Back to the Future

As we close in on Christmas at 118 Henry Street, we are also closing in on the 1920’s in the kitchen annex. With the walls and wood trim sanded back to the original finishes and the windows being restored, the only obstacle to circa 1921 is the linoleum covering the wood floor. Likely, we will let it lie to protect the pine boards until the room is nearly complete.

Sanding the walls is a big chore but it does several positive things for the restoration. First, and foremost, it cleans the walls of all loose paint, grease, dirt, and other remnants of occupant history intermediate to the first owners and ourselves. Secondly, it smooths out the finish, eliminating all the paint droplets, smoothing nail holes, gouges, etc. Lastly, using a coarse 60 grit on the wall creates a tooth to which the� plaster skim coat can adhere.

Kitchen Annex with sanded walls and trim

Way big, old fashioned windows are one of my primary attractions to old houses. Natural light, available at all times of the day and all seasons of the year, is hard to come by in most newer houses. Consequently, window restoration was one of the first techniqes I acquired after moving to Henry Street. John Leeke’s was, and is, invaluable for anyone concerned with restoration and preservation of old houses.

My old fashioned, double sash windows can be completely disassembled, repaired and re-installed in about 8 hours each. Here is a picture of the disassembled window frame and a shot of the sash weights normally hidden inside the wall cavity.

Window on the mend

Old fashioned sash weights

After the holiday, we have a few days off from work that should finish the windows.

For now, hope you have a good holiday!