Have you ever used the phrase, “Good things come to those who wait?” I may have reminded my kids of that every now and then, but I do use it for myself assuredly. It’s only been about 5 years since I first laid eyes on one of my biggest curbside finds ever – a front door with inserts. Today that arched window insert is the last of my hurrah. You can bet I’m doing a happy dance!
The story all begins just over five years ago when my oldest son and I took off on our first major city spring cleanup adventure. We had no idea how much awesome goodness we would come home with, but this door set was easily one of my favorites. It wasn’t until two years later I was able to work on the first of the three because of our home remodel. The first project was repurposing that broken screen insert. You can see what it became HERE in this post.
The next project didn’t come until a year after that when I took the main door frame and gave it new life. It’s easily one of my favorite projects for myself and will be showcased better once we get our living room done. In the meantime, it was redone and set in my bedroom HERE.
Today, the star of the show is, last but not least, the arched window insert. Isn’t it beautiful?
I mean, yes, it’s a hot mess, but I see potential too. It’s been tucked away in that scrap pile for way too long. Now is the time for it to shine. I felt sorry for it, so I pulled it out to assess. Quickly I decided that although I am not ready to put it in its forever spot, I would do it some justice.
First order of business was to reconnect the broken corner. The wood was brittle and had nothing to hold it together on the bottom right corner. Here’s a look at it from behind.
It sits together when resting, but if I picked it up it hung down and sagged. Obviously, I needed to fix that first. Using my drill and a couple of 3″ screws, I fixed that up quickly.
Now for the next part. And arched window with mullions is gorgeous, but repairing them ain’t so easy. Before beginning this project, I called the local glass place that did my cuts for the door he worked on before and asked a few questions. First, I asked if he would cut me some glass: Yes. Second, I asked if he would repair the mullion: NO. When he responded he acted as if I was crazy for even asking. In my head I was like…but you repair broken windows…okaaaay…??
Of course, I replied, “I’ll do it myself. It won’t be hard with some trim.” Take that window guy. mwahahahaha!!
So here lies my challenge to recreate a mullion using my scraps and some tools. Remember my motto, #toolsoverjewels!
I happened to have some narrow trim left over from our remodeling and it worked perfectly to match the other window mullions. All I had to do was cut the ends at the right angle with my miter box and they’re ready to go. The trim wasn’t wide enough to just use those alone.
To remedy that I took a piece of ply and ripped a piece on my table saw.
Once cut to length and depth, I then had to use my hacksaw again to make some pretty precise cuts on the end to match the profile it needed to fit. I had plenty of practice over the years creating toys and what-nots for my family and home.
Here it is after I used my nailer and wood glue to join them together and also nailed in place.
The next step was glass. Instead of going to the glass guy, I went to the local hardware store and requested 3 pieces be made to replace my empty spots and one broken pane. I took the 3 pieces home and found they weren’t cut right. Mind you, I asked the guy to cut them slightly smaller because of warping in my frame, but he did his own thing. To remedy the situation, I first tried grinding them down with my Dremel, but it would have taken me forever. Back to the store I head with two of the pieces. sigh…
As soon as I walked in the store the gentleman that helped me knew why I came back. He quickly called in another helper to hopefully get it right this time. Funny thing was the two gentlemen were all abuzz trying to get new ones cut and I kept trying to tell them to cut them a little smaller. I was not heard. le sigh…again.
I went home with my second set of new panes and they still didn’t quite fit, but this time I was able to grind them down a bit. To get them in securely, I used my dual point driver. This thing is awesome! No more tapping in glazier’s points and the tedious work that is. I’ve used it many times to create chalkboards and wall art. You can see it in action in these posts.
To complete the task, I just had to apply glazing compound to seal it all and make it match the old.
Some of my kids wanted to give glazing a try. Absolutely! I want them to learn how to do these things too and they were so eager. And…it’s fun!
However, the next part is not so funny. ahem. I just finished the glazing and noticed a point was loose. I tried to reset it and snap…there went one of the panes I just had cut. Sick to my stomach, I decided to walk away for a bit. I needed to decide whether to leave it or go get another and suck up my pride. Well, it made me even more sick to see the broken pane, so I yanked out the glazing, the points, and the glass, and went back to the store.
You can bet I heard it when they saw me again for the 3rd time in two days. In my head I kept saying…”I wouldn’t be here if you had cut them like I asked the first time!” haha. Finally, it went back in just fine.
Now time for the fun part (or is it?). If you’re like me, the idea of painting all those mullions is not my idea of fun. But…if you have the right tool it’s a breeze! In my earlier days it would have taken me FOREVER to cut in all those window panels and it would have been a dreaded event. Let me show you what I did that gave this old arched window new life.
My first step was to try to retain as much of the window character as possible. I added a bit of brown paint to the new mullion to match the existing finish. Next, I grab my Crackle Medium.
What I’m after is a rustic appearance that will blend my new mullion in with the old. I simply brush on the Crackle in spots I want the paint to have cracks and look chippy. You have to apply it thick to get deep cracks, but not so thick it drips. I’ve use the crackle on these pasts projects and I love it!
I let the crackle cure and then it’s time for my next step…paint! My color of choice is a classic flat black.
The coolest thing is to see the crackle happening as the paint dries. It doesn’t take much to make this mama happy! haha!
It only takes one coat of paint for the look I’m after and then it’s all done. BIG sigh of relief there were no other hurdles in my way.
I’ve hung my arched window here for now because it fill the space nicely, adds dimension to this room that needs redone, and is fun to look at too. See the crackle doing it’s thing? And, if you look just beyond it, you can see it’s sister hanging in our dining area as our favorite chalkboard.
So…I have to ask… can you tell the I repaired the mullion?
It was a blast giving this old beauty a new lease on life AND see it finally in my home as it should be.
I love creating my own home story with things that make me happy.
Do pin and share this arched window salvage project to save it for later and to inspire others too.
Up next, it’s Furniture Fixer Upper time and I’ll be sharing what I do with this ol’ gal. See the after HERE.
To get these DIY tips & tricks in your inbox, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. PLUS, you will get your FREE Furniture Buying Checklist and special discount to my shop. Until next time!
Karen R says
The window came out fabulous. Great job!
Thank you! I am so smitten with it. Now to find more! 😀
Wow! You did it again! Beautiful!
How fun you are, Debbie! I’m delighted to finally have it in my home.
Christina Wilson says
Another total WOW Larissa! Positively brilliant skills making the mullion. It makes me wish I had such a piece to makeover … though I’m not sure I would have the tools to do so or the space to put them. I would use the paint brushes to paint the frames on some mirrors that need refreshing.
I truly appreciate that and was so excited that it came out so easily. Sometimes it’s a long process to recreate old, but thankfully this one was fairly straightforward.
Deirdre BReau says
I love the use of old windows as frames. Great rustic country feel.
I do too. Can’t beat them! 😀
I would love to try these brushes to paint some picture frames!
Lori Sawyer says
Love it!! Im a bit obsessed with old windows.
You are definitely not alone on that account. hee hee!
Alison S says
I have a few chairs I would like to paint!
Beautiful! I love these brushes.My set are actually from your last contest. I damaged my thumb joint and thought I’d have to give up painting all together but these brushes are made for comfort. Thanks for introducing me to them.
Oh no! I’m glad to hear you are able to still do something. I have an issue with my thumb joint as well.
Fantastic job on the repair…and I admire your patience in doing it! It came out beautiful.
Thank you, Elaine. I was a determined mama! hahaha…
Shelly McDaniels says
I love anything with an arch. I have Zibra’s square brush and an ready for the challenge!
You are a kindred spirit. 🙂 Hope you find one too!
Saundra J Simpson says
I love it! You really can’t tell it was repaired…I truly admire your ability repair something when others just shake their heads and decline. I to have always requested tools over jewels. Love my tools.
I’m happy to hear it, Saundra. I’m going to show those glass guys what I did with it. #toolsoverjewels! 😀
Alisa Bradshaw says
I love this window. I need to find one like it, that I can turn into a mirror. I’m confident I can use your tips to make whatever repairs might be needed. Now, if I only had as steady a hand, with a paint brush!
They are true treasures to me. I love having them around.
Lynn Ransom says
I enjoy your creativity and instructions. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Lynn.
Wilma V. Prohaska says
My goodness you don’t cease to impress me! Beautiful. I would take a look at the broken panes and mullions and walk away. Wow; II swear; the zibra brushes are godsend. Great job.
Aww…that means so much, Wilma. Thank you! I am so pleased that it came out as planned. On to the next project! 😀
Carol S says
It’s hard to believe that square brush did those mullions so perfectly. And, of course, your steady hand helped too! Hope I get a chance to give it a try! Thanks for your wonderful inspiration.
I kid you not they rock…really! I wish I could send boxes to each of you. One day!
I’m so impressed with your abilities, sometimes! Can’t believe you repaired that window and how perfect it looks. Amazing!!!
Patty Soriano says
Beautiful re-do on the window, Larissa! The glass people….. how frustrating when people just won’t listen to our direction. UGH! If I won the brushes, I’d be painting tables and chairs…. what I seem to collect the most. I’ve got SO much to do! Thank you for the offer!
Thanks! I think it was a guy thing…aka woman knows nothing…ahem. 😉 Sounds good!
You have mad skillz, woman! I’m in awe of your know-how and perseverance. You could show Rude Glass Dude a thing or two!
tee hee hee!! You made me LOL! Thank you, Kenda.
Rebecca - Knoxville,TN says
I can totally relate to your “Goldilocks” window … too small, too big and finally just right 🙂 It was worth the effort! Thanks for keeping it real.
haha…so true! I rarely keep, so this means even more. Thanks, Rebecca.
I love how this worked out in the end. No you cannot see the replacement of the mullion and I just love that you went dark with this instead of white like I’ve seen so many of before.
Awesome to hear! Thank you, Shirley. Yes, that’s why I love white walls…you can mix it up on a whim. Woot!
Maureen Clipperton says
Your windows look great. I would really love to win these brushes. I do a lot of projects and painting. My office desk still is in need of paint. That’s what I’d use them for.
Thank you, Maureen! Sounds good to me.
Shelley S says
This is one of my favorites you’ve posted, though I have many! So glad you finally got the glass cut right. It’s not the easiest job, I’ve tried to do it myself and struggled, but it sure helps when the person you are paying to do the job LISTENS to you! LOL
I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it. Yay! It can be tricky and that’s why I pawned the job off, but that didn’t go too well either. haha!
I can understand your frustrations with this project but it turned out beautiful!!
It was worth it, but about drove me nuts! 😀 Thank you, Donna.
I have 1 word for you ————————————————————————– WOW!!!
You are so fun, Mary! 😀
Corry heinricks says
Love the makeover. I have a bed frame ready to be made over, and a door frame trio that is begging to be remade. Would love to try some zebra brushes 🙂
looks great! Wow, that was an ordeal to get it finished and you are a champ for keeping at it!
haha…yes!! Had to keep the whole set just for me since I rarely do. Thanks, Kimmy!
Kathy Wells says
I love this makeover, arched windows and doors are so beautiful and interesting! I would use the Zibra brushes on an old step back cabinet I am planning to update.
They add such drama. Wish I could have my main door be arched. One day!
Sherry Fram says
Love the window!! I never would’ve figured out how to repair the mullion. If I won the brushes I would give a wardrobe in my bedroom an update. It needs it badly. lol
It was a fun challenge to try. Thanks, Sherry!
You’re so talented.
Hugs to you, Doreen, for making my day. 🙂
Audra Taliaferro says
Looks great!!!! And I’m excited to see what you do with the ottoman!
Thanks! You’re so fun!
Sheila Edgerton says
I always enjoy your makeovers. You see beauty where others can’t. Thank you.
It is my absolute pleasure to share, Sheila. Thank you!
Rhonda Fuller says
Awesome to hear! Thank you.
You’re awesome to say so, Cathy. Thank you!
Alicia H says
Love those old window frames….beautiful work Marissa!
Me too. Thanks!
As usual, you “nailed” it! 😉
I’m always in awe of your carpentry skills!!
woot! I’m happy to hear you think so. I have fun!
I’d paint a few old windows I have in my stash. Thanks for the giveaway the window turned out Great!!!
Love the window! I’m a fan of cathedral shapes. I recently bought a faux cathedral window that is about 14″ x 14″. It looked like weathered wood when I bought it. The finish didn’t work for the space I planned to put it so I added a wash of white chalk paint. I was going to put it in my master bath but it looked a little too big for the space. I trad it in my hall bath but it was too small. It’s now part of the gallery wall in my office–now it’s just right!
Sounds like you’re a kindred spirit, Nancy. Good for you!
Constance Colvin says
That Zibra square brush looks awesome!
It sure is!
Cindy Downing says
I love the arched windows so much!! I have some chairs to paint and thats what i would use the new brushes on.
Aren’t they just divine?! I love the look.
Dana Smith says
You did a fabulous job on the arched window! I am always amazed by the things you rescue and restore. Great job! If I won the brushes, I would use them to paint various furniture projects I have been working on and ones that I surely will find to work on during rummage sale season here in Wisconsin!!
I haven’t even went hunting in years because I have so much to do. I miss finding this kinda thing! 😀
Beautiful! I can’t believe the things people toss!
Thanks! I sure am glad they do so people like me can find it. Woot!
Mary Milnarich says
You have the best of luck finding all the items you are able to find. I must live in a wrong spot as I never find much!
These 3 windows all turned out beautifully, and so different. Love them.
Totally a God thing because sometimes they find me. Seriously! 😉
Donna Gonzalez says
Love the arched window and what you did with it.
Glad to hear it, Donna. Thank you!
I have been looking for one of these windows for awhile now – you’re lucky to have found them! You did a great job on it -Looks good!!
I couldn’t believe my eyes as I saw the man putting them on the curb. I nearly squealed!
Maryann Smith says
I’d paint some side tables I am redoing.
Lisa Wilson says
So pretty, I love old windows and that caviar paint!
yahoo!! You’re my kinda gal, Lisa.
Naomi S. says
Thanks for the giveaway! I think if I won those brushes I would paint a little drop-leaf end table that I have in my living room. I love the way the window frame turned out. I am sort of in awe of your expertise with your various tools! I don’t know if I could ever become that adept!
By the way, I have been bombarded with ads trying to read this post. Is that something I have to fix on my computer? I don’t get them with other posts.
My pleasure, Naomi. I love drop-leaf tables – they’re so fun! Hmm…not sure. Maybe clean cache?
Janet Kynerd says
Great job on the window, as usual. Always enjoy your posts and thanks for the giveaway.
Thank you, Janet.
Love it, perfect! I paint everything!
haha…you go girl!
The window looks awesome! I am not crafty at all, but you make it look so easy with your instructions! Thank you!
Fantastic! Thank you for saying so, Lynne. Fun for me to do and share.
Jeannie Overton says
Awesome love how it looks
Nicely done !!! If only shop personnel would listen the first time… maybe in another world ! ha ha
Love arch topped doors & windows.
For real. But, ya know, ladies know nothing. ahem. 🙂
Melissa Storms says
Love how they turned out, beautiful as always. I would like to repaint my dining chairs/
Thanks! Those are always fun to do. 🙂
Mary Kaiser says
This is my favorite makeover you have ever done!! I LOVE how it came out. I so wish I could find an old window like that, it is so beautiful! I hope to win the brushes in the contest, then find an old window like it to use them on! Thanks for having the contest!
WAHOO!! You just made my day, Mary! I was so excited to get it done and hung. I hope you win!
Frances Batson says
Love the arches! And the paint brushes.
You are my kinda gal!
So glad to see I’m not the only with projects that take years to complete! It was well worth the wait tho Larissa!
haha…I’d have no problem if my house was done and I could put my stuff somewhere. I’m dying over here! 😀
Debra Wise says
It turned out gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your ‘fails’ as that encourages us to keep trying when we attempt something and it doesn’t work out like we intended. It touches my heart that you get your kids involved in learning new skills. You’re a fantastic mom! Thanks for the giveaway and opportunity to win the brushes. Sure could use them as I don’t have any good brushes to use on my projects.
That’s awesome to hear, Debra, and what I’m here for. They are my all in all and will be one lonely mama one day. Hugs to you!
I would paint two unfinished side tables.
Ann Trippy says
You inspire so many folks to either finish or start a new project.
Your words mean so much to me. Thank you!
Fabulous as always!
Thank you so much, Jana!
Tina Gautreau says
The window came out beautiful, and I love the chalkboard!!!
Thank you, Tina! 😀
What a sweet trilogy to add to your family history! I’m sure these three pieces will be passed down from generation to generation. Humm…so many things to paint…One thing that I’ve been thinking of painting is an old, nine-squared window (missing all glass panes). It’s hung outside on the pump house above my rock and flower garden. I love the old wood, but would love to paint it red. (Painting it may help preserve it too, living outside and all.) Thanks for the giveaway and reminding me to look at Zibra’s page; always fun to see.
Yes, can’t believe they found me. I’m so stoked! Your window sounds like a perfect project. I love red too!
Hi Larissa! Another great project. I have a set of French doors from my gramma’s old house. I use them as a “screen” in our sunroom. One of the window panes is missing – it was broken one Christmas when my cousins and I were playing. I don’t ever want to replace it!!!
I don’t blame you. What a fun story! I had to replace mine because of kiddos and fingers…just too precarious. 🙂
Virginia H says
I love how beautiful the window was afterwards. Its amazing how something like paint can change the look. I would paint a dresser in my twin girls bedroom first. Thanks for this awesome post. I look forward to reading more.
It is amazing what a whole lotta elbow grease and paint can do. Thanks, Virginia!
Donna porter says
You did a wonderful job! I would paint my vanity that I have been wanting to get done.
Thank you, Donna. 🙂
Beautiful look! Love it!
Gorgeous window frame with the lovely plant! Don’t feel bad about going back a few times to get a job right. Just proves you’re persistent, detail-oriented and committed to excellence. Beautiful work as always!
I am one determined person, that’s for sure. Sometimes I need to chillax. haha!!
I love the beautiful arched window! I am new to refurbishing and a little intimidated, but I’d like to start by painting a little red rocking chair that was mine when I was a toddler. Thanks for the giveaway!
You can do it! Feel free to ask questions. 🙂
kristina daniels says
I would paint this old dresser i have! thanks!
That window (and the previous chalkboard) are so beautiful! In fact, you inspired me – the first thing I would paint with the Zibra brushes would be some salvaged windows I have. And I will hang one in the house my husband and I are remodeling and take the others to my booth at the antique mall!
Yay! I’d love to see it when you do!
What an awesome curbside find! I absolutely love what you did with it!
Jessica Gipson says
I would paint my vintage desk.
Gloria Luongo says
Thank you. 😀
That window is gorgeous! I had never heard of these particular brushes prior to this blog, but the results they helped produce on that window tell me all I need to know.
I’m happy that you enjoyed it. Gotta get you some! 😀
Cassandra D says
I would paint a dresser that I have.
julia harting says
Love, love, love it! wish I could find a window like that!
I wish I could find another too. One day!
Wow! What a find! Nice job repairing it. It looks awesome! I was just wondering if you were concerned at all with the old paint having lead in it or if you tested it for lead?
Thanks! It’s one of my most favorite finds ever. I had already worked on the other door parts and there wasn’t any to be found.