“Open Season” for Window Painting
To every thing there is a season, and right now, it’s “open season” for window painting — the best time to paint the windows inside your home.
Whether your windows are double-hung or of the casement variety, it’s impossible to properly paint them without having them open at least part of the time – not something you’d want when the weather is cold. So, seize the moment: Choose a mild day and have at it now!
Not planning to paint your windows? Have you given them a close look? Of all the areas inside the home, windows suffer the most stress. Not only are they more exposed to temperature changes and condensation, but they also suffer wear and tear from frequent opening and closing. And who hasn’t used their windowsills as handy ledges for plants, drinks, and other items that can mar the surface?
Because of all this stress, windows often need to be repainted more frequently than walls and other woodwork. If the time is right to paint your windows, here’s step-by-step advice on how to proceed.
Start by simplifying the project: Before picking up a paintbrush, remove the curtains, curtain hooks, locks, and any other hardware on or around the windows. Then thoroughly clean every part of the window you’ll be painting.
When you’re ready to paint, be sure to follow the right sequence, which is different for different types of windows.
For double-hung windows (the ones that slide up and down), follow this procedure:
- Raise the bottom sash and lower the top sash most of the way so there is a 6-inch overlap. Paint the bottom horizontal section of the top sash, then the accessible vertical members.
- Nearly close the upper and lower sashes; then finish painting the rest of the top sash.
- Paint the entire bottom sash.
- After allowing the sashes to dry, paint the window frame.
- Close the windows and paint the exposed parts of the runners. If your windows have sash cords, avoid getting paint on them so they’ll continue to function smoothly.
- Finish by painting the windowsill and apron.
For casement windows (the kind that swing out or in), the procedure is even simpler, involving just three steps:
- Open the window and paint the top, side, and bottom edges.
- Paint the crossbars and frame casings.
- Complete the job by painting the sill and apron.
After your paint has dried, check to make sure that it won’t impede the proper functioning of the window. If any paint has seeped into a seam that needs to be open (between the sash and frame, for example), run a razor blade through the dry paint to free things up (simply forcing the window open could pull the paint right off of the surface).
That’s how to paint your windows, but what’s most important is using the right type of paint, which for almost every window project, is a top quality 100% acrylic latex paint in either a semi-gloss or high gloss finish.
Top quality acrylic paints adhere well to virtually any window material, whether it is wood, aluminum, or vinyl. And, since these paints are more flexible that other coatings, they’ll continue to adhere even when subjected to wide temperature swings and frequent movement.
As for the sheen level, always use semi-gloss or gloss finish when painting windows. Top quality paints that are glossier are even tougher, more durable, more stain-resistant, and easier to clean when soiled.
So, if you’re game for some window painting this year, don’t miss the open season. And to get long-lasting results, be sure to target some top quality 100% acrylic paint.