Slow updates – I’ve been in Sweden again. I painted the front windows when I moved in 5 years ago, but it turns out modern oil based gloss paint is not UV resistant and the paint cracked after only a couple of years. Problem is when you have cracked paint you need to remove it (and everything underneath) before repainting.
The front windows have very fiddly profiles and it took about 3 days to remove the modern paint with a heat gun. Linseed paint is UV resistant and tends to dust rather than crack and just needs another splash of paint rather than stripping off, so I’ll be repainting in linseed so I can avoid doing any stripping ever again!
When I first moved in I thought the windows were beyond repair, but looking at them now I see window frames in really good condition.
I guess the difference after 5 years is just confidence and knowing what can be done to repair them. There is just one sill that needs to be replaced and a couple of mullions that will need some new wood letting in. I’ve got a bunch of photos of the rotten sill and they are all in focus but appear out of focus. The camera has seen much worse and I’m not sure why it is objecting now.
Maybe the camera was right. The sill was quite rotten and I ended up removing it right back to the inner face of the window. The rot in the mullions has been cut out at an angle to allow water to drain when the finish cracks.
That committed me to the scary bit – it would be my first time replacing a window sill, and this one is in a curved bay which complicates things. I practiced on modern wood before attempting the repair.
The new sill was made from the sill of the original sash removed from the back bedroom – 100 year old wood is much more durable than the stuff available today and also much harder to cut.
The curve was cut with a bandsaw and the taper added with a planer. Repairs to the profiled mullions were cut with the bandsaw. A new box of chisels was involved too. I’m quite pleased with myself – some tidying still needed but it looks the part.
The gaps and cracks were filled with linseed putty and the first coat of linseed oil paint is looking fabulous. I went for black to match the rest of the woodwork on the facade and to balance the top-heavy look of the half timber upper floor. I prefer it to the before photo of the facade here, but it doesn’t seem quite right yet.
I still need to fill around the window with lime mortar, then paint another coat or two. Also the lead roof still needs to be fitted. I’ve been stripping the inside of the window on and off as the profiles look prettier without 1mm of paint, but that will be a fill in job as I’m determined to work outside while the weather allows.