Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Old Hardware

My wife bought me the Silent Paint Remover for my birthday recently. I immediately tested it out on the linen closet in our hallway (shown below). The paint is coming off nicely, but it forced me to go look for new hardware. The hardware that is currently on it is definitely not original. The entire hallway is as white as possible, white walls, white trim, white hardware. The laundry chute in the second picture is on the opposite side of the hallway.
For some unknown reason, I decided I wanted octagonal crystal knobs with brass bases. Also, I needed 9 that matched, and they had to be antique. My first stop was at Guilded Salvage, which I think is a great store. I found a set of 9 yellow-green uranium glass (actually made with uranium, type it into google) that would have been great. Unfortunately, they were $65...a knob. I decided to pass.

After searching dozens of salvage websites, I came across www.coolstuffiscoolstuff.com, aka Architectural Artifacts in Toledo, OH. Incredibly, they had exactly the hardware I was looking for, 6 larger glass knobs for the drawers and 3 smaller ones (2 for the linen closet and 1 for the laundry chute). They were extremely helpful and significantly less than $65 a knob. Hopefully I will actually finish stripping the paint so I can install them.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

26 Extra Windows

Unfortunately, one of our neighbors decided to replace their original windows with vinyl shortly after we moved in. Not wanting to see the original 1924 windows head to the landfill, I asked if I could have them. The house is very similar to mine and the windows are identical. After my wife yelled at me for about 5 minutes, we picked up all 26 windows and walked them back over to our house. They now reside in our basement. I am not sure what I am going to do with them. It would be ideal if they could wind up on an actual house again someday. If anyone needs 26 windows, let me know.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Project #1



When we bought the house, the tiny half bath off the master bedroom needed some immediate help. The brass drain pipe under the sink was so corroded I could poke a hole in it with my finger. It was also patched with duct tape...seriously. The original sink and mirror were also in rough shape. The sink was badly corroded and the mirror had a crack through it.
I honestly thought the sink was beyond repair so I started looking at every salvage store I could find in Minneapolis and on the internet for an exact replacement. It is a "Standard" so I figured it would be pretty easy. Fortunately, I couldn't find one and became determined to restore the original one. After cleaning and removing the rust, I used an epoxy called loctite hysol 1C which worked amazingly well. I finished it with a product called "Surface Repair" in plumbing white, which blended extremely well with the original color. I also found they don't really make drains for this size drain anymore, so I had to use a dremel to expand the drain until something would fit. The first time I reassembled it, it leaked in no less than 4 places. After some swearing, I regrouped and fixed the leaks.
Fixing the medicine cabinet was equally painful. I used Ready Strip to remove the six layers of paint it was covered in, which took seemingly forever. Once I got it down to bare wood (pine), I used Watco Danish Oil in Natural and Amber Shellac. Thankfully the shellac part of this went really well thanks to some tips I got at 3121 Park Ave during the Park Ave walking tour.

The name and exterior pictures

The name is based on our complete lack of furniture, or at least decent furniture. The house is a 1924 bungalow my wife and I bought when we moved to Minneapolis a few months ago. You can see from the picture of the outside there is a lot to do. We are putting off the major exterior stuff until next Spring, but it will theoretically consist of removing aluminum soffits (and restoring who knows what is underneath), replacing the horrible storm doors, repainting, etc. I think the spots of primer you can see on the window sills in the picture really add something.