1 House 100 Years

Preparing For The Centennial Of A Place That Matters

Category: Home “How-To” Tips

Slow Progress On Windows

The progress on my living room and dining room windows has been going very slowly. This is partly because it is one of my least favorite tasks and partly because it creates so much to clean up from old flaking paint and sanding. All of this definitely reduces my enthusiasm!

If able to do this all over again, I would probably delay the floor restoration until after the windows had been completed. It really is best to work from the ceiling downward to the floor, although looking back, there were some places in the floor where you could fall through!

(This photograph was taken October 2015. There is still more work to do, but the way that the crisp white window casings stand out against the walls is very nice and will hopefully be a motivator.)


Hey!!! What’s On That Brush?!?


This is most probably my least favorite indoor old house renovation project. It’s messy. It’s slow. It’s tedious. Most importantly, it’s avoidable. At least it would have been avoidable with some forethought many years ago. This peeling paint is caused when two different kinds of paint are used over time.

In my house, the original paint would have been oil-based and there were several re-paintings using that type of paint. Then many years later when latex water-based paint became popular, that was used for a few more re-paintings. The results don’t show until many years later.

Since I’ve owned this house, more of this paint on the woodwork has begun to crack and peel. This winter, an especially cold one, there were mornings when I could stand in the living room or dining room and clearly hear and see the paint cracking, peeling, and popping up.

The only way that I know to correct this is to remove the paint down to the wood, sand, prime and repaint. The only way that I know to prevent this is to keep accurate paint records to give to future owners. Otherwise someone has a lot of unpleasant work!

This photo was taken July 2015. It’s not the worst example of peeling paint in my house, just an average example of peeling paint. This is my summer indoor renovation project.

More Than An Old Toolbox


An odd thing about collecting is that oftentimes a day will come when you realize that you have a collection. It’s not something that you planned. It just suddenly appears, seemingly out of nowhere like crocus blooms in the spring. “Hey! I’ve got a collection! Where did that come from?”

Such is the case with my toolbox collection. I have five: a Sears Craftsman toolbox from when I bought my house, a Kennedy toolbox that I bought at an auction, two old wooden workshop-made toolboxes that my mother had used to fill with Christmas decoration displays, and this one.

It is my current favorite and was likely made in the woodworking corner of someone’s garage. I saw it at Riverside Mill in Weldon, North Carolina this past fall, and knew right away that it was for me. Who made this toolbox? What projects had been created with its contents?

The mismatched metal pieces may be leftover parts from different projects, but someone had taken extra steps to shape the lid, perhaps with a factory-made toolbox in mind. The tool tray handles are smooth and angled slightly outward, tempting the eyes and urge the hands to explore and create.

This is a toolbox for hand tools. This is a toolbox for special projects. This is a toolbox that is a tool in itself as it has the ability to set the mind back to a simpler time of craftsmanship and to focus experience and imagination towards building something new.