Black Window Magic

Almost all the window sashes in the Cross House are original, and in excellent condition…relatively speaking. Meaning that, although the wood is in excellent condition, the sashes nonetheless require a lot of work to restore them. There are 120-years of exterior paint to remove, and 120-years of bad glazing jobs.

I am quite good at window restoration, and enjoy the process, but am fully preoccupied with (at the moment) getting the carriage house in a rentable condition, and then getting back to painting the exterior of the Cross House (the great north wall awaits!).

The round tower of the Cross House has five small windows on top, for a total of ten wood sashes. These sashes were the worst! They were in alarming condition, visually, and I wrote this previously:

Never in all recorded history have there ever been sashes which looked SO bad as these ten miserable specimens did. My God. Because the sashes are WAY up in the air, they, not surprisingly, received little attention during the last 120-years. Well, I should clarify that. While they received little EXTERIOR attention they did receive a great deal of INTERIOR attention. And none of this attention was good. The windows obviously allowed air to blow freely into the top level, and it is also obvious that decades and decades of freezing top-level residents tried anything and everything to seal the damn windows. So, I encountered copious amount of caulk dating back to before I was born, massive amounts of glue (now petrified), old rags interspersed with glue/caulk, old toilet paper interspersed with glue/caulk, and some sort of rock-hard reddish resin wholly unidentifiable but likely from the planet Krypton (as no such substance could possibly be of Earth), which we had to chisel off (I kid you not). Then, there were also layers and layers of paint globbed on all this. Oh, and the glass was impressively dirty.



In November last year I got the tower painted, and removed the scaffolding. But note the small window to the right, top of the tower. See how the trim was not painted? This trim was in poor shape, and needed to be replaced. I figured that I could sit my butt on the sill and do the work. This however proved highly uncomfortable, was quite taxing to my aging body, and a bit dangerous (hanging most of one’s body out a window is never a recommended practice). So, I erected a quicki-scaffold and was much pleased. So was my butt.



After much ado, and after considerable distractions, I at last managed to get the new trim in, get it painted, and get the restored sashes in place. My excitement is considerable. 


  1. Sharol on August 29, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    It will look fantastic when completed.

  2. ken on August 30, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Can’t wait to see them in place.

  3. ken on August 31, 2015 at 6:20 am

    What kind of a porch will you put on the carriage house?

    • Ross on August 31, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      A simple porch. Just a deck, with original railings I found stored away. No roof.

  4. SusanC. on September 1, 2015 at 8:00 am

    Ross, I love your attention to detail. I live in a very modest, but old house, and you inspire me to restore my house. This inspiration has not yet gotten so intense that I have done any actual work, but the ideas are there, nonetheless.

    • Ross on November 26, 2015 at 8:07 pm

      Everything must first start with an idea!

  5. Ken on September 7, 2015 at 5:53 am

    How is the carriage house coming?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will NEVER be made public or shared, and you may use a screen name if you wish.