This is definitely not a spectacular before & after. It’s more one of those projects that no one will even notice is done but us since it falls under ‘repair’ rather than ‘redecorate’.
The ‘before’ scene was rather embarrassing when guests came over and we’d have to battle with the venetian blinds in the living room and at best they would look like this:
Some of the strings had come loose so we could neither open nor close them properly. The aluminium blinds had definitely seen better days.
I spotted some timber-look venetians $100 off at Spotlight and immediately raced home with them (by which I mean, staggered to the car juggling the ridiculously heavy blinds and a recent Target spree, trying not to swipe the late-night shoppers slapstick-style – oh, and did I mention the lifts were out of order?).
Once we got them home, we realised that because the slats are a lot wider (50mm instead of 25mm) the top bracket wasn’t going to fit nicely in the window frame recess, so we made the decision to rip out the quarter-round so it would sit flush.
Of course, that left us with gaping holes where the quarter-round was, not to mention all the little nail holes and a big chunk out of the plasterwork from trying to jimmy out the timber.
After the initial sanding it looked like this, complete with the previous owner’s blue paint peeking through:
There was then copious amounts of puttying, sanding and painting. During the process, I was thinking ‘sheesh, didn’t I just do this a couple of years ago, I can’t believe I’m painting this again’. Then I realised that we had been here for five years. So yes, the entire window frame was treated to a freshen up.
I was concerned about the puttied-up corners between the wall and the timber forming cracks over time, so we finished off the join with caulking to give it a bit of flex.
We also caulked around all the window edges, because whenever it rains we have to do this:
Yup, water would just run right in the leaky windows. Ideally, our strata would actually take care of the exterior woodwork like they’re supposed to. But failing that, we did what we could inside and did our own interior sealing.
If you’re doing this yourself, make sure you get a paintable caulk (I used white since we had some awful gaps to cover where the perished seal was but if you have a neater finish you can opt for clear since you don’t have to be so neat). There’s some regular silicone in our kitchen and it’s impossible to paint over so the finish is all patchy.
I told you it wasn’t dramatic. But in person the timber blinds look so much nicer than the el cheapo aluminium ones. The square finish looks much neater and more contemporary than the quarter-round, plus a fresh coat of paint always helps. I also took the opportunity to wash the sheer curtains (the bottoms were filthy from dragging along the ground). They shrunk a bit which is actually great because they now perfectly skim the floor.
I’m mainly just glad that they’re replaced so that the neighbours don’t have their nightly viewing of The Ryan & Alicia Show through our naked windows.
It looked like a really simple project, but as usual our perfectionist tendencies made it take a lot longer than expected.
Have you ever had a seemingly simple task turn into a time-consuming project?