A beautifully painted window can highlight and emphasize your home’s most interesting features, Like any painted surface, your windows will need to be refinished from time to time.

Window painting can be an engaging project for homeowners. Beautifully painted windows can even increases the resale value of your home, badly painted or windows in need of painting will have the opposite effect. However, learning to paint windows right is not as easy as you might think. You can minimize rookie mistakes and paint your window like a pro by remembering the basic premise; paint from the inside out.

Painting Windows from the Inside Out:

When painting doors and windows, the general rule is paint from the inside out. A six panel door begins with the panels then proceeds to the muntins (or mullions) and rails, finishing with the stiles and finally the frame & casing. With windows, start with the sashes and work out toward the casing, sill & stools. First, remove the hardware; place it in a ziploc bag marked with the windows’ location in the room, use a separate bag for each window because although similar, they’re less identical than you’d assume.

Then prep; scrape off old paint drips, sand the surface thoroughly to provide profile for new materials, and prime bare wood and heavily sanded areas using a high quality primer, then let the primer dry overnight. Under some circumstances, where sashes stick or have too much paint build up, you may need to reduce that by sanding, scraping or planing until you get a clean operation and there is enough space between the two surfaces for a new finish coat. Next day (after primer is dry), protect the sill with a section of masking paper taped in place, this way if you drip while working the sashes you won’t create more prep for yourself by having to clean or sand the sill again.

Painting; start high; paint the upper sash beginning with the muntins and rails (note: a sash brush may be required to reach the bottom rail of the top sash), once completed continue to the lower sash.. Paint the top and bottom rails last – and only after you have arranged the sashes in their best drying position – finish the sashes and move on to the casings, then the stool and lastly, paint the sill. Allow the paint to dry overnight before applying a 2nd coat, or attempting to correct errors in the 1st coat. After the 2nd coat is dry, replace the hardware and clean up the edges.

What Not to Do in a Window Painting Project?

With any trim painting project, the first rule is don’t hurry. Take your time prepping and priming, and begin your painting in the least visible area, working toward the areas seen most. Don’t use cheap paint or cheap tools, don’t let your tools dry out inbetween coats; wrap them up in a big piece of foil or plastic wrap so they’re wet for 2nd coat but not water-logged from cleaning. Taping glass; this is optional.

If you choose to tape glass, know that paint will bleed under your tape. For best results use Frog Tape, made by Shurtape; Frogtape has an ingredient in the adhesive that blocks paint bleed under tape. 2nd option is to use regular tape and a flat razor blade to clean up the edges after the paint has dried. The third option is no tape – there is nothing wrong with this, it is how windows were painted before tape arrived on the scene, and many professionals still brush windows without taping glass.

Just remember that although you can brush windows without taping them, you cannot sand them without taping – you will scratch the glass, so be careful. Don’t close the windows too soon, the paint surfaces may ‘block’ together if not dry enough to be closed.

For a better result in your window painting project, you can ask a painting professional in the Hilltop neighborhood for help.