Elements of Home

Sun Porch Renovation Weekend 1

I think one of the best things about our 1911 house is the huge sun porch that spans the width of our house. It’s full of windows, wood floors, a charming wainscot ceiling, and lots of room for lounge and dining furniture. Unfortunately, those huge windows have 5 coats of paint on them, with the most recent paint color a horrible dark green…the walls have been painted white, but no longer look like it, the wood floors look like someone taught a tap dancing class on them…for 100 years, and the ceiling was also painted those 5 lovely colors, with a very thin coat of white paint on top. Underneath all of these flaws is a gorgeous sun porch just waiting to be revealed. Someone just needs to give it a little love, and we decided it was time. Last year with the wedding we had absolutely no time to start this huge project, but lucky for us, summer came early this year. We were able to start this project and will be able to finish before actual summer even arrives!

The first day started with me repainting the walls and the ceiling and what a difference that made! It’s amazing what a crisp coat or two of white paint can do. Although it took me a weekend to complete the coats of paint on the walls and the ceiling, the hard parts are still left…the windows. There are 10 double hung windows plus 2 windows to the house and a door frame, that all needed to be stripped and repainted. We contemplated all the options: Paint over them, sand them down the best we could then paint, have them all dipped and then paint, or painstakingly strip the windows down to the wood. Painting over them was the first option we ruled out. Although 5 coats of paint on a 100 year old home is actually pretty good…it would still look sloppy. Because we were unsure of the amount of lead paint used, sanding wasn’t the safest idea. Having them dipped would cost a LOT of money…which leaves us with hand stripping all the windows. Did I mention the sash cords are painted green as well? Beautiful. B did tons of research on which paint stripping compounds were best. We wanted the safest, most effective solution. We came across Dumond Peel Away Safe Strip. It’s 100% biodegradable, water based, odor free, no VOC. It’s completely safe for the environment, and us! Have you seen this stuff? It’s actually pretty amazing. We started off pretty conservative with the paint stripper and it actually took off 4 out of the 5 coats of paint off with one scrape of the stripping tool. Now that we know this stuff actually works…this weekend we’re going all out. Bye bye ugly paint! I’ve attached a couple photos of the early progress B made a couple weekends ago when we were just testing out the paint stripper

The painted over lead glass window…soon to be revealed!

Check out the lead glass window that someone thought was a good idea to paint over…and drywall over on the other side…Future project? Recover window from inside the house too. Seriously. Who covers a window?

Window progress

Our pretty front door that will no longer be hidden by ugly green paint!