Tuesday, March 27, 2012

(DIY) Recycled Window Message Board Tutorial

I have recently been obsessed with old windows... mainly because I found an auction house that will give them to me for free! Thanks to Miller Land and Auction I am now the proud owner of 4 beautiful, sturdy windows. The first one I made into a message board for my mom as a Christmas present. I don't have pictures of the process, but I can give you step-by-step instructions:

-old window
-paint stripper (if you want to remove the old paint)
-paint scraper
-sand paper or electric sander
-paint, stain, or varnish
-brush or sponge for applying paint, stain, or varnish
-caulk or silicon and caulk gun
-masking tape
-cork squares
-chalkboard paint
-metal for the magnet board (we used a cheap cookie sheet, but if you have some other magnetic scrap metal, go ahead and use that)
-scrapbook paper
-hanging hardware

1) First, find an old window. This really shouldn't be too difficult to do. Like I said, I found mine at an auction company, but you can also look at thrift and antique stores, estate sales, garage sales, even on the curb. Just look around, but make sure the one you find is fairly sturdy. 

2) Wipe the window down with a rag and warm soapy water. If you don't want to use the paint that is on the window, use paint stripper and a scraper to remove the old paint, according to package instructions. Once the paint is removed, wipe it down with mineral spirits to remove remaining paint stripper. At this time, also scrape off any old caulk that may be on the backside of the window if it is in poor shape. 

*NOTE: The paint used on the window may very likely contain lead, so make sure you do this away from children and pets, and dispose of the scrapings carefully*

3) Once the window is COMPLETELY dry, sand it. You can either do this by hand with sand paper or you can use an electric sander. I did it by hand, but only because we don't have an electric sander! 

*NOTE: Again, because of the lead paint, be sure to wear mask and to do this step away from children and pets* 

5) Wipe the window down again. This time you want to do a very good job with it as you will be staining or painting it next. Again, I used warm soapy water and a clean cloth.

6) Now, decide whether you want to paint, stain, or just seal the window. I decided to use a clear varnish on my window, but you can do whatever makes you happy! Use masking tape to tape off the window panes, then paint or varnish away!

7) When the paint or stain is completely dry (check product instructions for drying times), peel the tape off, and it's time to re-caulk the windows to secure them. I used a clear silicon, but you can use anything that will work on glass and wood. 

8) Once the caulk is dry (again, check product instructions), clean the glass well with glass cleaner. Next,  cut your cork and metal down to size. Make sure you measure from the correct side of the glass. I attached my cork boards to the glass on the front side, so I measured the panes on the front. Once the cork was cut to size, I used the clear silicon to adhere it directly to the glass. The metal, however, I measured from the back because it was replacing a pane that had been broken out. We used tin snips to cut the metal, but a jigsaw would have been MUCH easier. Once we finally got the metal cut to size, we placed it in the back side of the window and used the metal clips inside the window to hold it down. Then, we siliconed it in place. 

9) Next, I taped off the window except for one pane so I could spray chalkboard paint on that pane. Then I cut scrapbook paper and cardboard to fit in two of the panes. One of them was a dry erase board, and the other I used for pictures. I taped the pictures directly to the paper, set it in the window (from the back), then set the card board behind it and taped it in place. 

10) Finally, add hanging hardware to the back, hang it up, and step back and check out your "new" message board!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and it wasn't too difficult to understand! Let me know what you think!


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