Friday, February 6, 2015

Freshening Up Our Bay Window

I've been taking full advantage of the bright sun these past couple of days by freshening up the paint in the living room. This is the room I'm currently working on in my efforts to make my way through my whole house, finishing projects up and getting everything ready for spring.

This lovely bay window is one of my biggest frustrations in my house. I love the light it lets into the room, and it probably makes the room feel slightly larger than what it is, but when it was installed by previous owners, and a front entrance was added, it really diminished the layout options for the room.

First, it's completely off to one side. This means that I can't put a couch or pair of chairs in front of it. And even when the love seat is on the far wall, it's still partly in front of the window. The problem is, due to it's size, and proximity to the front entrance closet, it wasn't possible for it to be moved more to the middle of the room. It had to be all the way to one side.

Despite all of that, it's part of my living room, and I won't be changing it any time in the near future. I've simply had to come to terms with all of this, and see it as a challenge that I need to work around.

But back to paint. First, curtain rod holders needed to be taken down. Hudson actually pulled one end out of the wall a while ago while swinging on a curtain panel from the couch to the floor. I don't even know how long this small task has been on my list, but it's been too long. Next, I needed to repaint all of the trim and sills to freshen them up. It's been three years since I've painted this room and it desperately needs to be touched up. Actually, it's beyond touch up... I just needs to be repainted. Our windows aren't new, but they're not ancient. They're easy to clean, and they're decent looking vinyl windows. That is, decent from a distance. When you actually look closely at them, they are disgusting.

I told you. I didn't even want to show this! I hope you appreciate my transparency here. Now, here's the thing - I clean my windows. Not as often as I should maybe, but I clean them. However, no matter how many times I took to them with soap and water, these ugly stains and spots just didn't come off. I thought they were some sort of glue that stuck to the vinyl and then dirtied over the years, and that the actual vinyl was just discolouring over time. One night however, while removing my nail polish, I had a brilliant idea. What if I used nail polish remover to get whatever it was off?

You can imagine how ecstatic I was to see what a difference it made! Above, you can see where I started and the difference. My excitement lasted for about 5 minutes, and then the amount of work I had ahead of me dawned on me, and suddenly I wasn't quite as ecstatic. It took my nearly an hour, and a great deal of elbow grease, to clean this one window. And now I have to do the same to all of my other windows...

They still aren't perfect, but it made a huge difference. They instantly felt newer, and it really helped make the whole room feel more clean.

I used q-tips to clean all of the corners and crevices that I couldn't reach with my rag.


Here you can see the hardware and how dirty they are. In the summer and fall, these windows are constantly open.

I'm not going to lie, at this point I felt a bit like Martha Stewart.

It couldn't get every little bit out, but it made an unbelievable difference.

The latches to open them were also disgusting.

A few minutes later and they were beautiful!

Next the trim and sills were washed down, and while they dried, I filled in all of the holes and spots that needed to be filled in.

You can see here just how bad the trim is in some spots. It's one of those things that when you get up close to it, it's kind of scary.

But what a difference a fresh coat of paint makes. Everything just feels so much more finished and clean. You'll have to wait to see it though until the rest of the room is finished.


  1. We all have places in our homes that need attention and that we're not proud of. Wait until you see pictures of our scary mudroom which we are finally renovating! I haven't shown the "before" pics yet, and am kind of embarrassed to do so, but I must. I actually love detailed cleaning jobs like the one you just tackled. Q-tips are a great cleaning tool. I look forward to your "after" shots.

  2. Completion of jobs like that are so satisfying...thanks for sharing and yes can't wait to see the after...

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Thanks for leaving your comments! I always love reading them. - Maria