Restoring Old Windows: A Catskills Homeowner Goes ‘Deep’ on Reddit for Help With Her Cabin Reno Project | Architectural Digest

Restoring Old Windows: A Catskills Homeowner Goes ‘Deep’ on Reddit for Help With Her Cabin Reno Project | Architectural Digest

Of course, with such old glass, it’s possible that some of the windows wouldn’t survive the dunking process. “They tell you when you reach out, ‘we take no responsibility, the glass very well may break.’” Luckily, each window from the first batch survived. “They look phenomenal,” Wood says, relieved. “It comes off and it’s like clean wood.” 

After the windows are dunked, they need to rest since the stripping softens the wood and it needs to re-harden after the process. Wood stashed several windows in her garage. After two weeks, she was prepared to do her part and dive into the glazing process. But with no running water, she wasn’t sure how to tackle the job. 

“Do I just bring wipes? I don’t have the luxury of waiting” she notes. To make things harder, Wood had to do the job outside, but the chemical compounds can be affected by the increasingly cold weather. Now, it’s a race to get the process completed before the temperature drops below 40s.

“I have a few things working against me, but I kind of have to move on,” Wood says. “I want these to be painted and done before it gets super cold, and I’m freezing my tuchus off.”

While Wood waited to get the windows done, she tackled another project: redoing the beadboard throughout the house. While the contractor is installing the beadboard in the living room, Wood decided to tackle the beadboard in the dining room and two bedrooms. 

Regan Wood is keeping the primary bedroom as is. In fact, she’s staining the whole living room to match that vibe and will only paint the windows. 

Photo: Regan Wood

The dining room’s too-orange stain didn’t mesh with the rest of the cabin. 

Photo: Regan Wood

“Painting raw, unfinished wood has been challenging,” says Wood, who was grateful to find a wealth of knowledge in the employees at her local hardware store. They suggested a Kilz primer that could form a solid barrier on the beadboard, since it’s so porous. The dining room beadboard had already been stained and varnished, and only required two quick coats of a primer/paint combo. Because it was just dry wood, it proved to be physically challenging to apply since it didn’t go on smoothly. Maintaining a smooth texture on beadboard can be difficult.

“Beadboard isn’t just two pieces of wood coming together,” Wood says. “There’s little dips and bumps, so what’s really tricky is getting paint in those tiny grooves in a way that has good, thorough coverage without getting gloopy.”

For the upstairs bedroom, which is quite small, Wood chose Behr’s Ambiance White [PR-W8]. In the dining room, she went with a mushroom color, Pasha Brown [MQ2-51] by Behr. While that process was a bit easier because the beadboard was already treated, Wood discovered after finishing painting that the room looked quite different than she intended. 

The before is perhaps too rustic. 

Photo: Regan Wood

The Behr Pasha Brown hue radiates with a bit of verdant sheen reflected by the greenery outside.

Photo: Regan Wood

“It felt much greener,” Wood continues. “And then I looked around the whole house and I realized, Oh, I’m in the middle of this lush greenery, and the light coming through is all green.’” As the seasons change, the color of the light streaming in through the windows would change too.

By early December, the power was turned back on, and Wood had picked up all the windows from Dip ‘n Strip. But with several more necessary steps before the 16 windows were completed, Wood felt defeated. She sought help from Cox, who came up from New Orleans for a long weekend with her boyfriend to help. Along with another friend, the group spent “four solid days” working on the windows over the Thanksgiving weekend. While they were desperate to keep their momentum going, they discovered there were a few problems with the windows.