How to Paint Wood Windows Properly

When it comes to windows, they can have a pretty dramatic impact on the appearance of your property, both from the inside and outside. The choice is quite large and it ranges from windows in stained wooden frames to single panes of glass (large) that allow for a lot of natural light to flood indoors and many other variations in-between.

How to Paint Wood Windows Properly

Prerequisites for painting a window

Before you begin painting a window, you should carefully prepare the frame by stripping back any filling in any holes in the wood and the old paint as well.

The way windows are built means that a lot of grain patterns are inevitably going to run in different directions, so if you want to get a professional looking and even finish that has contains no unaesthetic brush marks, you should consider painting them in a way that takes account of the grain.

Keep in mind that if you’re planning on painting windows with oil based paints, you should think ahead, since these will generally take longer to dry. A solution in this case would be using water based paint since it gives off much less fumes and odor, but also dries quicker.

You can check Bob Vila’s article about paint selection here –

Helpful Advice: Use temporary wire stay

After you removed the stay, painting a window can be quite tricky, but the good news is that you can actually make a temporary stay by using stiff wire. It just needs to be cut to the right length and the ends need to be bent into a small loop that’s large enough to allow you to drive a nail through. Next, one end should be fixed to the frame by using small nails and the other to the sill.

  1. Before you start, remove the stays and catches from the window. Fill the old fixing holes with wood filler and then make sure to sand them smooth if you plan on fitting new window furniture afterwards.
  2. Consider making a temporary stay to ensure the window stays open while you paint it.
  3. Use medium grade abrasive paper to lightly sand the surface and remove the old paintwork.
  4. Debris and dust should be carefully brushed away.
  5. Fitting masking tape around each pane of glass or using a paint shield is recommended for those who don’t have a steady hand. To find out about masking tape visit –

So, how would you paint your casement window

Correct ways to paint wood windows framesA top coat and an undercoat are absolutely necessary for hard wearing finishes. Also, for moisture sealing purposes, the paint should be overcalled onto the glass by approximately two millimeters.

You can start with the transoms first and use a cutting-in brush against the glass. Next, paint the bottom and top cross rails, the vertical mullions and finally, the jambs. The next ones to be painted are the edges, the frame and finally, the sill.

Masking tape for straight paint lines

If you can’t paint in a straight line, then you should consider using masking tape or a paint shield to protect the glass. The tape should also be set back about two millimeters from the glass’ edge and before the paint has completely dried, it needs to be taken off.

  1. Make use of a combined undercoat or primer for painting the frame.
  2. When the first coat of paint has dried, apply the second one in the same exact way. Make sure there are no runs, especially at corners and edges.
  3. When the paint is touch dry, remove the masking tape. When the paint has dried completely, remove the temporary wire stays as well.

Sash window painting tips…

When painting a sash window, it’s recommended to paint the upper sash and the bottom meeting rail. Exposing it is simple and all you have to do is raise the bottom sash and then lower the upper sash.

  1. You should consider painting the upper sash’s vertical bars as far as you can. Wait for a while until the paint is touch dry and proceed with opening the upper sash, lower the bottom one and leave a small opening at the bottom and at the top.
  2. Paint the upper sash completely, move on to the bottom sash and then paint the window sill and the frame. However, don’t paint the runners until the paint is dry.
  3. A thin coat of paint should be applied to the upper section of the exterior runners and to the inner runners as well. Make sure you don’t paint on the cords though and finally, check to see if the sashes are running before the paint has dried.

I found this video clip on Youtube showing wood window painting process, it’s very short and I recommend you watch it.