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Tips for painting your window frames

Adding a new splash of colour can make the world of difference to tired looking windows. It’s one way to keep them looking their best during the coming year. However, a lot of people feel that windows are relatively tricky to paint. So, how can you make sure your painting goes without a hitch? Here are some helpful pointers to get you started.

Prepare your painting space

It’s a good idea to prepare the area where you’re going to be working. Move any furniture, rugs and upholstery well out of the way. If there are any items that can’t be moved, cover them with a dust sheet. Also, make sure you put a dust sheet down on the floor. This will help to avoid getting paint splashes on your carpet.

Prepare the windows

Check that the frames are clean and dry. This may mean giving them a quick wash with some warm water. If there are any bumpy areas or uneven surfaces, you may want to lightly sand them to a smooth finish. Take your time and be thorough, as this will help you to achieve a neater paint job. Also, make sure that your windows are free from any dust or sanding residue before you begin painting. If dust is left on the surfaces, it will create bumps in your paintwork.

Use masking tape

Carefully apply masking tape to the edges of the windowpanes, where the glass meets the frame. The area you want to paint should be visible, with the glass immediately next to it covered. This will help to avoid paint accidentally getting on the glass as you work. You can also put masking tape over anything else you don’t want to get paint on. This might include the window fittings, clamps or locks.

Choose the right tools for the job

If you’re painting directly onto wooden frames, you may need to use a primer or an undercoat. You’ll also want to make sure you’ve got the right paint for your window frame material. If you’re at all unsure, just ask the people at your local DIY shop for advice.

If you are painting over a ‘gloss’ paint, it can be useful to lightly sand the frames first. This will remove the shine, helping your new paint to create a smooth finish. Also keep in mind that painting over a dark colour with a lighter one may require multiple coats.

As well as sandpaper and paint, make sure to use a good quality brush. Depending on the areas you want to paint, you may need brushes of different sizes. A smaller brush is great for fiddly or thin areas. A wider brush will work well on larger areas. Check that the brush hairs are not fraying at the ends, as this will make it trickier to paint clean lines. It’s also worth checking that the hairs don’t easily come out of the end of the brush. The last thing you want is brush hairs in your paint.

Work methodically

Prop the movable parts of your window open and paint them first. Make sure they are secure, so they don’t swing shut mid-way through painting. Then, work from the top down. This will help you to avoid accidentally touching the wet paint as you complete the remainder of the job.

There is often an overlap between the moving part of a window and the fixed frame. Painting with the window open will help you get into all those nooks and crannies. You’ll need to wait for the paint to dry before closing the windows, so it’s best to do this job on a calm, dry day.

[Photo by tookapic]