I had been hesitant to remove the wooden staircase in the room that will be the kitchen. I really liked the pantina of the worn wood. However it was rickety, therefore tricky to walk down and was taking up valuable space. So, the decision was made and down it came.
I really liked the wood though, so I’ve been thinking about using it elsewhere. One place that I could see it working was the windowsill; it would give it a perfect, rustic finish.
The first thing I did was select a piece that seemed to be termite free (you always have to be cautious about that when repurposing wood) and whose length was sufficient for the width of the windowsill. I couldn’t find one that had the width and the depth. So I managed to find two pieces I could put together.
As you can see in the image below the cut of the step doesn’t insert itself in the casement, so the first thing was to cut it so I could do that.
To do this I made a pattern by inserting some brown paper in the window sill and marking out the angles.
When I’d cut it out I marked the way it needed to face, placed it one the wood and marked where I needed to cut with the circular saw.
It was a little short, but I’m not concerned. I wanted to T&G inside the window casement and knew this would fill the gap.
However the there was some large gaps between this edge and the back, hence my needing a second piece. So I marked the edge of the cut wood, cut that out and drew that on the second piece of wood.
These are both pieces of wood. They’re not going together well as there are some nails underneath so they don’t lie flat. Now it’s time to clean the wood and shelf, sort out the nails and fix it in place.
I marked out where the irregular shape of the back piece of wood, then smeared transparent, strong adhesive along the back of the wall and within the marked area. Then I did the same to the front area…
Here you can see the two pieces of wood cleaned and in situ. The shiny edge is the transparent glue. There was a slight difference in size, so after taking this photo I slipped a narrow piece of wood underneath of one end to raise it, then I weighted the ends to make it as close together with the back piece of wood as possible and allowed it to settle over night.
You can see in the picture above that there’s a gap between the window area and the double glazed window. My intention was to tongue and groove that area too, but this became imperative due to a mistake I’d made with the shelf. I cut out what I thought would end up being a curved end with would go beyond the edge of the frame. However, when I added the tongue and groove on the side the wood wasn’t wide enough. So when I set it within the casing there’s now a chunk missing. There’s also a chunk missing on the other side too, but that is as a result of the previous cut for the step. So now I knew that I not only needed to T&G the interior, but possibly add something like a quarter round to the base. Luckily the difference between the encasement and upvc window itself means that we’ll still be able to open the window easily even with all these extras. Phew!
In the meantime I concentrated on T&G in the interior of the window. I removed the old wallpaper first then I interlocked two pieces of the T&G, sufficient for the window depth, and put them to one side. As the area is cement and stone, not wood, I couldn’t nail straight into the wall and I didn’t want to use batons here due to not wanting to obstruct the light. So I decided to use builders glue straight onto the wall. I put horizontal strips of it at 10cm interval down the length of the wall and then it the interlocked T&G piece into the recess, pressing firmly against it. The lengths fell just short in length of the area I wanted to cover, so I made sure that they were held higher up by placing some lengths of wood below them.
I followed the same method on the other side of the widow and added a 1/4 round to fill the gap between the UPVC and the T&G.
Under the sill I added the same trim that I used to run along the top of the tongue and groove.
I’ll add a further post on the window shutters, but having prepared the sides for the hinges and adding a right angle shaped piece of wood to the corner of the window frame I added T&G to the top.
As the top of the frame gets progressively narrower, and knowing I needed two lengths of T&G like the sides, I took three measurements.
* the length nearest the window (105cms) * the length of the top running from between the left hand joined T&G and right (111 cms) * the length on the outskirts of the top of the frame (118cms).
Then I measured and cut for the first length. I took a piece of tongue and groove and measured 111cms along and marked that on one edge of the board. Then at the top of the same piece of board I measured 105cms along, after a staggered start, and marked that. By a staggered start I mean I started 3 cms along from the edge (111 – 105 = 6, 6 divided by 2 = 3). I then drew a diagonal line from the longer edge to the shorter at each side and cut along.
After checking this would indeed fit the space I covered the back in glue, slid it in place and pressed it to the top of the window frame. I followed the same procedure with the next piece of wood with 118 and 111 respectively.
To fill any gaps I added another 1/4 round and glued it in position
To fill the gap between the sill and the sides I took another length of rustic wood and cut that to fit. You can see how I’ve slightly curved the end by sanding it, I’ve also sanded the entire piece to remove the rough edges. There’s a horizontal quarter round next to the window; I’d shaped the top and glued into place.
You can see my “shutter” in the image above.
After I’ve done the other side I did some work at the top of the window. Firstly I used a large 1/4 round to plug the gap between the PVC window and the window frame. With the tongue and groove and sides filled with smaller 1/4 rounds it emphasised the gap.
I had this pelmet top from a now defunct dresser and wanted to include it as part of the window. I added a large 1/4 round to rest it on and then glued the pelmet to the wall above the frame. After that it was a case of filling gaps with acrylic and where appropriate wood (behind the L shaped overhang).
I painted the T&G first, as this way I could go close to the edge and clear up any spills easily. Having painted it all I added a very narrow 1/2 round to fill the gap between the rustic wood side and the tongue and groove. Then I sanded the mane sill.
Next I used some tinted wood filler in the gap between the two pieces of wood and let it dry. When I varnished it with this medium pine varnish. I don’t think the gap is very noticeable at all.
I cleaned all the window itself with a upvc cleaner and then added this pale gold handle, and added these white handles to the shutters. I’ll do a post soon on dressing the window.
In the meantime I’m waiting for the cement to arrive for the hearth, covering the ceiling where the staircase was with white plaster of Paris, and filling the gap in the floor with cement. A lot to do – and every job seems to take an age! Then, after I’ve done these messy jobs, I’ll be repainting the T&G for a final coat.
Here it’s is…