Two Tips To Remember Before Renovating Antique Windows

Posted on: 25 January 2016

In the age of the throwaway society, there is something very special about renovating things that are old. Not only are you not sending more trash to the local landfill, but you are saving antique items that have a uniqueness about them. Antique windows are special because they were often made by hand, and the colours used in them are not often seen in home windows anymore. However, this uniqueness does mean that if you break an antique window during the renovation, you are going to have a difficult time replacing it with a similar one. Keep these two tips in mind before you consider antique window renovation.

Lead Paint

Up until 1970, lead was used in paint in Australia. If you are not sure when the paint was last applied to your windows, it is important you have a sample tested before you begin stripping it off during your window renovation.

One of the easiest ways to check if the paint has lead in it is to pick up a testing kit from your local hardware store. With these testing kits, a sample of the paint is swabbed, and the test kit changes colour if lead is found to be present. If lead is found to be present in the paint, leave the paint removal to professionals so you don't put the health of you or your family at risk.

Removing The Glass

If you are planning to remove the glass from your window panes during the renovation, be very careful you are confident you can do this without damaging them. Removing the glass will be required if you are planning to use a chemical stripper to clean up the window frames.

Antique glass is a lot softer and more porous than modern day glass, and this means the chemical stripper you are planning to use could stain the glass colour. If you are not confident about how to remove the seals around your antique glass before using the stripper, seek the assistance of a glass repairs professional.

Common methods of removing glass window seals include using a heat gun, a steamer, or simply chiseling the old seals away. However, all of these options could cause the glass panels to break if you are not properly trained in the art of glass removal. Breaking a modern window is not a tragedy since you can easily obtain more glass, but breaking antique glass is going to cause much more distress.

Carefully and gently is the only way to approach antique window renovation, and you will need the assistance of a glass professional if you want your windows to make it through the renovation process intact. However, at the end of the renovation, your beautiful windows are going to look much nicer on your home than at the local landfill, and that will make every ounce of effort worthwhile for this renovation project.