What Type of Paints Do You Use for Window Painting?

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You thought all you had to do was give your windows a good clean inside and out. Alas, you've found some cracked and flaky patches on your wooden frames, and you've caught glimpses of the original surfaces on your metal frames. Get out your paintbrushes, but make certain to achieve a smart long-lasting finish by using the correct types of paint.

Priming Surfaces

  • If the purpose of painting is to smarten up window frames that have become slightly dilapidated, the first type of paint you need is a primer that provides a good key for subsequent coats to stick to. In the case of metal window frames, primer also prevents corrosion and oxidization. Lightly sand the areas being painted, and clean up all traces of dust. Apply the primer carefully using a paint guard or masking tape to prevent it from getting on the window glass.

Primer Types

  • Primers for wooden window frames come in both water-based and solven-based forms. However, in the case of metal, use the correct primer for the metal type. In "The Complete Decorating and Home Improvement Book" author Mike Lawrence reports zinc phosphate primers are used on iron and steel while aluminium requires a primer designed specifically for aluminium surfaces.

Undercoating Windows

  • Undercoat helps build up the film of paint. It dries into a flexible nonabsorbent covering of completely uniform color, which forms a good base on which to apply the paint you have chosen for your topcoats. The solid foundation of primer and undercoat helps achieve a professional looking finish on both wood and metal. Once again, apply undercoat using an appropriately sized paintbrush, and take care to keep paint off window glass as much as possible.

Top Paint

  • The application of the top paint is the exciting part of painting your windows, which is when your planned color scheme comes to fruition, and the more care you've taken over priming and undercoating, the better the final finish will be. Paint for wood and metal comes in gloss, satin and matt sheens. Apply it carefully. Two thin coats will give an overall better finish than one thick coat and will let your top paint dry thoroughly between coats. If painting window exteriors, ensure the paint you choose is suitable for outdoor use.

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  • Photo Credit paint brush 2 image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com
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