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Published on September 5, 2018 12:09 PM

Maintaining classic sash windows can be tricky at times. That is because the traditional version of this type of windows is made of wood. Which means that you need to clean and caulk them in a certain way to prevent cracks from forming over time, especially on the exterior side of the window. One of the most difficult aspects of maintaining uPVC sash windows is definitely painting them. That is because, if you fail to do it properly, you will end up sealing the window. Don’t worry that will not happen to you because we will now present you to our detailed step-by-step guide on how to successfully paint sash windows.
paint windows
There are six main steps which you will need to follow:

So, as you can see, you are just six steps away from a well-painted sash window. But since the devil is always in the details, we will need to explore this whole process a bit more thoroughly.

Remove the hardware

It will be a mistake if you start painting the window without removing ironmongery such as handles and locks. If you leave them on the frame, you will not be able to do a proper painting job and you may even leave splatters over these hardware elements which will not be aesthetically appealing.

Sand down the wood

Painting over old layers of paint is also a bad idea because, with time, the layers will build up to such an extent that the window will stop opening and closing properly. Therefore, take the time to sand down the wood. After you do that, remember to clean and remove the dust from the window. Otherwise, the surface will not be smooth when you paint it.

Choosing the right paint colour for your windows

Colour-picking strategyWhy does it work?
Test colours on a mock frame before you commit to themYou will be able to see how it looks without having to experiment with the actual window.
Consider the lightingIf the window is exposed to a lot of sunlight during the day, go with a darker shade and if it is not – pick a bright hue so that it will easily stand out.
Match the pain colour with the overall style of your homeThe paint colours of your sash windows should always compliment the colour theme/palette of your house.
View the windows from a distanceSometimes colours do not look that well when they are viewed from afar. See whether that is the case with your windows.

Paint the glazing bars

Start the painting process by focusing only on the glazing bars (mullions) first. For that, you will need to reverse the sashes so that you can easily access every single part of the window. Do the top sash first. Leave it to dry and only then continue with the bottom sash. Don’t forget to add more than one coat of paint to get a better-looking finish.

Paint the frames

Once again, start from the top sash. When painting the frames of your windows, you can also do the rebate. Avoid pushing the sash all the way up before the paint has fully dried because it will stick. Follow the same strategy with the bottom sash and then you can proceed with the next step.

Paint the rest of the window

You have done the glazing bars and the frame which means that now it is time to paint the other parts of your sash windows such as cills and casting. Leave them to fully dry before you reinstall all the hardware elements.

Remove paint splatters

If you find any splatters on the window, do not panic. You can easily remove them by using a window scraper. Just make sure you do not apply too much pressure because, by doing so, you can break or crack the glass.
painting windows

What if the windows stick?

Well, that will be a very unpleasant scenario but it will not be the end of the world because it is fixable. You will need a thin blade with which you can slice the paint without damaging the wooden elements around it. A Stanley knife (aka utility knife) should do the job. Simply run it very carefully and slowly along the frames’ edges to unstick your freshly-painted sash window. In case that does not work, you can use a steel scraper and if that fails to do the trick, you should grab a chisel and a hammer. Again, do not apply too much pressure or force because that will certainly damage your windows. Take your time with it and you will get a happy ending to your sash window painting story.

If you prefer to change your windows instead, check out the cost of replacing double glazing.

Colin Greenslade
Written by Colin Greenslade
I'm the founder of Colin's Sash Windows. I disrupted the sash windows market in the UK in 2014 by introducing fixed prices for uPVC sash windows in the UK. Before this they were generally only available at very high prices through window installers. Today our business is one of the market leaders in supply only windows, doors and roofs in the UK.

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