Cleaning the Vintage Window ~ Beach Cottage Work in Progress ~

Wed 23rd, Sep, 2009

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G’day friends!

Remember the other day I found that window?  Well the next day on my walk, striding up that hill I thought, oh how funny I am on that same hill again, I might just see if a particular old rundown house has anything sitting outside it ;-)

Well it didn’t and the skip was gone.  Wow! It hit me then what a close shave I had with missing out on the window entirely, if it wasn’t for my favour-giving-skills *wink I would’ve missed out by, oh about 10 hours.  I had a huge sigh of relief, can you only begin to imagine how so very disappointed I woulda been if it had been gone?

So today I got to work and spent a long long time cleaning that vintage window and nursing her back to life.  Wow there was a whole lotta grime on there baby.

I started off by brushing to get the dry dust off and then next it really was just a simple case of using a wet rag and soapy water…a shed load of soap and water.

Take a look at that grime

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This was a so-me job – I love something like this that looks soooo sad and neglected and was literally sitting waiting to get crushed and head to that big old graveyard landfill, that then starts to, wake up almost, as the layers of dirt wipe off.

And as I washed her, that old lady window delivered, as promised when she called me from the skip (or dumpster or whatever you call it where you are), you can find the story here.  Further temporary primping, just to show you how far she’s come, revealed a shabby, peely, vision in old vintage white.

The lack of perfection in this old piece contrasts with the few more modern IKEA-y things around and you already know how much I love that, this one is no exception.

She’s fitting in quite well already…a Beach Cottage treasure in her own right I believe…just wait ’til as per lg’s advice, she gets some lights tucked in behind her, is placed proudly on the wall and has some nice hooks all along the bottom.  Thanks to all of you who came up with suggestions, Cherrie mentioned it might be nice on the porch, that’s on the list if it doesn’t work here and Floss my bloggy friend in France (head over there, it’s good) mentioned some French ideas torn from a magazine, thanks Floss that’d be good, Tales From an OC Cottage hinted a starfish might look nice (she got that right) and Desiree

said just do what I’ve done today, lean it up and put nice things on it

…and if I haven’t mentioned you thank you it means a lot to me that you come here and take an interest in my crazy new thrifting life by the sea…I read, laugh, nod, smile, and appreciate every single comment…even if I haven’t got back to you and you think I don’t.  K?

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see you all tomorrow…:-)

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50 Responses to “Cleaning the Vintage Window ~ Beach Cottage Work in Progress ~”

  1. justine says:

    So very loved, she is simply smiling and breathing again.
    I just love how you’ve made her sing
    ps I’m still cooking that bun lol

  2. Pomona says:

    That’s real vision – and obviously a lot of elbow grease! Pure serendipity, I think!

    Pomona x

  3. Alison Gibbs says:

    She looks fabulous now.
    Love the daisies too!

  4. Your blog is always so peaceful and cheery. So gloriously inspiring. Thanks.
    LOVE the new find. A little elbow grease goes a long way.

  5. Morning T says:

    I knew you would deliver on this one Sarah, just as you always do. She is just SO gorgeous, great job. :-)

  6. Layla says:

    That little tin can is the perfect finishing touch!



  7. m says:

    Absolutely beach-alicious! WOW!

    m ^..^

  8. And the little shell with the pop of blue looks so happy to see her.


  9. Michelle says:

    she’s lovely and looking fab in her new home!


  10. She’s sitting pretty! Love it!

  11. Vicki K says:

    It seems to me that the now-gorgeous window is a smaller version of your whole beach cottage. It looks really great! I like the hook idea too.

  12. I love it! Makes me want to find an old abandoned farm to rummage through myself!

  13. Su says:

    A little love and attention is all she needed.

    What a wonderful find…beautifully displayed.

  14. This turned out very nice. Just what YOU had in mind!!! So Airy. So Beachy. So Beautiful!

    Love, love, love it!


  15. Floss says:

    Oh Sarah! Still thinking of you and your window, still wondering where on earth I could have put that magazine!…

    It’s looking lovely at the moment, anyway, and you know I haven’t forgotten you.

  16. Vicki says:

    All your hard work, love and attention paid off.
    She looks beautiful!

  17. jane says:

    looks wonderful. but i cannot tell where she is sitting? is it on the mantle? i love the keys. i have some old keys too!
    i really appreciated seeing the neighborhoods where you drive to look for finds. it is so helpful to see that you don’t live where everything is ‘bc ready’. i was amazed that someone was willing to part with those two beach chairs. but they found their real home, huh?
    anyroad, your post encourages/inspires me to make changes that surprise and excite me. many thanks! jkj

  18. Lorraine says:

    Looks great Sarah – LOL, actually I think I’m going to take some photos of OUR windows! :-D

    I could just imagine the reply I’d have if I asked DH to collect something like that for me – he really would think I’d lost the plot – he just doesn’t have the vision. :-)

  19. a-m says:

    Yep, she’s smilin’ now! A-M xx

  20. Shar Yates says:

    Oh, the window is beautiful! Love it! Also, is that a piece of aqua blue sea glass that I see? I am blue with envy, it is the perfect touch! Far out!

  21. Courtney says:

    It looks beautiful! The fresh flowers and silver look so perfect against the peeling white paint.

  22. cherrie says:

    Looks great. I would have been tempted to pop her in the bath but you are very patient and correct in using the soapy water and a rag.

  23. Rachel says:

    Sigh….I adore this sweet window! She is absolutely lovely!


  24. diana says:

    always so much fun to visit your beach cottage… love the tin can with daisies… love it.

  25. “Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.”

    I think this sums up you and your blog.
    Always inspired by you!

  26. Brenda Kula says:

    The starfish was a great idea! Love how it looks!

  27. How wonderful that you have given the old girl new life again Sarah. She looks great!!
    Hugs ~ Kerryanne

  28. sara says:

    fantasitc! can’t wait to see her with lights!

  29. Sarah Ann says:

    Pretty! I love how you call a dumpster a skip, it sounds SO much nicer.

  30. Amanda says:

    Ok the window was one thing that I was wondering “mmmmmm what is she going to do with that” and it looks so great!!! You really have a talent for this and your pics are so much better than half the books I pick up…..you really should consider doing one you know!!

  31. watch this space ;-)

    On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 7:05 PM, wrote:

  32. Julie says:

    Gorgeous Sarah… she is beautiful
    How did you fare with the storm? I’m still cleaning up but heard there may be another on Saturday
    Take Care xx Julie

  33. Eileen says:

    Gorgeous! I love all the details that you have placed around it, especially the keys!

  34. Shaz says:

    I was wondering how you would dress her. Fabulous as always.

  35. Daphne says:

    cause she’s fabulous!!!! as the song goes….well done….loving the window addition…keep it up xxx

  36. still lots and lots of dust here – even the bathtub had a thick layer of red
    dust in it!
    I didn’t know there was another one coming…eeek, maybe I’ll not dust tmr


    On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 9:09 PM, wrote:

  37. bj says:

    She’s lookin’ right at home in the cottage by the sea…

  38. prettythings says:

    So pretty and perfectly done!

    I’ve fallen in love with your blog – such fresh, inspiring ideas! But more than that, you seem so cheerful and sincere – so many blogs have become vehicles for adverts and I love the fact that yours isn’t one of them. A Beach Cottage is for me all about good karma and a break when I need it – thanks so much! Keep up the great work!



  39. Beautiful photographs and very inspiring project…as always! Stop by some day, we’d love to have you over!

  40. Mandy says:

    Looks really pretty – nice job!

  41. junkdreams says:

    A beautiful transformation…how lucky you were to find it still in the casing…the little ledge with your goodies is perfect!
    Happy day.

  42. Lorraine says:

    Greetings from Canada…love your blog. More videos please…they are such fun to watch.

  43. Hi Sarah,

    It has been a little while since I dropped by and I have to say that everything is looking absolutely gorgeous. Your making me want to head down the hill from the Highlands today to spend some time on the coast.

    Have a great weekend in this totally glorious spring weather that we are having.

    x Coty

  44. Mary says:

    Great window makeover Sarah – are you planning more dumpster diving this coming weekend!!!? Can’t wait to see what cottage treasures you unearth.

    I e-mailed you about Bovey Tracey etc. hope you get it.


  45. Danielle says:

    I love it…great job and I love your styling. I think I might just have to start looking in skip bins!

  46. As someone who has a whole series of blog posts on ‘how to live in a beach cottage while residing 100 of miles away from the ocean…’ you can imagine that I love your project.

    They are very nice pictures

  47. Truly Sarah, this is a trash to treasure piece for sure. You rescued her, you nursed it back to life and now you’ll have years of enjoyments over the save of a neglected window.
    It is truly beautiful with the star fish addition, soup can flower vase, silvered candle holder and sea shells. Absolutley gorgeous.
    Surely, you could easily write a book about your wonderful ideas, photos, thoughts and such. You are a gifted soul.

  48. Marie says:

    Oh Sarah – I am lovin’ that vintage window! You know how I love em nice and chippy and shabby! You did a fabulous job decorating it. Love the sweet starfish in the middle!


  49. Eileen @ CBH says:

    I love how that window turned out. You did really get that baby nice and clean. And you decorated it so sweetly. Ya know about 8 years ago I picked up an old window by the side of the road, It’s glass panes broken, but I had little mirrors made to insert and cleaned it up, and gave it a shelf, and I still love that piece today. it sits above my rec room sofa. I love the addition of the starfish and the little pop of silver you added.

  50. Kim says:

    Love this look! I’m about four years late to the post, but I just stumbled across it on Pinterest after looking up ways to use old window panes. I’m running a web roundup on ways to use old windows, and I’d love to include this one. :)