Maintaining this Old House -- a Few Winter Projects

One of the first things I noticed and loved about our 1920's bungalow, 
before I even got out of the car on showing day, 
was the original 8 over 1 wooden and wavy, old glass windows.

Once inside the house, we adored the wide baseboard molding.

Now that we've been here 6 months, 
I've noticed things that we hadn't seen before move-in day because we hadn't looked up-close 
at some things (like the windows) because they were behind blinds.
Now I know that some scraping, caulking, glazing, patching, sanding, and painting 
are needed on both the windows and the baseboards to preserve them and pretty them.

Let me show you what's been done so far.
I am learning all about the how and why to maintain an historic home
and the differences between living in a newer home vs. an old one.

I am in the living room this week.

The white plantation blinds are okay; they are functional 
and we are so glad they stayed with the house when we bought it,
 but I knew I wanted to bring some warm wood tones soften to the all-white window frames.

And can you believe it? God provided these:

This home has 21 windows and I was able to get 16 of these at Lowes.
Their normal price? $45 each.
Our price (because they were on CLEARANCE!!!!!): $9.15 each.
What an awesome blessing!

The living room isn't very big, so I have to do one wall/corner at a time,
scooting around the furniture as I go.

This is how the higher, small window to the right of the mantel looked before working on it.
The set of double windows actually just needed to be painted 
(probably because they face the porch and are covered up and safer from rain/heat/snow, etc.).

 (Poor Mr. Stink Bug, rest in peace.)

You can see that there is rotting, cracked, and moldy wood.

I would never EVER put new windows in an old home, so these must be preserved.

Again, the windows before. And what they look like refreshed.

The uneven "paint" is actually glazing on the outside which we will remedy
when it warms up outside a tad.

These windows have been painted shut for many years, 
and since they don't have screens on them, I am not worried about opening them.
Each bedroom does have one window that opens
(we had the seller make sure they were opening/closing before we moved in)
for safety reasons. 
Our side sleeping porch is screened in so we can air out the house for now
by opening the door onto the porch.
Someday we'll have the windows working and screened, but not today.

As I was painting the windows, I took a good look a the baseboards
and the quarter round or shoe molding.
Then I caulked the top if it because there were gaps.

And decided to paint it white, too.
(I also painted the picture molding.)
I am using Sherwin Williams "Alabaster" for all the white trim in the house.
The first thing I painted was the mantel HERE.

Much better.
Even Miss S, my college senior girl noticed!

When the paint dried on the two front windows,
my hubby hung the first two blinds.


(Can you find my paint brush to see how I dried it?)

And there are 18 windows to go.
I'd better get busy!

What are you doing this winter in your home?



  1. Woot! Woot! What a blessing for sure. Love the look. When you are ready to get rid of those blinds I'm still interested. LOL! Seriously, it looks great.

  2. Hello Leslie...Oh, I'm sure that home is going to be gorgeous by the time you and your hubs finish with it. You have such a classy decorating style. Already you can see all the improvements you have made.

    This winter? Well, not too much in the house. Too cold. We have to do projects in the warmer months. Susan

    1. Hi Susan!! :)
      Thank you... you're so sweet! I am praying for an early Spring, too!

  3. Leslie, congratulations on scoring those blinds! They're a great look for your old house. Historic homes definitely have special needs, and I'm glad you're taking care of those windows. We are blessed with gorgeous original wavy-glass windows, too, and I'd never replace them either although we did add storm windows, though, to improve energy efficiency. So glad you're enjoying your house! It's looking super. :-)

  4. Nicely done! Great find and price too! I'm busy organizing my many photos. I hope to be done before spring:)

  5. Oh dear, Leslie - I'm probably going to be the only person who prefers the white plantation blinds to those brown Roman ones! I love the white for starters, plus they're fixed as opposed to something you constantly have to be pulling up or dropping down. I also feel that plantation blinds offer more privacy on the whole - this from a girl who dreams of owning them one day and replacing all those horrible cedar venetian ones that clang in the wind and drive her insane! Is it just me who feels this way? Oh well, I do look forward to seeing all of your new-look windows as you roll out all the blinds. Maybe I'll change my mind! ;-) Hx

  6. Nice work on those windows! What a great look with those rolling blinds! I'm in the middle of re-doing my living room and dining room. Just painted it the color Shark from valspar Lowes brand. It looks really good. Very different for me. I'm always afraid of color on the walls. Now I have to figure what color for the kitchen.

  7. This looks great. I also have old windows and they never seem look fresh, a coat of paint sounds like a good idea to me! I also love what you did with the blinds

  8. The roman blinds look good on the windows, I think it balances out the colors nicely. And also, well done with the preservation/repainting job on the frames and the baseboard moldings. They look good as new! Thank you for all your expert staging tips and guides, btw. I've learned a lot from this blog of yours since I found it, and I will definitely stick around for more.

    Christy @ The Core Training


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