Unique Vintage Window Frame With a Prima Transfer

11 Materials
8 Hours

Who loves Farmhouse Style? Who loves all things vintage? Okay, well how about who loves FREE stuff? There I gotcha with that last one, if those things say your name this is a project for you! Join me as I take some pieces of junk and transform them into a Farmhouse Hunk!

Sample of Items Used

I had a very old six pane window frame, a twin size wooden headboard (similar to the one in the photo) and 4 old, porcelain door knobs. Let's see where I'm headed with these oddball items!

Bare Bones

So here it is, a clean slate ready to paint! You'll see the header at the top? It was an add on...it's from the headboard it's that top curved part above the spindles! Yes, yes it fit like a charm and all my husband had to do was cut the dowels off that secured it into the rest of the headboard frame. That's where some of the sanding and wood filling came about. One side had two dowels glued on to cut off, the other had two holes where the other dowels came unglued and popped out from.

Hatching and Rehatching a Plan

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The best ideas don't always come automatically or quickly as with this project there was trial and error in getting it to my liking. Even though my inspiration piece was a white frame, I'll still get the same black and white classic look.

Crackle Procedure

This was the most fun part of the entire project! Creating a crackle finish to mimic an aged paint look, it unfolds quickly right before your eyes!! My tips are to apply the glue thick and evenly, allow it to sit for about 5 minutes and then apply a thin layer of paint over top. Use long, even strokes and less of them! This is NOT a treatment that likes to be brushed over and over, don't fuss over this step. Stand back and watch the crackle show begin. If your glue dries before you get the paint onto it, reapply some more before you apply the paint.

Dreamy Crackled Finish

I could watch paint crackle all day!! It's just one of those things that you can't believe how easy it is to create! It's something like the commercial for Rice Krispie Cookies, the girl " fakes her hard work" in the kitchen making them by throwing a little flour on her face and a splash of water before she presents them to her family! 🤣😂😄 I wore painted up clothes and ordered takeout the day I did the paint crackle....it was really "hard work"!

Barkeepers Friend to My Rescue

This is a wonderful, gentle cleaner for so many items including these old door knobs. They had a grimy film and paint flecks all over but a little scrubbing and they were as good as new! These were tossed out still attached to the door, I rushed home and got my drill and went back to remove those babies and bring them home with their new momma!

Half Way There

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Paint job is complete, handles are on, three recycled items used so what's left?

In my Back Pocket...

You see this was in my back pocket all along, a rub on transfer by Redesign with Prima, isn't it a game changer? Ok, don't get too excited there's still a little more work for me to do yet! You'll notice it's a little too long to fit into the opening, well its the same as when your clothes aren't fitting....you squeeeeze it all in there!! 😄😄😄

Cut to Squeeze

Where I had to squeeze things together I cut out a few things from the sheet to enable me to change up the spacing. Theres a top film that has the lettering on it and a waxed film underneath that protects the transfer until you are ready to use it. Once I cut through both layers I added a little piece of tape around front and back to keep the two layers together and thus protect the design.

Panel to Replace Glass

Since this window doesn't have glass I'll need a backing to apply the transfer onto, in this case I'm recycling a piece of panel board that was sold as "Snowdrift. Why? Because when I flip it over you'll notice that it's has a vinyl, textured white film over the wood veneer. I guess the manufacturer thought it resembled a snowdrift.

Placement Markings

In order to apply the transfer within the window opening I laid both the panel and the frame on a table and made pencil marking all around the inside perimeter. The pencil marks are easily removed on this paneling but any thin sheet of board will fit the bill here, you may just need to paint yours first. * The transfer instructions suggest to wait 48 hours before applying it to freshly painted items, to give the paint time to cure.

Measure and Mark

I played with the placement to get all of the transfer within my window opening. Next I measured my width markings to find my center point, it was 31" wide so 15 1/2" gave me my center. The transfer center now should line up with this mark and the bottom perimeter line was my start off line. I started at the bottom and worked my way up because the last panel to be applied would be the one I'd squeeze together and adjust as needed.

Transfer Application

So as stated earlier the top layer of film has your lettering, the bottom is a discard once you are ready to apply it. I added a couple of pieces of tape on top of the film at the bottom edge to keep it in place on the center mark. Next I pulled the film back towards me and carefully removed the discard layer. Now gently fold the top film back down in place and with the back of my hands I smoothed the film down from the center outwards. It's time to rub on the design with the smooth wooden tool the kit provided, exciting or what?

Texture is a Workout

This was harder then I thought it would be but it was because I was applying it to a "textured" backing...you should have a much easier time if your panel is smooth. I did a section of transfer and took a rest and returned for another go after a stretch and a break.

Know Your On and Off

As I rubbed and worked on the transfer I got to determine what had adhered and what was left remaining to get rubbed on. You'll notice the lettering changes color tone slightly as it adheres. I slowly lifted the film as I progressed as another way to check and see if I may have missed a tiny detail. If I did no worries, I just laid the film back in the exact place and rubbed that spot over again until the design lifted off.

Squeezing Worked

The two, curved branch details I moved to the middle part of the design and the rows of wording are bunched closer together but not too close, everything is all good to go!

Tah-dah Moment

Now that's a hunk of a window frame if I ever did see one, don't you agree? Don't get mad at me but I just have the panel taped at the back because I wanted it to lay perfectly flat against my wall, no hardware doo-dads to dent my sheetrock. Let's just keep that between us okay? Too, it gives me the option to swap out the panel and just use the frame alone if I ever get bored with the "Drink wine is part of life, just like eating food" admonition in French seen there.

Imitate the Original

I wasn't aiming for perfectly crisp paint line on the sides afterall if you ever noticed a true, old window that's how they are. The front and back part of the frames are all that have been painted because the sides would have been enclosed in the house walls.

Get the Look for Less

All in all my costs were very low due to upcycling tossed items, I just needed chalk paints, white glue and the rub on transfer. I hope you enjoyed this junk to hunk transformation, they are my favourite type of projects!

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Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Kathy Gilmore
    on Jun 21, 2020

    Did you take the glass out, why/why not? Can you texture after you do the stenciling?

    • Skilled Thrifty Creatives
      on Jun 21, 2020

      As I said in the video the original glass was messed up with caulking terribly and it got broken as we tried to clean it up. Rather than go through the cost and trouble in getting new glass panes custom cut I went with a plan to use it "without" the glass. As for the texturing underneath the transfer that was due to the style of panelboard that I recycled to use. I hope this answers your question sufficiently.

  • Nancy Grissett
    on Jun 28, 2020

    That turned out great. I have some old windows as well. Mine are from 1805. Still have cracked old white paint on them. Lol. Going to do stained glass in a few of them I think. Have three hanging in my home now. I love old stuff like this. Shows history.

    • Skilled Thrifty Creatives
      on Jun 28, 2020

      We are very like minded and tjose windows sound dreamy! I have a four pane one that came from an old historical house now tourist site.....eeek I can't wait to try a stained glass look on it.! I have Gallery Glass paints and another set along with faux lead lines now to just come up with a design?? Thanks for sharing that Nancy, we could talk about old windows for days I bet!

Join the conversation

4 of 16 comments
  • Dian
    on Jun 24, 2020

    I have unusual windows on my old house. I saved one from our reno, cleaned it up & put a large poster behind it. It is now on the wall over my bed, glass intact. The beach scene poster fit perfectly, & is now a major addition to my Beach Bedroom.

    • Skilled Thrifty Creatives
      on Jun 29, 2020

      That sounds dreamy, I'm thinking that I might enlarge one of my beach photos and do it with another window that I have. I will pretend it's still Summer as I daydream in January staring at my window! 🤣

  • Jeanne
    on Jun 28, 2020

    Very nice project.  🙂

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