Sunday, June 22, 2008

Bathroom Trim

Some shots of our bathroom trim (colour is a little warmer than the real thing)

N here, S figures it's about time I put down my tools and stop tirelessly slaving on the 'ol house to write a blog entry and to put an end to all those rumors that I'm just a figment of S's imagination (although this could just be a clever change of voice). The bathroom has been progressing (albeit slowly). Over the last few weekends I have reconstructed the doublehung windows and installed the window sills and trim. S had already stripped and repainted the sashes. Reassembling the old windows was pretty straightforward, the terminology I am going to use may not be, but if you are interested check out The Window Glossary from the WDMA. After reinstalling the original (now refinished) sill, the the upper (outer) sashes needed to go back in. But in order to get the parting strips installed the sashes needed to be installed at the bottom of the window and then raised into place. Unfortunately after the parting strips were installed the sashes wouldn't budge, so the strips had to come back out (they were a snug fit so I had already tapped them in with a hammer -- removing them without breaking them was not easy). Getting the sashes to move freely required lots more old paint to be removed from the blind stop and the addition of Gamblin cold wax painting medium (basically beeswax petroleum distillate) courtesy of S's studio. With the parting strips and the upper sashes in place, the strips needed to be painted. S and I took turns, it was tedious: First the lower part of the strips were primed, then we had to wait for primer to dry, lower the sashes, prime the top, wait, raise, now paint, wait, lower, paint, wait...second coat... All for 4 little strips of wood. When the paint was fully dry, I finished assembling the windows. The lower sashes were put into place and then the interior stops reinstalled and secured with finishing nails (in my case I used 1 1/4" brad nails from a pnuematic brad nailer). The newly reassembled windows work great (probably as well as they did in 1890 -- I think removing 100 years of paint is mostly responsible for the like new operation). Finally the original trim was reinstalled with finishing nails and here is the result:

The newly restored, refinished, and reassembled original window

On the south wall of the bathroom we had a brand new double hung window installed (*cough* over a year and half ago). Trimming this window has been a bit of a challenge. First there were the jamb extensions. New windows aren't designed to be installed in 12 inch thick double brick walls. So S's Dad and I fabricated new jamb extensions using 5/4 clear pine. The new window was already made of pine, so it didn't make sense to try to use fancier hardwood like the original windows. The next challenge was the sill. Luckily one of my neighbours is a woodworker and had a piece of red elm which he milled into a new sill. The edge profile was difficult to match, the closest matching router bit we found at Lee Valley tools.

With the sill pre-cut to specification, assembling and installing the trim for the new window was pretty-straightforward. One piece of trim wouldn't sit flat against the wall so I used a power planer to gouge out the center of the trim piece before nailing it in place.

The new window (detail)

The refurbished window showing accurate daylight colour and the original trim profile for comparison with above

The final problem: filling the nail holes. I bought a number of coloured wax pencils from MinWax., none of which matched closely but strangely enough the No 1., which I though was way too yellow, seemed to disappear.

Our next trim dilemma will be the door. The inside of the door will need to be stripped and refinished to match the trim, but the other side should match the rooms beyond. So should we keep all the rooms outside dark, or strip and stain to match the bathroom. The strip and stain with white stain method we have employed is a nice compromise between the typical male, "don't paint the trim, keep the natural wood" and the female, "paint the trim and brighten the house".

Daytime shot of the trimmed out bathroom window


C&C said...

Wow, your bathroom is gorgeous! I love the color scheme, the tile, everything. And you rebuilt the windows? Oh my goodness - it's a good thing you aren't just a figment of S's imagination - wow.

Mrs. Limestone said...

Nicely done. Trim is such a pain to work with in old homes.

S & N said...

Thanks C&C,
We can't wait to get into our new bathroom. We hope that the finishing details will come together this month (or so the handy figment promises).

S & N said...

Thanks Mrs Limestone,
Old house trim really does pose dilemmas. We are still torn about how to finish the trim in the rest of the house. I'm sure it will be the subject of many future blog entries. We've been following your progress as the furnishings go in. The rooms are looking beautiful.

Cyndy said...

Your bathroom looks fabulous! It is inspiring to see what you've done because we will be doing similar things in the coming months, once we get the outside finished.

We will also have to figure out something since our walls are thicker than the jambs that came with our windows.

I can't wait to show my husband the drywall coming into the house via a crane. That is exactly what he wants to do!

S & N said...

Cyndy, thank you. Sorry for the very tardy response. Our bathroom reno is still underway, but I will post some new accounts of our progress very soon. And yes, the drywall delivery through the window worked out really well--much better than coming up a cramped staircase.