Salvaging old windows is sort of a hobby of mine. There’s just something about the wood frames that evokes a simpler time, as compared to the fiberglass frames of today. Yes, they have their problems (chipping lead paint and poor insulation to name but two), but they are solidly constructed. You’ll find windows at salvage and antique stores, flea markets, yard sales and even random places alongside the road.
There is a myriad of uses for old windows: use as a top for a coffee table; take out the windows and replace them with mirror; or, leave the windows and line with cork for a bulletin board or paint with chalk paint for a chalkboard. You can also put photos inside the windows and back them with a mat to use as a picture frame.
My favorite use is to paint the windows with a “stained glass” paint (like the ones by Plaid, for example). It comes with “lead” strips that mimic the lead lines in an actual stained glass window.
I painted this rather large window by copying a window in the Sullins College chapel. I attached 2 picture hangers to the back and it now hangs over the piano in our childrens’ playroom.
This one I painted like an American flag and it hung in the window of our bathroom for a while (note to self: don’t hang in a window again because it causes the paint to fade…I now have a pink, white & baby blue flag).
Obviously, I was going through a very “red” phase when I painted this one. I did end up selling it at a craft show so I suppose someone saw the beauty in it! Usually I don’t paint the frames themselves; sometimes I just sand the rough edges down a little. It is awfully tempting to peel the cracked paint off but that should be avoided due to the probability of lead paint being present (keep cracking pieces away from children).
Stained glass paint can be used on new windows too. The master bathroom door in our first home was a glass French door (why I picked that out I’ll never know) and we shortly realized that no matter how much we loved each other, a little privacy is a good thing! So I painted the windows. The paint is totally removable and each section comes off in a sheet.
I flipped when I saw this window in a store called Eggsntricities in Bluffton, South Carolina! I just had to have it. I remember I was with a friend (you know who you are!) and she gave me this look and asked “where would you put that?!?” So, rather than risk explaining that I really didn’t have a place for it but that polka-dotted chickens were my thing, I didn’t buy it then. I called back later and had it shipped to me. Now it’s hanging over the changing table in my daughter’s room and I must say it looks so cute! Each one of our kids has loved making chicken sounds as they looked at the bright hens while getting their diaper changed (side note: I live in the Tri-Cities area. Does anyone else get that this store is called Eggs in Tri Cities?!?).
Here’s my version of a feathered friend: a rooster that’s propped in our twin sons’ room. He wakes them right on time in the morning (and at night several times once in a while!).