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- Doug Morrison, Arlington Heights
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Archive for August 2011

Replace or Restore Windows – That Is the Question!

Before the economic downturn, replacing windows was a fairly routine decision. The new economic reality we live in has forced homeowners to take a much harder look at that decision and look to do preventative maintenance in order to preserve the life of their windows. As house painting contractors in the Chicago area, we have welcomed that change in outlook on the part of consumers.

Epoxy Restoration Underway

Restore Sill with Epoxy

Replace Wood Sill

The most vulnerable parts of a window are, in this order: sill, bottoms of casing stiles, the bottom rail of the sash. When not maintained properly, these parts can quickly deteriorate and rot away. Most of time, the culprit is the moisture that intrudes through openings in the caulk and gets trapped in the lower components of the window listed above.

What do you do when rot has developed on window components? Replacing windows is an expensive proposition. With the carpentry and finishing costs involved, the replacement cost of a window can easily top $1000 and sometimes far exceed that amount, depending on the size and complexity of the window. Epoxy restoration and selective wood replacement can save homeowners a lot of money and greatly extend the life of the windows. Making the proper assessments to determine what can be restored with epoxy and where wood replacement is needed are key to the success of window restoration. In some cases, there is too much damage and the window or sash must be replaced, However, in most cases, restoration is the best choice!

The pictures, I have attached show a sash and sill in the process of being epoxy restored, a sill that has been restored and a sill that will require replacement because of the extensive damage.

When doing epoxy repairs, it is essential to remove all rotted fibers and make sure that the area has dried out completely before the epoxy is used. An epoxy consolidator must then be used to harden the soft fibers before the epoxy filler is used.

Finally, the cost of window maintenance can be reduced even further by doing a close by-yearly inspection of your windows and looking for any sign of failure in the caulking. That step will greatly reduce the chance of rot developing on the window components. This is how Painting in Partnership preserves your wallet, as well your windows!

An Ice Chest Is Now Ready for Auction Night

Every year, as painting and decorating contractors in the Chicago area, we participate in a Palatine community project whose main attraction is an auction of hand-painted objects for the benefit of the local Chamber of Commerce and area charitable organizations. In 2009, the item we decorated was a park bench and last year, it was an Adirondack chair. This year’s event is called “Chillin’ in Palatine” and features ice chests as the item to be decorated by local artists. The auction will take place on October 13th.

Hand-Painted, Five-Color Ice Chest

As in years past, Painting in Partnership is one of the sponsors for this year’s event. In keeping with our slogan “We paint in partnership with YOU”, we partner with other artists in the execution of our designs. This year, we teamed up with Jeff “Kingdom” Kilpatrick, a well-known artist from Chicago to develop the concept for the decorating of the ice chest. Jeff’s idea for the chest consisted in an artistic re-interpretation of the American flag, complete with all 50 stars! The stripes are purple and celery green. Black and gray are used as accent colors and the stars are a bright yellow.

Our staff did the bulk of the painting. Jeff did the hard work! He spray-painted the fifty stars on the cover of the chest. The chest was then coated with a clear protective coating. In all, twenty four hours of labor went all aspects of the painting.

The decorating of this ice chest demonstrates how we, as painting contractors, team up with other craftsmen and artists to create beauty for our clients.

Checking Wood Door’s Weather Stripping Saves Money

Wood Front Door - Before Refinishing

As house painting contractors in the Chicago area, we regularly are called on to refinish wood doors. Wood front door systems are subjected to major abuses by the sun and the elements. Consequently, making sure that the weather stripping around the door is in good working order is of critical importance. A recent project, made that point clearly.

As shown in the attached picture, the threshold has completely fallen apart. In fact, the owner had thrown it out. Additionally, the left jamb has begun to rot away as well. The varnish on the door has turned milky and signs of checking are evident. Needless to say, this entrance door has suffered from significant neglect over the years. Fortunately, the moisture had not reached the interior wood floor, which would have dramatically increased the cost of the repairs.

Before any wood refinishing could be done on the door, we rebuilt the threshold. We also installed new weather stripping on the bottom of the door and around the jamb.

Wood Front Door - After Refinishing

Next, the rotten wood was on the jamb was removed and we used epoxy consolidators and fillers to restore the wood to a sound condition. The door system was then stripped and refinished. Here what the final result looks like.

A wood door with sunny exposure requires periodic maintenance to ensure proper functioning and avoid having the go through the big expense of refinishing the door. To accomplish this goal, we recommend our clients a maintenance program every two or three years. They gladly accept, because they want their door to look beautiful and keep the expense down.

1927 Antique Wallpaper Book – Preserved

1927 Period Wallpaper Book

I recently purchased a wonderful 1927 book of wallpaper samples, borders and chair rail designs – in all over two hundred samples. The manufacturer was R. Fedderman & Sons, Inc. of Boston. Included in this post are a few samples of these period wallpapers. The first sample layered two different wallpapers. The first one showed scenes and the second one created framing for the scenes, making the room appear as if it were covered with artwork. How did the tradition of using wallpaper begin?

Starting in the Middle Ages, the nobility began to hang large tapestries to give more visual warmth and interest to their otherwise stern looking stone walls. However, the cost of tapestries was out of the reach of all but a few privileged people. Wars and other political issues also often interrupted the trade of such items. Not surprisingly, the first wallpapers that were made depicted scenes reminiscent of to those on the tapestries.

England and France were the early leaders in the manufacturing of wallpaper. In those days, wallpapers were hand printed using hand-carved blocks of paper, which was an ancient printing method. Today, Zuber at Cie. of France is the only known wallpaper manufacturer still producing wood-blocked wallpaper.

The Industrial Revolution transformed the wallpaper-making process. At the end of the eighteen century, a machine was inverted that made continuous lengths of wallpaper. Early in the nineteenth century, the first steam-powered printing presses were invented in England and made possible the mass production of inexpensive wallpapers, thereby making it available to the middle class. Those technologies were quickly brought over to the United States as well. By the time the twentieth century came along, wallpaper had become one of the most popular household-decorating items. It remained so for most of the century. In the late 1980’s, the emergence of Faux Finishing and the development of a myriad of new decorative finishing products and methods sent the wallpaper market into a major downspin, from which it has not recovered yet.

Period Wallpaper Circa 1927 - 1

Period Wallpaper Circa 1927 - 2

Period Wallpaper Circa 1927 - 3

Period Wallpaper Circa 1927 - 4