Clera Windows + Doors Blog

6 Tips for Painting Window Frames

Even with the best design and windows installation, exposure to the elements will cause your windows to wear down and lose their beauty over time. Luckily, you don’t have to wait until your windows look old and worn before you think about updating them.

Attractive windows can dramatically improve your home’s curb appeal. It takes a bit of time and patience, but painting exterior windows can improve their ability to withstand the elements, restore their beauty, and make them last longer.

In this article, we’ll discuss how updating your window frame with a fresh coat of paint could boost your home’s property value, as well as provide tips on how to get started—we want your windows to last as long as possible!

General Tips for Painting Windows

Despite a smaller surface area, adding a fresh coat of paint to your window frame can take a long time depending on the window shape you have and their condition.

Proper planning and preparation, choosing the right tools and paints, and using the right application techniques can give you a better-looking paint job and longer-lasting results. Here are some window painting tips to help you get started.

1. Assess Your Window Frames

Your inspection of the condition of your windows and their hardware should include the entire frame, the window trim, and the upper sash if applicable. This will help you determine whether they need fresh paint or they have to be replaced.

If they must be replaced, consider upgrading to vinyl windows. These have fantastic energy ratings and pay for themselves over time.

Before starting, buy an inexpensive DIY testing kit to check for the presence of lead in the existing paint. If you suspect that there is lead, use a chemical stripper to remove the paint. Don’t use heat guns or sandpaper, as they can spread lead particles and fumes.

2. Use Quality Tools and Supplies

The typical tools used when painting exterior window frames include:

  • Brush/cloth to wipe off excess paint.
  • Masking tape to protect the glass from paint.
  • Wood filler and a putty knife to fill any cracks/holes in the frame.
  • Drop sheets and gloves to reduce the post-paint cleanup
  • Fine sandpaper to improve paint adhesion.
  • Use a 2-2.5-inch-wide nylon or polyester brush

If you have vinyl window frames, consult your manufacturer before choosing a paint. Manufacturers all use their own processes and chemicals, and these can sometimes prevent certain paints from bonding.

Consider lighter colours for wood windows or a wooden frame as darker colours decrease energy efficiency by absorbing heat near the sashes.

3. Choose a Good Day to Paint

Painting is physically demanding, so don’t work in direct sunlight. However, you should avoid painting too late in the day to reduce the risk of dew settling and marking the paint—you may need to be patient as you wait for a good day.

 A person painting a window frame purple while under direct sunlight

4. Prepare the Surface

First, use the putty knife to remove flaking or excess paint from the frame, any loose glazing from the panes, and any peeling caulk.

Then, use sandpaper to smooth transitions between old paint and the raw surfaces. This helps to prep the existing paint finish to improve adhesion for the new primer and paint.

Next, dust the window trim, panes, and window sash using a dry cloth, and then clean the window sill using a rag and soap solution. Using a toothbrush dipped in the solution, scrub the hinges and pane edges in their crevices.

5. Use Proper Painting Technique

Planning your approach is the key to succeeding at painting.

First, pour the paint into a bucket and stir it thoroughly. Avoid dipping the brush in the tin directly at risk of contaminating the paint. Avoid drips by tapping off excess paint against the bucket’s interior wall, but keep dipping into the paint to maintain a wet edge.

Start by painting the top edge—both the inside of the frame and window—as you move down to the hinged side of the window jamb. Allow it to dry before moving on to the other side and the lower part inside the frame.

Once done, move on to painting the edges of the window. Paint will get in the crevices of your tape and on the window glass, so use Q-Tips as you go to clean up as you go. Finish the job by painting the inside face of the window

A person painting a window sill using a short paint brush

6. Apply at Least Two Coats

When the frame is ready for painting, apply the undercoat (a.k.a the first coat of primer) to the entire frame and sill. Let the paint dry for around three to four hours before applying the second coat. When applying the final coat of paint, make sure the brush strokes go in only one direction to get a cleaner finish.

Get Full-Frame Replacement Windows at Clera

Some windows need more than a fresh coat of paint. When you start to notice that your windows are decreasing in performance as well as in aesthetics, it’s a surefire sign that they need to be replaced rather than repainted.

Clera Windows + Doors offers a wide range of replacement windows. Our team of experts will help you find the best high-quality window for your home. We also offer a lifetime warranty that ensures your investment is protected forever!

Contact us today to learn more about our products or to get a free estimate!

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