November 29, 2015

A Guide to Decorating Sash Windows

Sash Windows are delicate, classic features of period properties across the UK and homeowners lucky enough to have them are always extremely careful when looking to decorate them. If you paint your sash windows then you risk the sashes sticking together in the frame.

There are specific orders you should look to paint and decorate your sash windows to prevent sticking. Here’s a guide you can use to decorate your sash windows without the anxiety of causing any damage to this cherished period feature…

Step 1

It’s important to remove handles and locks from the window frame before painting as you don’t want to be navigating around these attachments. The windows need to be properly prepared before you start any paint job, with the tight fixtures of sash windows capable of becoming even tighter the more paint you apply.

For this reason alone, it is important to strip back the paint on sash windows and start again. Decide whether or not your sash windows fit too tightly together and recollect whether you have applied numerous layers of paint in the past.

Step 2

You will need to reverse the sash to reach every corner of the sash window when painting, so lift the bottom sash as high as possible and pull the top sash down. We recommend that you ignore any paint that accidentally brushes the glass, with masking tape causing more problems than it solves.

After sanding down, make sure any loose dust is removed and use a vacuum cleaner so that you’re sure of this. The order in which you paint your sash windows comes down to common sense, with the primary goal being to avoid getting your arms and elbows anywhere near freshly painted wood.

Step 3

The bottom sash that you have pushed up to the top will be your first paint job, with the mullions coming first. These hold the individual panes together and are found within the frame. Again, don’t worry about getting some paint on the glass but try and paint as carefully and as gradually as you can. Start from the left hand side if you are right handed as if you were writing on a page.

If the job is proving to be quite time consuming, paint one side of all the mullions first then go back to the other sides and finally the front. This also helps for a really smooth finish as leaving the mullions for too long can result in the paint getting sticky.

Step 4

The lowered sash requires the same paint job but it’s not easy to reach all the mullions on the lower sash, so only paint the ones you can actually reach. Use the same method that you used for the bottom sash that is currently at the top.

Now paint the frame of the lower sash which you have previously pushed to the top. Now push the top sash back up but not all the way, stopping short of the painted surfaces. Once this is done, you can paint the remaining mullions and frame faces, with anything you could not previously reach now being accessible.

Sash windows that have been painted may still leave you with draught issues due to gaps in the frames. All you need to do to deal with this problem is wait for the paint to dry before installing a sealant that leaves you with a combination of beautifully painted and draught-free sash windows.

Article provided by Sash Windows, a company based in South East England with over 20 years experience in the installation, repair, replacement and renovation of sash windows.