Painting hung sash windows: a handy how to

Painting a hung sash window can seem complex, but when the job's broken into steps it's fairly simple. Here's a handy how to.

Painting hung sash windows: a handy how to

What you will need

  • Canvas or plastic drop sheet
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket, sponge and dishwashing detergent
  • Paint scraper
  • Sanding block and fine sandpaper
  • Screwdriver
  • Masking tape or lip balm
  • Low-tack tape
  • Paint
  • Angled cutting-in brush
  • Primer (if required)
  • Stain-sealer (if required)

1. Clean and clear

  • Lay down a drop sheet, and clean the window, its frames and its trim.
  • Remove any loose paint with a scraper or fine sandpaper.
  • Take off locking hardware.
  • Apply primer to any bare timber, and stain-sealer if required.
  • To guard against drips, apply masking tape or lip balm to the glass and low-tack tape to the adjacent wall surface.

2. Paint the sashes

  • Open both sashes halfway.
  • Paint as much of the upper sash as possible, painting vertical surfaces first, then horizontal ones, and let your paint overlap the glass by 2 millimetres (1/16 inch).
  • Reverse the sash positions, and paint the lower parts of the upper sash.
  • Then paint the lower sash, again doing vertical surfaces first.

3. Do the details

  • Use exterior paint on the bottom edge of the lower sash and the top edge of the upper sash.
  • Check the sash corners and glazing bar intersections for paint build-up and drips, and gently dab any you find with a dry brush to remove them.
  • When the windows are dry to the touch, slide them up and down a few times.

4. Take on the trim

  • Paint the architraves, then the window sill and apron.
  • Paint the window linings last, if at all.
  • If you must paint your window linings, be sure to strip or sand back all the existing paint first.
  • Lower both sashes all the way so that you can paint the upper lining.
  • When the upper lining's dry, raise the sashes and paint the lower lining.

5. Give it a neat finish

  • Wipe off any lip balm and remove the masking tape and low-tack tape.
  • If there's any excess paint on the window glass, use a scraper to scrape it off.
  • After all parts of the painted window are completely dry, reinstall the window hardware.

Follow this handy how to, and you'll find painting a hung sash window easy.

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