Chemistry is your frenemy.

Here we are, back at the living room window. A special triage was 3.5 inch deck screws to pull the entire frame back together, as it had accordioned apart from itself. Following that was bondo-putty and sanding.
Here I’m “dry fitting” the storm window, sans glass. Note all the storm windows lined along the house. All are glazed and primed. Problem though, the primer has remained tacky for days. The primer set just fine on the kitchen sash. A day later it is entirely different, and won’t set up. My frustration with it never drying is what sent me into the basement in badger-mode for a day.
This was a fun way to start the day. I’ll spend the rest of the day repainting all the storm windows, as I had found a possible fix via casting about online the prior afternoon. One painter had a little chemistry gem buried on a “wtf my paint won’t dry” forum of otherwise useless interwebbery: if you didn’t mix your paint thoroughly enough, the binders may not be flowing with the pigment and base media. In this case, before panicking, just mix the paint with a drill and mixer for a looong while and reapply. The new layer’s binder will kick the non-drying layer. Ahhh, chemistry!
After a morning of re-painting, I needed to wait and see if the binders would kick the sticky layer. What to do while paint dries, if it dries… screens for the kitchen windows? This green helped me map the colors applied to the windows. Red was the first color in the 1800’s. The LR window came primed, and was painted red, then blue, then this green. The blue and green arrived with the new edition of the house.
The screen cleans up quickly as it has been in storage for 60 years. The metal screen is full of paint splatter and dirt, so I coax it out with soapy water and a wire brush.
Microfiber towels are amazing for cleaning screens. They grab up all the dirt.
Take a step back, then step back in for inspection.
Now I can see all the spots that need wood-fill triage.
The first one was easy, which is why I started with it.
The screen is torn out along the bottom. This one was never painted green, so it was damaged and set aside and never fixed. Paint history point of interest- it is blue. And the other screen that remained in use was repainted and remained in much better shape. I found them both behind an old door in the back of a shed.
I banged around and found my replacement screen, beading, and a roller. All that I need for a new screen. I carefully pull the little nails holding down the thin wood strips that hold in the screen.
The screen pulls away. It has a beading line but no beading. The screen was just held in place by the wood and nails- which explains why the screen on green isn’t tight.
Meanwhile, cows and calves and bulls have found a way out of their pasture and are converging on the ranch house. These two calves squirmed into the horse pasture while their big herd bull stands on the other side of the barn bellowing. This brings the bulls down the mountain on the other side of the valley, and soon the valley is echoing with bull bugles.
I’m set for stripping it down and see that a rail has been broken from the back. Someone probably tried a fix of jamming something along the spline to tighten in the screen again, and instead just shattered the wood, not knowing it was a thin walled groove in there to accept the beading. After letting the glue cure overnight I find that another section is identically damaged, so more glue and waiting.
I can’t believe I can ignore this lovely girl and fuss about silly human things. She is very forgiving of my weird human priorities.
Xander has claimed the window-glass box. He says it is time to get back to using white paint.
This is the bedroom storm window. I tried a fix, prior to finding the painting chemistry advise, and it didn’t work so I had to strip it down- only one face and the sides, as the other side is done in a wood finish. This better-blended paint sets up just fine.
Dry enough for little caterpillars!
The next morning I get out early before the sun hits the wall, and prime the LR sash. Layer 1 of 2.
Somewhere up the Willow are the Hairy Woodpeckers and their fledgling, all flitting about and calling happily.
Chemistry worked! Time to glaze the LR storm window. The first pane went in easy, and now no other bay will hold a pane- they all are suddenly too small or the glass too big. Which means it has moved off square just a smidge. I had formed wooden pegs from an old piece of cedar, and drilled and glued them to support all the mortise and tenon joints. I create a 3-clamp solution: the clamp below is key. First is the clamp to the R as an anchor. Then the clamp below- these clamps can be reversed to push instead of grip- and it pushes this window bay apart at the point where the glass couldn’t seat. The third clamp to the L stabilizes the pressure below and helps hold things true.
It works! Once this pane is seated all the other bays align and accept glass without fuss.
I’m almost out of window glazing putty. It will be close.
Pointed and puttied with less than a ping-pong ball’s worth extra. I also used a glazing compound in a caulk-gun tube. It is terrible for setting the bead, but great for laying a bed under the glass.
Somewhere in there I primed the screen.
The top coat is an acrylic semi-gloss enamel. The paint dept. didn’t shake it; I’ve never had that before- no dot of paint on the top verifying the color mix. I hadn’t noticed in the store as they had put the paint-match card on top and I was getting glass cut as well- which they packaged neatly and the glass guy stayed with me through checkout to place it in the truck himself; the glass was dirty, dribbled with residue, and scratched. Way to go Ace.
Coat one is late in the day, well into the evening actually, and coat two will be first thing in the morning.
I’ve painted the windows shut and will have to remedy that, at some point.
You can see the wavy paint job on the inside – 4 layers at least. I’ll straighten that out some day as well.
Two solid weeks. The storm windows will wait til next time, as we head out in two days, and the paint needs a week to cure before pressing an equally fresh-painted storm window into place (I’d hoped for at least 4 days, but the sticky paint bested me). Besides, my Chemistry solution could use another day to really sort itself. However these windows are now glazed and weatherproof, which makes them 100% better than before.
  1. Mom said:

    Well done!!! Great research into a chemical fix. And fantastic clamps—-they both push and pull! Wow!!! Your dad would have been amazed at the technology. Thanks for your loving patience as you reclaim the ancestral gift. The pic of Xander made me laugh out loud! Your pets are so lucky to have such a wonderful vacation home.

  2. Karen Gerhart said:

    Wow. Chemistry. Looks great, and windows that open is such a novel concept at the Ranch!

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