The Bay Window Progresses and the Arched Window Surprises… by Architectural Observer | Sep 22, 2019 | Blog, Projects | 9 comments Here’s a look at what the process of nurturing the bay window looks like as it continues… The cornice of the bay had been wrapped in aluminum. I’ve begun taking sections of it down. The wood cornice which had been hidden by the aluminum is visible at left. The piece on the right was somewhat fragile, so I took it down to strengthen it with wood hardener. This small section of the cornice has been scraped and the panel moldings also removed for some bolstering with wood hardener. The tail of the downspout will eventually be removed as it no longer functions. The piece of wood at the top is the back side of the cornice molding. The wood was dry, cracked, and somewhat spongy. The wood hardener can be seen soaking in (by the paint brush). All deteriorated areas will be bolstered in this way. The same pieces, hours later, are curing. Roofer’s staples can be seen piercing the underside of the standing-seam roof, callously covered with roll roofing. The top of the fascia board has also received some water damage but will be concealed when the molding is replaced. Moldings are back in place. On the soffit you can see traces of the dark green paint which was used extensively. The void beneath the soffit will be filled before the missing molding can be reattached. This is a panel beneath one of the windows. The moldings were not laying flat as intended due to accumulated debris behind them. Removing this molding revealed not only dirt, but some early paint colors as well! It appears that the flat panels were originally painted a surprising Spring Green but were later painted a buttery Yellow. This suggests the moldings weren’t super-tight against the panels even when the house was new. Paint eventually created enough of a seal to prevent later colors from dripping behind the molding. Jim made additional paint color discoveries while working on the front porch. Several colors are seen here creeping behind former bracket locations. This area of the front porch appears to have received three shades of green in addition to a dreary Battleship Gray at various points in time. A Sage Green and a Mint Green appear to be the earliest colors here, along with a Dark Brown on the entablature itself. More scraping and exploration will be needed to confirm this, but it is becoming apparent that the house was quite colorful when new. More of the entablature… A portion of one of the brackets temporarily removed. Traces of Dark Green paint are found on it, along with a Mint Green where it attached to the entablature. Jim began scraping the north window… …and discovered that the window sash had originally been painted black! I’m very happy about this as it will introduce a new color and black always looks good on Victorian-era window sash. Note the cut marks on the curved moldings… these are “kerfs” which allowed the molding to be bent and form the arch. The original metal flashing is still attached and seen adjacent to the vinyl J-channel. Scraped, caulked and primed in advance of Winter. Jim celebrates the end of the day! He has since repaired and primed the missing porch supports and they will be re-installed soon! And, just for fun, a dormer window at night. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Like this:Like Loading... Related 9 Comments Derek Walvoord on 09/23/2019 at 10:13 am Progress! Thanks for posting this. Is the wood hardener some kind of plastic or resin? It looks like two parts, so maybe epoxy (whatever that is. . .). I am glad to get a look at how it is used. Has it been around a while? And, does it age pretty well? Thanks for taking us along on the ride! Reply Architectural Observer on 09/23/2019 at 12:23 pm The wood hardener is an epoxy resin. I first used it over 30 years ago, so it has been around a while. I’ve been impressed with its performance, but do worry a bit about what future preservationists may think about its use. Will I be cursed and reviled for using epoxy? I’m not sure about that, but I am sure that if I don’t use it, many moldings, etc., would have to be completely replaced. My goal is to retain as much original material as possible… even if I have to “embalm” it in order to save it! And its just kind of fun to see a fragile piece of wood suddenly gain density and integrity. I have to drill pilot holes for each nail, though, that’s the only downside I’m aware of. Reply Derek Walvoord on 09/23/2019 at 3:30 pm It definitely seems like the thing to do. Sort of magic to be able to keep the old soft stuff. Reply Bethany Otto on 09/23/2019 at 11:59 am I absolutely love your use of the word “nurturing” to describe what you are doing with the bay window. A term that is rarely applied to restoration, but should be! Reply Architectural Observer on 09/23/2019 at 12:33 pm Thanks – I feel very protective of the deteriorating wood on this house and want to save all of it! Replacing deteriorated wood is sometimes necessary but I want to avoid that wherever possible. I’m somewhat nervous about the condition of the window casings under a 1970’s carport… they have suffered more water damage and may need replacement. But we’ll cross that bridge in a year or two! Until then, we’ve improved drainage on the carport roof. I want to get rid of it NOW but Jim insists it will be useful to work under in the future. Then we can get rid of it. It’s one of those compromise situations we all have to make at times! Reply Devyn on 09/24/2019 at 4:48 pm Love the leaded glass windows. I never cease to amazed by how common leaded glass was to the masses during that period. I know they were mass produced and commonly acquired via catalogs, but it is still remarkable nonetheless. Our house is too old to have had leaded glass windows and they would look awkward and out of place to add them now (at least on the front). It’s always interesting to learn the colors used in the past. I rather like the dark green on the soffit. I’d be completely fascinated to learn the original colors on our door and window casings. Perhaps I will get there one day. Reply Architectural Observer on 09/24/2019 at 11:18 pm I really like the windows, too, though they were added ten years after the house was built and seem a bit out of place from a stylistic point of view. But, they are historic in their own right and will definitely stay and be loved! Searching for past paint colors is fun, but also frustrating. Past weathering and scraping can sometimes muddy the historic record. The best places to find an intact and continuous color history are in areas that are hard to reach and/or not subject to weathering. I’m confident that you will be exploring your exterior colors in the future… after your staircase restoration! Reply Seth Hoffman on 09/24/2019 at 10:39 pm Looks like solid progress (literally, in the case of the epoxy-consolidated wood, haha)! I’ve used similar products from Rot Doctor on the past with great results. Since the alternative to using epoxy for repair is throwing the damaged wood away entirely, I think the preservationist case is pretty strong for it. The discovery of early paint colors is exciting. Do you have plans foe your eventual color scheme, or are you still sleuthing evidence of past colors for guidance (or inspiration)? Reply Architectural Observer on 09/24/2019 at 11:18 pm A color scheme is in progress, being tweaked and refined as new information surfaces. There is lots to still discover and confirm, so despite my eagerness to have it all figured out, I’m just not there yet. And we haven’t even begun to explore the siding yet! My biggest fear is that the original colors may prove to be a bit loud — or even gaudy — by today’s taupe-dominated preferences. Regardless, we’ve already decided to embrace whatever was there; we really like the palette we’ve seen so far! Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Don't subscribe All Replies to my comments Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.