So back in January, I uncovered a window that had been hidden by kitchen cabinets since the kitchen was renovated in the late 1980's or early 1990's. The day I ripped down those cabinets to reveal daylight streaming through this original feature of our house was so elating. For a couple months, I ignored the work required to tidy it up: I know nothing about windows or framing, especially old windows that have been curiously reworked in a renovation. I knew I would have to be creative with this project. Well, I should say Dan and I would have to get creative because - as with most things - he helped me think through possibilities and even did some of the work to finish off the window.
The first thing we had to do was figure out how to match the opening in the wall to the shape of the window. As you can see in the photos, the opening was square, and the window is arched. There was also a 3/4 inch gap between the edge of the window and the original wood studs. Clever man that he is, Dan got some wood and cut out mirroring half-arch pieces with a scroll saw. He also cut some 3/4 strips of wood to frame in the sides and bottom of the window. The wood he used was the perfect depth so that everything was flush with the studs surrounding the window. In the photo, he is placing one of the arch pieces he so skillfully cut out.
Now my dilemma was how to even out everything around the window: lots of seams and gaps, and about a 1/4" depth discrepancy between the wood studs and the existing plaster. I wanted the lines of that arched window to be perfectly smooth - like arched windows set into the stucco walls of an Italian villa. So I did some research, and I entered a new world: drywall accessories, and more specifically drywall corner beads. Why they're called beads, I have no idea: you certainly can't wear them, not easily anyway. But they're very useful. The pros use them to shield and strengthen internal and external corners between sheets of drywall. And to my delight, I found a sturdy vinyl corner bead that could arch!
Cool, huh. This find did cut into my non-budget a smidge, however. Taxes in, I paid $4.32 for ten feet of arched corner bead. But it was well worth the money. It evened out the sides and edges of the window, and it also helped make up some of that depth discrepancy between the studs and the plaster (so that when I eventually repaired the wall, the repair tape didn't have to do all the work). It was really easy to install: I just lined it up along the edges of Dan's window frame, and fastened it in place with wood screws. As you can see below, the corner bead makes a nice smooth edge (sorry about the lousy photo).
After affixing the repair tape to thoroughly cover all seams and imperfections, I patched over the whole lot with the compound I bought a couple months ago (in Phase 1).
After a couple coats of compound - each followed by thorough sanding - I painted the wall and the inside edge around the window. And I'm a happy girl. It looks great.
I'm so glad I opted to leave the window as-is, untrimmed. I think it looks simple and striking.
So, now down to brass tacks (as Kirstie Allsopp would say) . . . where does my budget stand?
The Almost Part (including taxes)
$ 100.64 (spent to date)
+ .75 (Dan had to buy the wood for
the window framing but used
very little, so this amount is a
bit of a guess)
4.32 (corner bead)
5.64 (wall repair tape)