Old Windows as Decor - Distressed Cheater Method

Stacy Davis
by Stacy Davis
7 Materials
2 Hours

The very first thing that I fell in love with at our current house, was a decor item that the previous owners had on their front porch. It was an old window with no glass and it had been turned into a rustic sign that said, "Bless this Home and all who enter." I had no idea where they got it and I would often try to find something similar when I was out. After a while, I forgot about it. Then in the DIY Forum, someone asked, "How do you decorate with old windows?" I wondered if I could find the one picture that I had taken last year and share it. Then I thought, maybe I could go find an old window and recreate this sign for my front porch. I have given up on finding one already made.

Here is the sign that the old owners had on their porch. It was the inspiration for my sign/window.

First thing was to find an old window. I was pretty sure that Habitat for Humanity ReStore would be my best bet for price and selection. There were lots of windows but only two that were old fashioned wood windows. I was hoping for no glass but both had glass. So, that's fine. We'll just need to be careful. I debated removing the glass and watched a couple of videos but decided to just go with the "glass in" look. It was priced at $5 and I thought that was fair and with in my budget for this project.

I used a sanding block to get into the corners and remove some of the schmutz. I also used some glass scrapers to get some of the old paint off the glass but since I was going for the farmhouse look, I didn't do a lot with it. A quick cleaning with glass cleaner and I was ready to paint it.

I chose to tape off each pane of glass. I have read that you can put Vaseline on the glass or scrape off paint with a scraper after painting but I like to use tape. Additionally, it helps clean anything that I may have missed.

Time to paint. This is my favorite paint. I love this Cobblestone color. It is my "go-to" gray. Update-I read after I did this project that this is an all-in-one paint, waxing is not needed.

This is why I love this paint. The bottom half is basically one stroke. It covers like a dream.

So, my cheater method for the distressed look uses clear wax and a few drops of whatever color that you want to look like is coming through. In my case, I used some white chalk paint mixed in my clear wax on a paper plate. I used a sock to wipe it on rather heavily. Then, after a minute or so, I use another sock with just clear wax and wipe this area down. The white paint stays in the cracks and crevices and gives a worn down appearance. No sanding required.

I just love how it looks like I spent a lot of time sanding but didn't sand at all. My favorite part of waxing items like this, is running my hand down it afterwards. It feels so smooth, like velvet. The clear wax will also help it weather the elements being on my front porch.

You can layer all kinds of fun things on top of the window. This is a yard sale platter. Think of how much fun it would be to decorate it for the holidays. Having a window on top of a long piece of furniture is kind of like a fireplace mantel. I don't have a fireplace so this allows me to have "mantel decorating" without a mantel.

What do you think? If I ever make this sign again, I'll make the "and all who enter" twice as large... I wish it was bigger.

Here it is propped up on my crate shelf. You can find that tutorial here... It is called How to build a storage unit in a minute and a half. I plan to secure the window to my house so it won't fall. I am torn between a vinyl siding hook and an outdoor Command hook.

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  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 17, 2018

    LOL! Are you a "member of the tribe" or should I teach you some more Kosher lingo?

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  • Robyn Garner Robyn Garner on Jul 16, 2018

    Schmutz IS all encompassing and part of my Yiddish-speaking ancestry!

    Urban Dictionary: Used by Jewish mothers to identify that you've got some kind of crap on your face

    BLECH! (another of my favorite words lol!)

    How wonderful for you to have gardens planted by a Master!

  • Joanie Joanie on Jul 20, 2018

    Schmutz.........Archie Bunker vocab......lol.

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    • Stacy Davis Stacy Davis on Jul 20, 2018

      🎶 Those were the days! 🎵 I can’t remember what I had for lunch yesterday but you mention Archie Bunker and the theme song from over 40 years ago pops in my head.