How to Paint Wood Windows

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If you are planning to paint your wood windows, there are a few things you will need to consider before you get started. First, you need to know the proper ways to condition the wood so it will accept the paint, or the finish will peel away over time. You will also need to know the proper application method, or you may end up sealing the windows shut. Finally, you should know the best way to cover and clean adjacent surfaces to encourage a professional-looking finish.

Things You'll Need

  • Pressure washer
  • Metal putty knife
  • 120-grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Heavy-duty fabric drop cloth
  • Blue painter's tape
  • 2-inch latex paintbrush
  • Latex bonding primer
  • Acrylic latex paint
  • Razor blade
  • Mineral spirits
  • Rags
  • Wash the wood windows using a pressure washer. Allow the wood to dry before continuing. Skip this step if you are painting the interior of the wood windows.

  • Scrape any peeling paint using a putty knife. Skip this step if the wood is new and unpainted.

  • Sand down any rough or splintered areas of the wood window using sandpaper. Sand with the grain. Do not sand against the grain, as this may damage the wood.

  • Wipe away dust using a tack cloth.

  • Protect flooring beneath the wood window by covering it with a fabric drop cloth.

  • Cover surfaces adjacent to the wood window with painter's tape. Do not cover the glass window with painter's tape.

  • Apply a very thin coat of latex bonding primer to the wood using a 2-inch latex paintbrush. Do not over-apply, as this may lead to runs and may also cause the window to stick shut. Try to keep as much primer off the glass as you can, but do not worry if some overlaps onto the glass.

  • Allow the primer to dry for at least two hours. Open and close the window every 30 minutes during this drying period.

  • Wash the paintbrush using water.

  • Apply two coats of latex paint to the wood window in the same manner as you did the primer in steps seven and eight. Allow two hours of dry time between coats, and be sure to open and close the window every 30 minutes during the drying period

  • Allow the finish to dry for at least four hours. Scrape any dried primer or paint from the window glass using a razor blade.

  • Dampen a rag with mineral spirits. Wipe away any remaining bits of primer or paint from the glass using the rag. Do not touch the painted wood with the rag, as this may harm the finish.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never attempt to paint over raw, unpainted wood without priming it first, or the finish will peel.
  • Do not use masking tape in place of painter's tape or you may see bleed-through.
  • Do not use ordinary rags in place of a tack cloth as this may leave behind dust that can interfere with adhesion.
  • Avoid using cheap, plastic drop cloths in place of fabric ones; paint tends to pool on these, which can often lead to messes.

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  • Photo Credit grunge cloth background image by monamakela.com from Fotolia.com
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