I love old windows and collect them every chance I get. But, just like shutters, it panes me (ha! had to do it …) to spend big bucks on them. I recently acquired a window at a yard sale for $1 and I had grand plans for it. It was pretty beat up but it had great hardware so I was sold.
I have been looking for something bold to hang above the bed in our master bedroom. When I started working on this window, I only knew 2 things: that it would hang above the bed and that I would add something behind the glass so it was opaque. I thought about fabric and wallpaper and finally settled on acrylic paint. This is what I came up with:
First step was to strip the old peeling paint from the frame. This is a tedious and messy job but one that I find oddly rewarding. It’s a great thing to work on in front of the TV so you can mindlessly hack away at the chipped paint.
After running the power sander over the front in the garage, I put down a drop cloth and got to work on the window with an array of tools: putty knife, sand paper and an x-acto knife to loosen and remove all peeling paint.
I wiped the window down with a rag (be sure to use a lint-free cloth) and then primed both sides with Kilz primer. Once the primer had dried, I made a white wash by adding water to white trim paint (about 4 parts water to 1 part paint) and lightly brushed it on the window. It is best to use a small amount of solution on your brush at a time to prevent drips and/or a too watery look. This technique required a few coats on the front until I achieved the look I was after. On the back, however, I simply applied one layer of paint to protect the frame.
After cleaning the glass on the back side of the window with rubbing alcohol, I vacuumed it quickly to remove any dust and dirt. Next I squeezed yellow, green and blue acrylic paint on a plastic plate and using a one inch brush, I made imperfect, horizontal stripes with the 3 colors. I didn’t mind the colors mixing together a bit and I wanted the stripes to be a bit airy so I didn’t use a lot of paint on the brush. I chose to paint the color on the back so that I could easily clean the glass on the front of the window.
After the stripes dried, I sanded a few places on the front of the window to remove the white wash. I wiped Minwax stain (in driftwood) on the exposed wood with a rag and then quickly wiped it away with a clean rag. I had to do this several times to get the color I was looking for.
Finally, I added a wire hanger to the back and used a lint-free rag to apply a few layers of water-based polyacrylic in satin. Here’s the final product hanging in our bedroom: