Old windows with peeling paint

How To Remove Paint From Wooden Window Frames

Wooden window frames are built to last. If you care for them well enough, they will stay strong and secure for years. So many years in fact, that there’s a chance you’ll fancy a change to the look of your house before you even begin to think about replacing them for practical reasons.

If you’re a bit bored with how your wooden windows look – if the paint is peeling or you’re desperate for a dash of a different colour on your window frames – you could always consider re-painting them before you replace them.

Cheaper and quicker than investing in replacement windows, a new paint job can completely refresh the look of your windows and even your whole house. It is important to do this job properly to maintain the lifespan of your frames. Making mistakes could leave your windows at risk of damp and a rot. A slapdash paint job could also leave them flaky, uneven, and looking far worse than when you started.

As with so much in life, proper preparation is the key to a fantastic finish. That means removing the old paint carefully and completely before you even think of cracking a can of gloss open.

There are a couple of ways to remove paint from wooden window frames, but we reckon the cheapest and easiest way is using a chemical paint stripper and a couple of readily available tools.

Simple Steps to Remove Paint From Wood

Using a wood stripper before you paint your wooden window frames is the easiest way to achieve a professional paint job when you’re refreshing your windows. It may take some time, but not much effort, and is definitely worth it in the long run. 

Follow the steps outlined below to keep the task of removing paint from your timber windows as smooth and simple as possible:

  1. Prepare the Area

Paint stripper for wood can be quite a harsh chemical. Accidental spillages could cause damage, and when it works, the flaking paint will cause an almighty mess.

So, your first step is to lay down a waterproof dust sheet or tarp underneath the window. Make sure it’s secure, and the surrounding area is completely covered. 

  1. Prepare Yourself!

Then suit yourself up. Grab some heavy duty waterproof gloves (rubber or work ones) to keep the chemical stripper away from your skin. A pair of goggles will protect your eyes, and a respirator will help keep any fumes out of your lungs.

It’s best to wear old clothes, and be prepared for the possibility of binning them after you finish.

  1. Consult Your Paint Remover Product

Most brands of paint stripper will have their own specific instructions. Application times and techniques can vary from product to product. Make sure your paint stripper is as effective as possible by familiarising yourself with the instructions for that particular product before you start. Follow the guidance closely.

  1. Apply the Paint Stripper

Use a cheap paint brush to apply a thick layer of stripper to the frame. Do it in small sections but with a heavy hand – you don’t want it dripping or running down the frame, but it will need to be a thick layer to penetrate the surface of the paint.

  1. Wait

Leave the wood stripper to soak in. This will take around 20 minutes, but will change depending on the paint remover for wood that you’re using. Check the manufacturer’s instructions, and set a timer. Leaving it on too long could damage the frame.

After the specified time, you should see signs that the paint remover is working. The paint may start to bubble, look uneven, or maybe start to flake away.

  1. Scrape the Peeling Paint Away

After the allotted time has passed, use a specific scraper tool to ease the paint off the frame. Take your time and work with care. The wood stripper should do the hard work, and you don’t want to accidentally damage the frame.  If you can work the scraper under a small section of paint, you should be able to lift it off in strips.

  1. Repeat

If there is still a lot of paint left, or you are seriously struggling to scrape it off, you can usually apply a second layer. Check the instructions for any restrictions around timings.

  1. Brush Over the Frames

When most of the paint is off, use wire wool or a wire brush to ease the paint out of any curves, creases or crevices. You can be a little more rigorous with this, but again make sure not to damage the wood.

  1. Wipe Down the Frames

Use a damp cloth to wipe down the frame and remove any residue.

  1.  Sand the Surface

Use a fine sandpaper (around 220 grit) to go over the window frame, to work out any scratches or scrapes and make sure the surface is smooth. It shouldn’t take long, and will give a far better finish to your next layer of paint, stain or varnish.

One of the joys of wooden window frames is how long they last, but sometimes a change feels necessary. A new lick of paint is an easy, quick, cost-effective way of refreshing the look of your windows without cutting their lifespan short. Make sure you take the time to do the job properly and you will get many more years out of them, while still getting the thrill of a brand new style.

If your wooden windows are past their best, we offer a fantastic range of timber replacement windows. From our top quality JELD-WEN range to classic timber sash and timber casement styles, we have something for any property. If you have any questions, get in touch to speak to one of our knowledgeable team.

Cleaning a wooden window

How to Clean Windows with Newspaper

Regular cleaning is essential if windows are to look their best. This will ensure not only that your view of the outside isn’t partially obscured by a thin veneer of grime, but that natural light can percolate through your interior to the greatest possible extent. There’s nothing more likely to liven up your living room than a healthy dose of natural light, courtesy of a set of clean glass windows!

One of the most popular ways of cleaning windows is with the help of old, scrunched up newspaper. This is among the most low-cost cleaning supplies, with many of us getting a paper through the door every week for absolutely nothing.

But what’s the best way to clean windows using old newspaper? Let’s take a look!

Using Newspaper to Clean Windows

As always, we’ll need to first assemble a few ingredients. In this case, there aren’t that many. You’ll need:

  • Newspaper (any will do)
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Washing-up liquid
  • A spray-bottle

For our purposes, we’re going to concoct a tried-and-tested home-brew cleaning solution. If you’d prefer, you can go out and buy one that’s been specially formulated (albeit at greater cost). But white vinegar is inexpensive and will break down all of the grime on your windows in moments, and thus it makes a fantastic solution for most circumstances.

First, we’re going to formulate our home cleaning solution. This can consist of a few drops of washing-up liquid, alongside a 1:3 mixture of white vinegar and water. You can experiment with the proportions for best results. Load it into a spray bottle and give it a vigorous shake before you get started.

Follow these steps to clean your windows effectively with newspaper:

  1. Apply the cleaning formula to the glass. It’s important to be cautious, here; vinegar has a habit of discolouring hardwood furniture and other surfaces, so we want to be sure that we only get it onto the glass. Apply in small patches at the middle of the window.
  2. Now, we can scrub the cleaner into the glass. Move in a small circle to begin with, so that the paper absorbs most of the cleaner. Then you can move onto larger vertical strokes from the top to the bottom of the window. Apply more cleaner as required.
  3. Using this method, clean every window as required, front and back. When you’re done, you should have a shining, transparent surface.

So, what makes newspaper so effective? Put simply, it’s rough enough to be very slightly abrasive. This makes it great at dislodging all of the tiny particles of dirt that, over the course of a week, will find their way onto the glass of your window, and it won’t leave fibres behind in the same way as toilet paper might. Of course, we might say the same about standard sheets of A4 – but newspaper is by far the more economical option!

Woman cleaning window

How to Whiten Yellowed uPVC Windows

Arguably the most popular material for modern windows is unplasticised Poly-Vinyl-Chloride, or uPVC. It’s robust, inexpensive, and lasts for years with minimal maintenance. To keep yours looking spotless, you only need give it the occasional wipe down with a damp cloth.

Over time, however, certain sorts of uPVC are prone to discolouration. Those brilliant white frames, if exposed to the elements for long enough, will turn an unsightly shade of yellow. In this article, we’ll take a look at the problem, why it happens, and see whether there’s anything to be done once your uPVC has gone yellow.

What Causes uPVC to Turn Yellow?

There are several things which can cause uPVC to turn yellow, but the likeliest culprit is exposure to UV light. You might notice that your windows aren’t so yellow in places where the sunlight is restricted (your south-facing windows, for example, might be most affected).

One of the major advantages of uPVC is that it’s recyclable, and therefore environmentally friendly. But it’s for this reason that not all uPVC windows are created equally. If your window has been made using extra plasticizing agents and pigments, then it might be more vulnerable to discolouration.

How Not to Whiten Yellowed uPVC Windows

Having identified the problem, we’re left with the question of how to make yellow uPVC white again. You might be tempted by several common cleaners, some of which are to be avoided at all costs. Two offenders in particular stand out:

Bleach might seem a sensible option for cleaning yellowed uPVC. It turns things white, doesn’t it? Why shouldn’t it do the same to your window frames?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple; bleach will react with the PVC and turn it a disastrous shade of brown. If you use it, even in diluted form, you can expect a total catastrophe that can only be fixed by replacing the entire window.

Sandpaper might also seem a sensible option. If the top layer is discoloured, then surely all we need to do is scrape it away to reveal the whiteness beneath. Again, this is a misunderstanding of how uPVC works – the topmost, glossy surface is created as the plastic is manufactured – the interior of the material is quite different. It’s dull, and won’t repel water or stains in the same way. If you sand your uPVC window, you will ruin it.

How Do You Clean Yellow uPVC Windows?

Depending on the nature of the staining, you might have some luck with more gentle cleaning solutions. Baby wipes have been known to lift away some stains, and make a good first point of call if you have access to them. Household cleaners like CiF should be regarded with some caution; be sure to check the bottle doesn’t contain any bleach.

You can also find some specially-formulated uPVC window cleaner on the market, which may restore new life to ailing windows. Even if you don’t experience stellar results, you can at least be sure that you aren’t going to do any harm!

Looking to replace your windows? Start your shop for our full range here.

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Boy cleaning window

How to Clean Sliding Windows

A sliding window is one that, rather than opening outward on a set of hinges like a casement window, is formed of glass panels which slide sideways (or up and down) atop one another.

How Do You Remove Sliding Windows for Cleaning?

Most sliding windows are built so that they can be lifted all of the way out of their tracks, for ease of cleaning. If you’re cleaning an upper-floor window, this is really useful.

In most cases, there will be one mobile panel and one fixed one. You’re going to be removing the mobile panel by sliding it along until it moves beyond the blocks (those little obstacles built into the track). Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to lift the window up, and then down and out.

Lay the window on the floor on top of a soft surface. Old towels are ideal for this. You’re going to be cleaning the glass with a mixture of white vinegar and water. Mix a couple of tablespoons in with around half a litre of water. Apply the solution with a spray bottle and then use a scrubbing brush to remove any obvious bits of dirt and grime. You can then polish the surface using scrunched-up newspaper. It’s caustic enough to achieve a smooth finish, but not so caustic that it’ll damage the glass.

How Do You Clean Sliding Windows without Removing Them?

In some cases, removing the entire window and cleaning it might be impractical. If it’s the middle of winter, for instance, you might not want to let that much cold air into your house. Thankfully, there are ways of cleaning the window that don’t involve disassembly.

Cleaning the outside of a window is probably best achieved with the help of an extendable mop and squeegee, preferably with a hose built-in. Remember to move from top to bottom to avoid unsightly drips. If you’re feeling brave, you might consider breaking out the stepladder – just be sure someone’s holding on to the bottom while you’re working.

If you’re looking for a short-term solution, you could always give the outside of your window a quick blast with a pressure-washer, or a pressurised garden hose – just be aware that this approach won’t achieve that sparkling finish.

How Do You Clean Sliding Window Tracks?

If you’ve removed the windows, you might as well take the opportunity to clear out the tracks. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to loosen any trapped debris. Once you’re done, apply some wd40. You can work it into the track by simply moving the window back and forth. This will ensure that the sliding mechanisms remain clean and protected.

leaking window

How to Find, Fix and Prevent Window Water Leaks

A leaking window can spell big trouble – whether that’s causing damp in the home or even structural problems.

However, by identifying and fixing leaks at the earliest opportunity, you can limit the damage they cause and keep your home warm and dry.

How to Find Window Leaks

You might assume that spotting a leaking window would be easy. If it rains and there’s water on the inside of the window, then you’ve got a leak – what could be simpler?

However, windows leaking water aren’t always that obvious. By being a little proactive, you can stop a small problem from becoming a very big problem – after all, most of us aren’t going to notice a few droplets of water unless we go looking for them.

That’s why it’s worth checking for leaks from time-to-time, particularly during winter. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a special heat-measuring device that emits a beep when it’s pointed at a leak.

You might find that a leak of just a few droplets is worse than it at first appears, particularly if it’s been left unnoticed for a long time. Where leaks occur inside a wall, the moisture will be quickly absorbed, so you won’t notice there’s a problem until unsightly splotches begin to appear.

The most vulnerable area of the window is the space where it meets the wall. This should be sealed to keep out moisture, but this seal can degrade over time, and must be periodically refreshed. The same applies to the rubber which holds the glazing in the frame, and the paint which seals a timber window in position.

What Causes Window Leaks?

The location of your leak will give you a fair indication of what’s caused it. A leak in the top of the window indicates a leak in the wall overhead – not the window. Windows leaking water beneath the frame, on the other hand, will probably indicate a problem with the window itself.

A lack of sealant around the edge of the window isn’t the only factor at work here. The problem can often be exacerbated by the building. If there isn’t enough overhang on the roof, then water will drip back onto the wall, gradually eroding the sealant every time it rains. If the fascia board (the bit that sits just beneath the edge of the roof) is angled toward the house rather than away from it, you’ll get the same problem.

Other issues relate to poor installation methods and materials. Windows should be sealed using window flashing rather than typical building paper. This will create a water-resistant seal that’ll protect the window. By the same token, if your windows have been poorly installed, gaps can quickly begin to appear between the frame and surrounding wall.

How Do I Fix Window Leaks?

Fixing a leaky window frame is often a simple matter of resealing the window. This means stripping away the existing sealant and applying a new layer. Sealant guns are inexpensive, and make the job as easy as pointing the nozzle into the gap and squeezing the trigger. Before the sealant has a chance to dry, spread it using a knife so that it covers the entire gap. You’ll want to check that the window is entirely sealed before you call the job done.

Occasionally however, the problem might be so severe that the window needs replacing – generally when the seal around the glazing itself has failed. While it’s possible to reseal windows damaged in this way, it’s impossible to put the argon gas back into a double-glazed window once it’s escaped. As such, it’s worth replacing your window ASAP.

Another sure sign your windows need replacing is when the leaking has spread beyond the window, and the surrounding structure of the building has been compromised.

How Can I Prevent My Windows Leaking?

No window lasts forever, so you can be fairly certain that your window will fail at some point. It’s therefore worth inspecting every window in your home once a month or so. Check that the exterior sill is angled away from the window so that water can freely drain away, rather than collecting in a puddle.

Timber windows will need more frequent attention than uPVC windows, as uPVC is resistant to water by nature. You’ll want to periodically refinish your timber windows to help keep out moisture. The same goes for the drainage channel on hung windows – these can become blocked by fallen leaves and other debris, which will prevent water from draining away from the window.

You can often prevent window leaks by paying attention to the roof overhead – especially if it’s flat. As water pools on certain sorts of plastic roof, it can cause the surface to deform until the water cannot escape. The weight of the pooling water will then create enough pressure to cause a leak.

Saying that, sloped, tiled roofs aren’t immune, either; inspect them for gaps and damaged tiles, and re-seal vulnerable areas.

When leaks do occur, it’s worth bringing in a professional to identify the exact nature of the problem. This will save you considerable time and stress in the long-term.

Is your leak so severe you need new windows? Start shopping for our casement or sliding sash windows or talk to us about our bespoke window range.

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Boy cleaning window

How to Clean uPVC Window Frames

One of the major advantages of a uPVC window frame over timber is that it’s robust and long-lasting and requires minimal maintenance. While wood is naturally porous, uPVC is slippery at a molecular level. Consequently, it doesn’t require regular treatment with sandpaper and a pot of glossy finish. What uPVC windows do require, however, is occasional cleaning. Happily, this doesn’t take long, and will make a major difference to the way the windows ultimately look.

The Wrong Way to Clean uPVC Window Frames

uPVC is inherently vulnerable to certain sorts of mistreatment. It’s therefore worth pausing to think about what we shouldn’t be doing under any circumstances.

The surface of a plastic window frame is glossy and smooth, but scratch beneath the surface and the material is really dull. You can’t put uPVC back on once you’ve rubbed it off, and as such caustic cleaning agents and harsh scrubbing brushes are to be avoided. Even paper towels can be abrasive if used repeatedly.

Bleach should never be used on uPVC window frames, as it’ll discolour them. Unless you’d like your pristine white frames to turn an unsightly shade of brown, avoid it. Even small doses will cause a chemical reaction with the glossy surface of the plastic, creating a dull matt effect that can never be undone. Cellulose thinners are another item to avoid – they melt plastic, and will ruin your window almost instantly.

The Right Way to Clean uPVC Window Frames

The right approach is a gentler one. Ordinary soap and water, applied with a sponge or a soft cloth, will be enough to shift most stains. If you’re pressed for time, you might give the sill a once-over with a wet-wipe.

Alternatively, you can use a homemade solution, or a specialist chemical solution that has been formulated just to tackle uPVC.

Natural uPVC Cleaner

If you’d rather not spend your money on washing powder and wet-wipes, then why not consider a natural alternative? By mixing one-part vinegar with one-part hot water, you’ll create an acidic solution that can be applied easily using a spray bottle. You won’t need much to get the job done, and the acids won’t react with the uPVC in the same way that bleach will – just spray on a little bit and allow the solution to lift the stains away from the plastic. This will take around ten minutes.

After 10 minutes, wipe it clean – the dirt should lift off instantly. Don’t allow the moisture to sit there, or you’ll attract mildew. Once you’re done, you should be looking at a sparkling clean uPVC window frame.

Ready to replace your windows? Shop for sliding sashcasement, or made to measure windows.

mouldy window frame

Mould on Windows: Causes and Solutions

Mould is a variety of fungus that flourishes in damp, dark environments. During winter, airborne droplets of water can come into contact with the cold, glass surface of your windows and settle. This provides mould spores with the habitat they need to flourish. This is terrible news for your windows, and it isn’t good for your health, either.

Can Mould on Windows Make You Sick?

If mould is allowed to accumulate, it will undoubtedly look pretty revolting – but does that necessarily mean it’s unhygienic, or even dangerous?

For asthmatics and those suffering from allergies, the answer is a definite yes. Mould reproduces by releasing microscopic spores into the air. If there’s enough mould on your window sill from condensation, then you’ll have a problem.

Even for those of us who aren’t affected by asthma, exposure to mould can lead to irritation of the eyes, skin, and lungs. The impact of prolonged exposure to mould is even more severe. For this reason, use a mask and gloves while you’re cleaning it up, and ensure that the area is well-ventilated. On that note, let’s look at how to clean mould off window frames and sills.

How to Get Mould off uPVC Windows

Cleaning uPVC requires a gentle approach. An abrasive cleaner can permanently (and quite easily) discolour the plastic.

Great results can be achieved with a combination of water and vinegar, at a ratio of around 4:1. Load the solution into a spray can and douse the affected area before wiping dry. The acids present in the vinegar will break apart the mould, allowing it to be easily scrubbed away.

How to Get Mould off Timber Windows

Now let’s look at how to remove mould from wooden window frames. Timber will react to moisture slightly differently to synthetic materials. Rather than sitting on the timber, those tiny water molecules will seep in between the fibres – which is why regularly treating your timber windows is so crucial.

You’ll want a different cleaning solution depending on whether your window is finished or unfinished. In the latter case, vinegar, baking soda, or a mixture of household detergent and water will do the trick. Unfinished wood might require a more caustic solution, since the mould may have penetrated into the grain. Rubbing alcohol is usually a good place to start.

How to Get Mould off Aluminium Windows

Since aluminium conducts heat better than timber or uPVC, it will get colder. This means more condensation, and consequently, more mould. However unlike uPVC, you can safely clean aluminium windows with bleach.

It’s easy to remove mould from aluminium window frames using a combination of bleach and water, at a ratio of around 1:10. Spray onto the affected area and wait for the bleach to break apart the mould before rinsing. When you’re done, dry the window quickly to prevent the mould from returning.

Ready to replace your windows? Shop for sliding sash, casement, or made to measure windows.

Woman cleaning window

How to Refresh uPVC Window Frames

Are your windows starting to look a little tired? If so, it might be time to replace them. On the other hand, they might just need a little care and attention. The right maintenance can make an old window look as good as new –especially in the case of uPVC windows, which typically have white frames that can be a magnet for grime and dirt.

Let’s take a look at how to clean your windows, and remove stains from white uPVC. When you’re done, they’ll look as good as new.

Cleaning a uPVC window frame

One of the biggest disadvantages of uPVC is that it’s delicate and easily discoloured. Once that white has faded away, it’s often impossible to restore its previous glory.

Cleaning uPVC window sills and frames therefore requires a gentle solution.

  1. Don’t use anything too caustic; opt instead for a combination of one part vinegar and two parts water, administered using a spray bottle.
  2. Cover the plastic in the solution and allow it to break apart the grime.
  3. Rub the surface gently with a soft scrubbing brush.
  4. When you’re done, you can wipe away any lingering dirt before it has a chance to dry again.

In some cases, you’ll find rust stains on your window frames. On uPVC windows these will look like chalky-white patches. To get rid of them, you can use another DIY formula comprising one part detergent and two parts household cleaning powder.

  1. Add just enough water for the powder to dissolve, and a dash of bleach.
  2. Apply using a spray-on bottle as we’ve described above, but be sure to wear rubber gloves, and work in a well-ventilated area. There’s an easy way of ensuring this – leave the window open!

If the glass itself is looking a little dirty, then give it a clean while you’re cleaning the uPVC. We’ve covered the subject in detail in our guide on how to clean windows.

What about painting uPVC windows?

uPVC window frames are not designed to be painted, and doing so may void the manufacturer’s warranty. That said, if it’s a choice between painting and replacing them, applying a lick of paint might be worth a try. Just be sure to select the right type – polyurethane enamel paint that’s rated for vinyl surfaces.

How to paint uPVC window frames

  1. Thoroughly clean the frame.
  2. Cover the glass with masking tape.
  3. Apply a coat of primer, and wait at least 6 hours for it to dry fully.
  4. Apply two coats of paint, allowing each to dry completely, and scour off any that might have found its way onto the glass using a razor blade.

If you’ve done everything right, you’ll have extended the lifespan of your window a little. That said, if your windows are in dire need of a refresh, it might be time to start thinking about fitting new windows.

Timber windows

How Often Should You Paint Timber Windows?

When it comes to windows, timber is a practical choice that looks stunning, too – provided that it’s given the right finish.  This finish might consist either of a transparent coat of oil or wax that’ll seep between the fibres of the wood and ensure that moisture can’t penetrate or cause rot.  On the other hand, it might consist of an opaque layer of paint that’ll do much the same thing while at the same time changing the colour of the frame itself.

In order to get the best from your wooden window frame, you’ll need to ensure that the finish is periodically refreshed.

When should I paint timber windows?

When painting your timber window, you’ll need to first do a little bit of prep.  This might mean sanding down the existing surface, and giving it a gentle (but thorough) wash.  Of course, between the time you wash the wood and apply the first coat of paint, you’ll need to allow the surface to dry – once you paint the wood, you’ll trap any moisture inside, where it can do damage.

As a rule, then, it’s best to paint exterior windows on hot, dry days where this drying can occur naturally and quickly – and so summer is often the best bet.

What paint should I use on timber windows?

Your choice of paint will depend largely on the style of the surrounding building.  White is a classic choice.  One considerable advantage of brightly-coloured windows like this is that you’ll be able to easily see when it’s time to break out the paintbrush again.

After you’re done painting, you might wish to apply a protective coat of varnish.  This’ll protect the paint from minor nicks and scratches.  Varnishes are available in various levels of glossiness, and you’ll be able to apply several coats to achieve a more enduring finish.

How often should I paint timber windows?

The lifespan of a coat of paint will depend on the stress that a window is expected to absorb.  If it’s in constant sunlight, and exposed to lashing winds and rain, then we can expect it to deteriorate more quickly.  Your best bet might be to keep a photographic record of what the window is supposed to look like, which you’ll be able to refer to later, when you suspect it might be time to apply another coat.

As we’ve seen, many factors can influence how often a timber window requires repainting.  In general, it’s best to check the frames closely once a year – make a note in your diary and find five minutes to do it at the same time each year.  You might find that some windows will demand a fresh coat every few years, while others can last for almost a decade without the need for attention.

Looking for new windows for your home? Browse our sliding sash or conservation windows or find out about our handmade bespoke windows. If you have any questions, contact our friendly team.

Windows with external shutters

How to Paint a Sash Window (without it sticking)

While sash windows offer a particular look and feel (to the point that they’re an almost indispensable feature of period properties), traditional wooden sash windows can be somewhat tricky to maintain.  One particular problem arises when you come to paint them – do it wrong, and you’ll end up painting over the edges of the window and sealing it shut. Learn how to do it properly in our simple guide to painting sash windows.

What if my sash window is stuck?

If your sash window is stuck with paint, don’t panic – there’s an easy fix.  All you need is a blade that’s thin enough to slice through the paint without interfering with the surrounding wood.  A Stanley knife is an obvious candidate.

Run the knife slowly along the edge of the frame.  If the paint proves too resilient, then your next step should be to use a steel scraper, and failing that, a hammer and chisel.  You might find that any resistance offered by the window will vanish quickly, so don’t be tempted to risk damaging the window with too much force.

How to paint a sash window

Of course, it’s better to avoid the problem in the first place than have to fix it.  By taking a little bit more care the next time you paint your window, you’ll be able to avoid having to break out the Stanley knife.  Let’s run through how to paint sash windows so they don’t stick.

1.      Remove the ironmongery

First, you’ll want to get rid of the ironmongery on your window.  You’ll also want to clean up the existing layers of paint. If you don’t they’ll build up each time you paint the window, and eventually, the window will get stuck with paint.

To do this, simply sand down the wood and thoroughly clean up any dust you leave behind (since you really don’t want to paint over the top of it).

2.      Paint the mullions

You’ll need to reverse the sashes in order to access every part of the window.  The sash you’ve pushed to the top should be painted first, from the mullions (the elements that divide the window – as seen in the photo) outwards.

sash window with mullions

Paint one side and then the other, building up coats for a smooth finish.  Repeat the procedure on the lower sash.

3.      Paint the frames

Next, return to the topmost sash and paint the frame, along with the rebate into which the topmost sash will slot.  Push the sash upwards but not so far that the painted surfaces meet (this is where sticks can develop).  You’re almost done!

4.      Paint the remainder of the window

Lastly, you can paint the casing and cill. You can then use a window-scraper to clean up any splatters you might have left on the windows.

Looking for new windows for your home? Browse our sliding sash or conservation windows or find out about our handmade bespoke windows.