely with our industrial style. Satin is also easy to clean and will help hide the outside dirt unlike the white colour they are at the moment.