How to Unstick Wood Windows


If you live in an old home with wooden windows, you have more than likely experienced those windows sticking from time to time. Paint on the window frame and paint on the window sash can stick together, making the windows nearly impossible to open. If you want to unstick a wood window that has become stuck, you will need to cut through the fused paint and pry the window open.

Things You'll Need

  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Block of wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Use a utility knife to score around the edges of the window. Insert the tip between the window frame and the window sash and carefully slide the knife along the entire perimeter. Be careful not to scrape paint away as you slide the knife along.

  • Push a putty knife into the edge of the window, between the frame and the sash, if the utility knife fails to open it. The problem is still likely stuck paint, but the utility knife may not be flexible enough to reach the problem area. Tap the end of the putty knife with a hammer to slide the blade deeper around the edge of the window sash all around the window.

  • Insert a pry bar to leverage the window up from the bottom if it still won't open. Drive the tip of the pry bar under the bottom of the window sash by tapping it gently with a hammer.

  • Place a block of wood on the window sill beneath the pry bar to keep the bar from damaging the window sill. Press down on the opposite end of the bar to try to pry the window upward. When the window moves a little, move the pry bar down to the opposite end of the window and pry the window up at that end as well. Keep moving the pry bar back and forth so that the window doesn't get stuck again due to misalignment.

  • Check the window's tracks for problem areas, such as paint build-up or knots in the wood. When you find the source of the problem, sand the area to remove the paint or knots, which should help to prevent further sticking.

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