How to Repurpose an Old Window

Using old, beat up, chippy (read: distressed) windows to decorate first showed up on my radar when I saw, you guessed it, Episode 1 of Fixer Upper on HGTV. I’m still trying to figure out how it is that folks decided it’d be a great idea to hang up architectural salvage pieces like art, but whoever came up with that idea is a genius. Old windows can be used for tons of different things, but some of our favorites are:

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Chalkboard Window
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  • Even as room dividers like this one on Indulgy!
Room Dividers
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Of course, they can also be used as wall art, which is what I’m going to show you today. One of my favorite spots to frequent for antiques/vintage finds or junk, as my husband calls it, is The Peddler’s Mall. I started seeing all of these paned windows for sale there a few years ago and finally bought one for a whopping $15. I brought it home, wasn’t sure what to do with it, let it sit in my garage while I pondered and moved about 30 projects up in front of it. Then I had my daughter and, well, frankly forgot about the window.

As I was decorating my living-room-turned-home-office, though, I needed a cool piece to go over the sofa and a light bulb went off! Amanda recently posted some vignettes we adored on our Instagram page, and this was one of them. I pulled inspiration from it and voila! The perfect piece to hang on the wall.

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Here’s how I made it happen:

First, I painted the window. It was an old, crusty, yellow color. As with most other things in my house, I wanted white. So I broke out trim paint (Behr Semi-Gloss Bright White) because it was the only thing I had available, taped off the panes and brushed on two thick coats.

This window probably weighs 25 or 30 pounds, so I needed something really solid to hang it with. Our headboard weighs a little over 50 pounds, and I was able to hang it on the wall with a large Hang Man interlocking bracket, so I thought I’d try out the smaller one they offer at Lowes for this window. There is a great YouTube demonstration on how to use one, but basically you attach one side to the wall and one side to the window, and the window slides right in behind the wall bracket to mount it flush. As an added bonus, it comes with a level so you know you’re hanging it absolutely straight.

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I’m not sure why, but I just had this vision of black hooks to contrast with the stark white paint. I really can’t explain where that idea came from, but I found these hooks at Lowes for around $3 each and I absolutely love the way they look on the window.

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These screwed right in from the front, and I bought one to sit in the middle of each pane (mainly because math and I aren’t really friends… I know. How do I ever build anything?)

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If you look closely towards the top of the window, you can see the metal bracket I used to hang this. That didn’t really worry me because I knew I was putting a magnolia wreath on the window, but if you’re leaving yours open, I’d suggest just painting the bracket the same color as the wall to hide it. You can even paint the screw heads!

All that was left was fluffing my magnolia wreath (I found this one at Hobby Lobby) and hanging it. To keep things simple, I used a clear 3M adhesive hook that I bought at Walmart for $2. It stuck beautifully to the fresh paint and finished off the window art perfectly!

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I love the way this repurposed window turned out! The entire project cost less than $55, including the wreath (which typically runs for $90 plus on its own) and took 20 minutes to complete not including paint drying time. Of course, you can’t put a price tag on how happy it makes me to look over at it while I’m working, and there really is nothing quite like hanging up something you made! Now I just need to paint the office walls…

Hope y’all have a Happy Monday!

Jess Signature

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