Culled from readers and editors over the years, here are 10 nuggets to help you renovate and decorate without spending a fortune. Taken together, they suggest both a timeline (plan ahead!) and an approach (listen to the house). Take your time. Seek advice from other renovators, reliable contractors, and a designer who can help you avoid pitfalls.
Stripping paint from woodwork is on the list of most-hated restoration jobs. It’s among the most hazardous, too. Fortunately, you no longer have to strip door casings or painted balusters with such hazardous chemicals as methylene chloride, nor should you blast them with high heat. Recent years have brought gentler methods that are just as effective, safer for DIYers, and easier on the wood itself.
Restoring architectural elements damaged over time requires ingenuity and labor but it isn’t necessarily difficult. Two recent projects—one pro, one DIY—show how perseverance brings wood ornamentation beautifully back to
Lately, casement windows have been on my mind. No surprise: my 1913 Adirondack-style cottage has a dozen wood casements—and they all need work. Unlike double-hung sash windows that move up and down, casement windows swing outward, inward, or occasionally upward, turning on hinges attached to one edge of the frame.