How Can I Dress Up My Cheap Metal Window Frames?


Whether you live in a small apartment or a sprawling house, you may have to deal with cheap metal window frames. Typically made of aluminum, these frames often show damage, including dents and rust, especially if the seal on the window isn’t strong enough. Painting the cheap metal window frame is a simple way to dress up the windows and give your living space a fresh look.

Things You'll Need

  • Two tsp. dish soap
  • One gallon warm water
  • Plastic bucket
  • Sponge
  • Dry cloths
  • Spray lubricant
  • Old toothbrush
  • Masking tape
  • Metal primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint

Mix the dish soap and warm water in a plastic bucket, making a sudsy mixture for cleaning the windows. Dip the sponge in the soapy mixture and apply to the metal window frame. Rinse away any soapy residue and then dry the window frames completely with a dry cloth.

Apply a thin coating of spray lubricant, such as WD-40, on the window frame. Rub the lubricant around the frame using an old toothbrush. Make sure the lubricant reaches any embellished spots or grooves on the frame. Wipe away all traces of the lubricant with a soft cloth.

Tear strips of masking tape off the roll and apply to the glass or plastic areas of the windows. Cover all window panes with masking tape. If the window panes are fairly large, use old newspaper and keep the newspaper attached to the window with masking tape.

Shake the metal primer can or, if using canned paint, stir the paint. Apply an even coating of the metal primer to the cheap metal frame, making sure you reach every area of the frame. Wait for the primer coat to dry completely, following the guidelines of the manufacturer.

Paint the window frames with an even coating of paint. Use interior paint if you’re working on the inside window frames and exterior paint if you’re working outside. Wait for the paint to dry and then apply a second coat, if you'd like. Remove the masking tape from the windows once the paint dries.

Tips & Warnings

  • If any paint sticks to the window frames, use a straight razor to gently scrape the paint away from the glass.

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