Window-Painting Tutorial

Think you're ready to tackle painting those windows? You may think so, but stop to consider that windows are a special-needs area in your home. They are subject to continual temperature changes and condensation, both of which affect the durability of any application of paint. That's why windows must be painted more often than trim, moldings, or doors, for example.

But window painting comes with some challenges. If you've never painted windows before, make good use of this step-by-step guide to get the job done right.

You'll need one each of the following:

*1 1/2" or 2" high quality paint brush with synthetic bristles (if using latex interior paint)

*Sash brush for precision work

*Painter's tape for masking


*High quality paint—make sure there's enough to get the job done.

Remove Hardware

Start by removing all the hardware from the window, for instance curtain hooks and locks. Use painter's tape to mask off the window panes to protect them from paint. Press the tape firmly so the paint can't work its way underneath. Then proceed according to the instructions listed for the type of window you wish to paint.

Double Hung Windows

1) Open the window sashes, top and bottom so that a 6" overlap is created. Paint across the bottom section of the top sash, and then whatever you can reach of the vertical sections. Take care not to allow paint to get between the sash and the frame. The glue-like action of the paint would cause the window to get stuck into place.

2) Change the position of the sashes, both upper and lower, to almost closed, and then finish painting the remaining part of the top sash.

3) Paint the bottom sash.

4) Allow the sashes to dry and then paint the frame.

5) Close the windows. Paint the accessible parts of the runners. Avoid getting paint on sash cords.

6) Paint the sill and the apron.

Casement Windows

1) Open the windows. Paint the edges at top, side, and bottom.

2) Paint crossbars and frame casings.

3) Finish up by painting the sill and apron.

General Tips

Use the sash brash for tight areas and corners. This should help keep the paint from getting onto the window glass. But there should be just a touch of paint overlap onto glass to help create a seal against drafts and moisture. If you do get paint specks or drips on the windowpanes, you can remove them with a razor blade. Make sure to remove the painter's tape before the paint has finished drying.