Thursday, 27 August 2015

Painting Dark UPVC Window Frames

We painted our dark UPVC window frames white, to make them look cleaner, more contemporary and to brighten up the whole room.

paint tin - Our Handmade Home

I'll start with a bit of a trademark pre-amble - We were guests in a holiday cottage a couple of years ago where every window was different (presumably updated at different renovations through the years, much like our home) The window frames were all painted a uniform white and it worked, you wouldn't have noticed the odd windows if you weren't looking out for these things - Which I do, cause I'm a renovation geek.
To add to that, I have never liked UPVC, I don't understand why you would choose to put that quantity of plastic in the structure of your home - but UPVC windows are cheap and relatively maintenance free - So I guess I can see the benefits.

Anywhoos, we decided to copy this holiday cottage's trick and paint all of our mishmash of window frames a uniform white.

We are working on Teeny's room just now and this is the first UPVC paint job we have tried.

I started by giving all the frames a bit of a sand with a sanding block - so much easier to use than sandpaper, especially on odd edges and angles. Don't skip the sanding it keys the surface and gives the paint something to adhere to. (write this down: Preparation is the key to a good finish)

Paint UPVC windows - Our Handmade Home

I used an all surface primer (which states on the tin that it is suitable for UPVC) Several manfacturers do this kind of product. I went for ronseal for no more reason than I have found it a dependable brand, and it was on the shelf.

The primer didn't take very long to apply and gave good coverage - the window frames were dark brown 'mahogany' effect (you know they look plastic though, right... nobody thinks you have mahogany window frames)

The next evening I applied a single coat of white eggshell.

Paint window frames - Our Handmade Home

We are a 'pure brilliant white' kind of home, we have dabbled in colours and will do again for accents, but we tend to go for 'pure brilliant white' for all the basics. The primer made such a good job you could easily go for any light colour on top.

Job done... well almost done... As you can see the insulation still needs boxed in so I'm waiting for the window ledge and surrounding gubbins to be fitted then that will be painted to match before the final gentle sand and last coat of eggshell - but they look really good as they are and if you are looking for a quick update I can recommend painting your UPVC window frames.

Paint UPVC windows - Our Handmade Home

Oh, and if anyone knows how to take a good picture of a window frame let me know... this is the best I could manage *sigh*

The Nitty Gritty

  • The sanding sponges I use are quite small, which suits my hands and the type of jobs I like to use them for. They are fine/medium - no more detail on the grade I'm afraid - but one side is finer than the other. I got them from screwfix
  • The finish coat is Dulux Quick Dry Eggshell in Pure Brilliant White - This is my first foray into quick-dry eggshell, it is water based so not as nasty to clean up as other eggshell finishes I have used in the past - so far so good.
  • The paintbrushes I am using just now came from IKEA - they are surprisingly good for the price.
  • I used to share my musical choices when DIYing but I was listening to the audio book of Northanger Abbey while painting... I found it rather dull, and not very good to sing along to.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Mini-Beast Hotel

Tuesday is Nature Studies day in our home-school. Small has been growing veg in her own garden plot over the summer, we tracked rainfall for a month (it has been a wet summer, there was A LOT OF RAIN) we also go on regular nature walks.

Earlier in the summer we were inspired by the RSPBs 'give nature a home' campaign, and decided to build a Mini-Beast Hotel in our garden.

Bug Hotel - Our Handmade Home

We've been clearing out a lot of building debris from the garden recently so there was tonnes of stuff lying about. For what it is worth all of it was covered in bugs before we even got started - the mini-beasts didn't seem too fussy that it was a pallet of bricks and slates and not a dedicated 'bug house'

To make your own Mini-Beast Hotel you just need a stack of old usable building materials and some garden waste. Here is a short list of what we used.

Old bricks
Roof slates
Planks of wood
Twigs - cut and bundled
Broken clay pipes
Broken terracotta plant pots
15mm plastic pipe - cut and bundled
Damp wood chips
Dry grass and leaves
Bundled chicken wire

So far most of what we have seen is spiders but I figure most of the beasties keep themselves hidden away... either that or the spiders have eaten them all.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Identify Your Old Singer Sewing Machine

Use the following instructions if you have a Singer hand-crank sewing machine or Singer treadle sewing machine only.

First you need your machine's unique Singer Serial Number - You will find it embossed onto the metal body of the machine somewhere. (not a plaque, not on the wooden case but on the actual machine)

To find the model number and year of manufacture click here and follow the instructions.

To find out where your singer sewing machine was made check here

If you can't find the serial number follow the instructions on this website, it should help you get the model number - but only if you have a manual singer model.

Pre-1900 models are more difficult to identify, but it might still be possible.

There was a Singer factory in Germany whose offices were destroyed around the end of WWII - All their records were lost (obviously before any digital copies were made) It might not be possible to identify the details of a machine made in that factory.

For a more detailed run through of how I identified my machine see my post here

You can see all my other posts on sewing machines by clicking on the tab at the top of the page.

For expert advice on electric machines you will need to look elsewhere, sorry.
For expert advice on non-singer vintage models, you will need to look elsewhere, sorry.

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I am inundated with calls for help identifying old sewing machines, I really love to help when I can, but it is just not always possible. I love to hear your stories about your machines though, please do keep leaving me comments and sending me emails.

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