How to Paint Your Windows

July 28, 2015

Beginners' guide to painting windows

Freshly painted windows can breathe new life into your home's exterior. With the right combination of patience and planning, there's no reason this can't be a DIY task.

How to Paint Your Windows

Start painting windows early in the day, so that they dry before you close them at night. Protect the glass with masking tape, or use a masking shield. Proceed as follows, depending on which type of window you have.

Casement windows

These should be painted when open, and in the following order: 

  1. Crossbars and transoms. Painting horizontal bars first then vertical ones.
  2. Top and bottom rails, including any rebates that fit around frame.
  3. Hanging stile, the vertical to which the hinges are attached.
  4.  Meeting stile, the other vertical, to which the handle is attached.
  5. Window frame. If the inside and outside are painted in different colours or finishes, paint anything visible from inside, when the window is open, in the internal colour and vice versa.

Sash windows

These should be opened so that the bottom window is as high as it will go, and the top window as low as it will go. Paint in the following order then reverse the sashes and paint the bits of each window that you couldn't reach on the first pass.

  1. Meeting rail, the bottom horizontal of the top window.
  2. Vertical bars as far as you can reach.
  3. Bottom of the frame, where the inner sash sits when closed, and a very thin coat on the sides or runners.
  4. Bottom horizontal rail of the inner window, including the underside. Swap the position of the sashes at this point, then paint.
  5. Top horizontal of the inner window then vertical bars.
  6. Top horizontal of the outer window, including top edge and remainder of the vertical bars.
  7. Upper inner side of frame and runners behind the cords.
  8. The frame.
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