How to Paint Windows
The article is designed to provide you with a detailed step by step guide on how to paint windows.
Cracking paint on a window frame can be an unsightly part of your home and can leave your window frames prone to damage. You should first examine the window to make sure there isn’t damage and that a fresh paint coat can restore it.
Painting the trim around your windows is no small task but it is one that you can do easily by yourself. When painted properly, you can go years without having to repaint your windows. Make sure to start early in the day so your windows are dry and ready for use at night.
When painting a window you wont need to invest in many tools and accessories. You will need the following;
- Masking tape
- Paint of your choice, oil or water-based.
- Paint primer
- Putty knife/scraper
Additionally, you may need the following tools and accessories for your project:
- A sturdy ladder that is safety approved and appropriate for the job
- A place to place your windows when painting
- Straight-edged razor blades
Painting the Windows
Step One: Clear the Work Area and Prep the Windows
- Clean and Scrape Before Painting – It can feel like a waste of time scraping off old paint, but this step is critical to ensure your new coat of paint goes on smooth.
- Remove All the Hardware – Remove any latches and handles from your windows to ensure a neat-looking paint job.
- Sand the Surfaces You’re Going to Paint – You will want to create a smooth surface to help the primer and paint adhere better. Make sure to remove any dust from the window before painting. Be careful when sanding to avoid scratching the glass.
- Mask the Glass – Make sure to use a masking tape that has an edge-seal technology to avoid paint getting underneath the tape. Make sure to place masking tape on the window tracks to avoid painting these parts.
- Clear the Work Area – It is important to have everything you need in one location to make your job easier. Make sure your room has plenty of ventilation to avoid paint fumes from circulating within.
Step Two: Painting the Windows
There are still several steps you will need to follow before you begin to paint your windows to ensure your paint will last longer.
- Repair Damaged Caulking – To prevent air leakage apply new caulk to the exposed seams to protect your home from the outside elements.
- Prime Your Windows – Use a fast-drying primer in a neutral color to ensure a solid protective coating on your windows. Make sure to work the primer into the edges around the glass.
- Apply the First Coat – Once your primer is dry, using an angled brush apply the first coat of paint. Start out by painting the windows at the top, inner most part and work your way out. Apply a liberal coat and immediately brush it out smooth. Once the first coat of paint is dry, lightly sand the paint with a finer sandpaper and then wipe away the dust.
- Second Coat – Once your first coat is dried and sanded, apply the finishing coat. Using the same techniques from the step above, apply paint liberally to avoid any cracking. Paint over any new caulk you may have applied to give your windows another layer to prevent moisture from penetrating. Once this layer has dried remove any masking tape from your windows to check for paint left on the glass. If there is any paint on the glass, wait for it to dry, then wet the surface to avoid scratching the glass and remove with a window scraper.
What Type of Paint Should I Use?
Depending on if your window is an interior or exterior window there are two different types of paint that will give you the professional look you desire.
An oil-based paint is great for your windows as it will give you a hard finish. The downside to oil paint is that it can be prone to yellowing if it is used on exterior windows. If used on an indoor window an oil-based paint will last for a long time. Because oil-based paints have the hard-shell texture it will give your windows a brush mark free paint job if done properly. Since oil-based paint requires petroleum-based solvents it is defiantly harder to clean than water-based paint.
Water-based paint is the more common choice for windows because it will maintain the sheen much longer than an oil-based paint. Brush marks are also minimized with water-based paint. Clean-up is also easier compared to oil-based paint and can be done with just soap and water.
Common Painting Problems and How to Fix Them
Below are some of the common problems you may experience when painting your windows and how to fix them.
- Cracking, Clumping, Flaking and Peeling – Paint can crack when the surface was insufficiently prepped. Applying your paint too thin can also lead to your paint cracking. On the other hand, if you apply your paint too thick it can lead to a clumpy look. Cracks can also appear if you don’t allow adequate time for your windows to dry between coats of paint. Finally, over time paint will naturally become brittle causing it to crack and flake.
- How to Repair and Prevent – If the damage is extensive you may need to re-sand your entire window and start your project over to avoid running into the problem again. If the damage isn’t extensive, then begin by removing all of the cracked or flaking paint with a scraper, wire brush or a heat gun. Once you have removed any bad paint follow the steps above to re-apply a new coat of paint.
Painting Your Windows Doesn’t Have to Be Hard
Painting your windows can not only add to your homes curb appeal but it can also increase the lifespan of your windows. Remember, before deciding to paint your windows, make sure to seek the help of a window professional near you if you have any further concerns.