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Expert shares top tips for repainting your windows with a professional finish


By Sean Mac Anbhaird, Managing Director, Core Sash Windows

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Core Sash Windows

Although often overlooked, window frames play a big part in setting the tone of your home.


The right colour and style can highlight your house’s architectural features and provide the wow factor that accentuates your style.


However, not taking the proper steps for repainting frames will result in drips, cracks and flaking paint, making homes appear neglected which, in turn, can devalue your property.


Whether you’re hoping to refresh and repair your window frames back to their original glory or looking to embrace a brand-new colour for spring, follow my tips for achieving a professional finish…


#1 Know your materials.


All window frames can be repainted, but it’s important to stick to the rules of your frame material for a professional finish.


Wooden frames are the easiest to paint in terms of preparation and paint choice. For aluminium, vinyl, or fibreglass, however, you’ll need to follow the manufacturer’s guidance and select the correct paint designed for specific surfaces. 


#2 Keep it clean.


Before you do anything else, you first need to give your window frames a good scrub.


While this is particularly important for external window frames exposed to the elements, you shouldn’t neglect to clean your internal frames either.


Fly dirt, dust and condensation mean internal window frames can easily become grotty, which will affect the quality of the paint job.

Simply mix warm water with a few drops of washing-up liquid to wipe away grime from your windowsills. Ensure all moisture is buffed away with a microfibre cloth.


#3 Get sanding.


Once your window frames are clean, you can begin sanding. This step is vital to ensure you have a smooth surface to work on while also creating enough texture for your new paint to stick to.


For wooden frames, begin with a medium-grit sandpaper. Around 120-grit should suffice. Be sure to cover your mouth and eyes and brush away dust residue.


For aluminium or PVC frames, stick to a finer grade of sandpaper. You just need to create a rough-enough surface for the paint to stick and to prevent flaking.


#4 Tape it up.


After a few rounds of sanding, your windows are ready to be taped.


Remove all hardware where possible, like handles, and use masking tape to cover all joining areas that you don’t want to get paint on. This includes the glass of your windows.


Some people prefer to use masking liquid which is specially formed to prevent paint from staining glass. Simply paint the liquid directly onto glass and allow it to dry.


#5 Apply a primer.


Above all else, don’t neglect to use a primer. Primers create a bonding layer with paint that reduces the chance of it peeling over time. The smooth surface builds a more uniform tone that covers dark spots and allows the new paint colour to pop.


Aim to apply two coats and allow them to dry fully before starting on your first layer of paint.


#6 Paint thin layers


With your window frames prepped and chosen paint at the ready, you can now begin your first layer.


Use a paintbrush – not a roller – and work in smooth, even strokes. This will ensure even coverage and get a consistent finish without drips.


Aim to paint three thin layers until all the primer colour is covered. Thinner layers will dry quicker and more evenly, resulting in a better finish.


#7 Time your tape removal correctly.


Waiting until your window frames are fully dry before removing your masking tape is a sure way to end up with flaking paint and uneven lines.


However, you shouldn’t remove any masking materials while the paint is very wet since this can lead to paint bleeding onto undesirable areas.


Instead, you want to peel away your masking tape or liquid when it’s just slightly wet. This will result in perfect, crisp lines.

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