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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Microdermabrasion for That Old House

Okay -- I am not sure I spelled that right.

But our old house is getting a major beauty treatment this week,
as a painting crew scrambles all over her, 

scraping, sanding, repairing.  Dermabrasion.

 Yeah, they had to stand on the conservatory roof to do this section.
I was nervous; I don't think the painters were.
Finally - priming!
 We can get an idea of how the white paint will look
by just checking out the primer.

Storm windows used to be made of wood, and attached to your house with little wing nut thingies
or even small wood turnings.  Back in the old days.  Not surprisingly, we still have them on some of our windows.. 
 And guess what?  They used to be painted dark green.

Howard and I finally made our decisions on which old shutters will be rehabilitated, and which will be permanently retired.
We are only restoring 6 pairs of shutters, and eventually -- when our bank account recovers
from the home projects and The Wedding -- we will get replacement shutters made to match the originals
for the other windows.

Here are some of the shutters that didn't make the cut. 
Let's take a closer look at the ends of these 3 shutters.
They are, from top to bottom. . . Shutter #27, Shutter #24, and its twin, Other Shutter #24.
We know this because many decades ago, the carpenter who fashioned them marked each shutter with a Roman numeral,
and its opposite side shutter with the same, so they'd always stay together on the window they were made to fit.
How romantic.
Why would a 19th century carpenter use Roman numerals?  Especially for a Greek Revival house?  :-P
Well -- it's the straight lines.  Roman numerals are easily made with just quick taps of a chisel.  Practical, no?
It pains us to ditch any of the shutters, and I wish we could restore each one, but some are just too far gone.
Others are in restorable shape, but only 1/2 of a pair is fixable,
or maybe only two windows along a stretch of 5.  We think that it's best then to replace with made-to-match new.

We are concentrating on restoring and keeping some of the first floor shutters, the ones
seen up-close-and-personal, and only replacing 2nd and 3rd floor window shutters.

That's the plan, anyway.  I am not sure what we will do with the shutters we don't put back on That Old House.
Christmas card holders?  Funky wall art?  Garden sculpture?  I know I can't throw them out.

 And just to have something prettier to look at this morning . . . .
The upper border's daylilies are beginning to kick into gear.  They should be in full swing by The Wedding.

Howard and I walked around the house this morning before 7, coffee in hand, before the chaos of the painters began.
It was so peaceful, clear and cool.  But the piles of rejected shutters made us sad.
However, despite our compromises with the shutters, and our knowing that no solution is perfect,
we do feel good about restoring That Old House to her original color scheme
from so long ago . . . pure white and deepest green.

But wait till you see the front door.  -- Cass

P.S.  Happy 36th Anniversary to my sister Peggy and her Bill.
I remember your wedding . . . I think I was the flower girl . . . .

Link parties today!
Three or More Tuesday at The Gypsys' Corner ... click here!
At Sugar Bee, it's Take-A-Look Tuesday ...  Click here!
At A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, it's 2nd Time Around Tuesday.  Click and go here!


  1. If your a purest like me I know you hate not reusing the shutters. Sounds like a good plan to put the newer ones up higher. Can't wait to see it all done!

  2. Cass,

    House is looking really good. Counting down with you.


  3. OOO, Cass..I so love your big ole pretty house and I can just see it dressed in white. Now, in MY mind's eye, I am seeing white with black shutters, Old Glory flying, big, luscious green ferns hanging, roses growing...
    She is going to be a mighty pretty lady, no matter the colors.:))
    xo bj

  4. I have a basement full of shutters. They have been there ever since I bought, My Old Historic House, I keep thinking I should go through them and see how many and where they go. I guess after 5 years of restoration, I am just tired. Maybe some day. Looks like you're painters are making progress. Thanks for sharing. RC

  5. Oh the house is going to be stunning. Isn't it fun to have all this wonderful work going on. Can't wait to see it all done. Hugs, Marty

  6. How neat that the carpenter numbered the shutters! I would feel sad about not using them either. I'm sure you'll come up with a solution!
    Can't wait to see the painting when it's done. I wish we knew what the original colors were on our house!

  7. Her facelift is coming along well. She is going to be real pretty when all is done!


  8. How exciting Cass!! Your home is one of my all time faves here in blogland. I can't wait to see the new facelift! Hey, if you decide you wanna sell the shutters that didn't make the cut, let me know!

  9. I know that the prep work is necessary to prepare the wood for the new paint, but seeing all that scraping is sort of like catching someone in their underwear! :) Fully dressed, she will be a beauty, but in her undies, she just looks old and tired! :)

    By the way, I would bet that the carpenter used Roman numerals because they can be made with mostly straight lines (I,V,X,M) while with regular numbers (2,3,5,6,8,9,10) just look at all those curves. They would be a lot harder to cut into wood!!

  10. Just stopped over to see how the painting was going. :) We have worker bees all over the house today. Whoever measured for carpet measured wrong and they didn't bring enough. So a job that was supposed to be finished today won't happen. I understand your sad feeling. Even though they are inanimate objects it's still sad to seem them go. You know, a lot of people (meaning people like me) pay good money for old shutters to decorate with so don't throw them out. Maybe you could use them to make some kind of potting table for outside or something. :) xo

  11. Someone would love those shutters--or a couple of could maybe sell them ... to one of those architectural places--oh I think that's the wrong word but you probably know what I mean. Where you find old doors, pillars, windows, shutters, ETC. It's coming along nicely!

  12. Cass,
    After I found out the new color scheme, I was able to start picturing the house. But now....I have to wait for the door????
    So exciting!

  13. It is getting there. We have always loved a classic white and green shuttered house too...and that is what this one is..a much more modern version but with an old feel. I would much prefer yours! Can't wait to see her shine! xo Diana

  14. I am so relieved that you didn't consider ditching the unusable shutters for one minute.

    When we moved into our Big Yellow House we had thoughts of repainting, but the name stuck so I suppose it will always be that way.

    Ok, I'm off to find out whose wedding and see more of your gorgeous home :)

  15. Oh wow! Your home is going to look fabulous!


  16. Tease! The shutters, with their Roman numerals, would be terribly hard to part with. This is exciting to see all that painting. That is something I will nevah see at our old house. Joe says I have distracted him since we met and it will not be painted thus it's my fault! Good thing I had him buy a second house. With paint. Your flowers are very pretty.

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  18. Those shutters really need to be changed now but do not throw them away. You can use it as a decor inside your house. Try to research online for some ideas. I am sure you will find many. Old custom shutters look really good as a decor. It adds elegance and vintage appeal to any room.


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