How Do You Paint Wooden Windows?

Paint windowsThe topic of how to paint wooden windows is a large one. The way that your windows look can create an entirely new look for your household, and you must learn the differences between different types of windows before you begin to apply paint. Once you understand your window, then you will be ready to paint. Follow the instructions below to make sure that you end up with a great looking structure that will last you for many years.

The Different Types of Windows

  • Wooden Casement Windows – These are the most common types of windows in residential housing today. Casement is a mix of the opening casements and glass panes that are fixed. If you have a side hinged casement, then you will need slightly more paint than a top hinged casement. These windows are great for letting in fresh air without opening the window all of the way.
  • Wooden Pivot Windows – Pivot windows are almost casement windows except for their midpoint hinge on each side. This allows the sash to pivot around the central point of the window.
  • Louvre Windows – These windows are usually found in bathrooms and kitchens. They are known by their horizontal strips of glass that are guided on metal clips throughout the frame. This can affect the way that you paint the window.
  • Bay Windows – The room extends outward into the bay of an external wall of the house. The window is actually bigger, but there is less surface area to paint.

There are many other types of windows, but these are the main types. For details in how to paint each of these types of windows, you should look to the architecture of the house and the advice of the installation company as to the surface area that will actually be showing after installation.

The Maintenance of Wooden Windows

If you want to know how to paint wooden windows, you must first understand that wooden windows in general require more maintenance than plastic, steel or aluminum windows. Softwood windows will require a more expensive paint in order to protect the cheaper and less durable finish. If at all possible, you should make sure that your wooden windows have been treated with preservative if they are softwood. Hardwood windows are much easier to paint.

Make sure that you properly maintain your windows so that they will be ready to paint when you are ready to change their appearance.

Preparing to Paint Your Windows

First of all, you will need to strip back your old paint in preparation for the new coats. You should also fill in the holes in the wood before you begin to paint. You should also take stock of the grain patterns, most of which will run in different directions. The paint job that you will need to employ must take account of the direction of the grain, according to This Old House.

If you are planning on using an oil based paint, then you should make sure to leave extra time for that window to dry out. You may be able to achieve the same aesthetic effect by using a paint that is based in water instead of in oil. Water based paint dries much more quickly. It is also safer for children and pets in the house. Water based paint gives off less fumes and odors.

  • Cut a temporary wire stay out of an old coat hanger. Cut it to the length that fits in the window after you have bent the ends of the wire stay into a small loop.
  • Take the catches as well as the stays out of the window frame before you begin to paint. Sand the holes in the wood smooth after you have put wood filler in them.
  • Sand over the old paintwork with medium grade abrasion paper.
  • Use a brush to move away any debris. Make sure that you pay special attention to the corners.
  • Fit masking tape around each pane of glass, setting the tape 2 mm in from the frame. The paint should overlap slightly into the glass with this setup.

Painting the Window

  • Use an undercoat and primer combined in order to paint the frame. If you have a window with glazing bars, then use a cutting in brush.
  • Use the same sequence to place the top coat over the first coat. Check periodically to see that there are no runs of paint, especially in the corners and on the edges.
  • The last thing that you should paint is the sill. Take off the masking tape when the top coat is dry. Remove the wire stays when the paint is completely dry.

This is how to paint wooden windows of all types. There are nuances that apply to each type of window; however, there are underlying principles that must be applied to all windows. Keep the tips above in mind when you are trying to paint your window.

Related Resource: Retrofit a Window