How Important Is Painting Sash Windows?

Although the topic is paint, this article will be more interesting than watching the very same substance dry…

The article will be particularly interesting if you enjoy things like DIY and creating or renovating sash windows.

Our sash windows in Bath are always painted to the highest standard – we wouldn’t accept anything less! Painting is essential.

Paint is an absolutely essential part of creating, renovating and restoring sash windows. You would not be able to call yourself a sash windows tradesman if you did not possess the skills of being able to paint a sash window.

This goes for the steps that lead up to painting sash windows too. Painting sash windows isn’t a case of buying a bucket of paint from Homebase at random and slapping the stuff on. You have to take steps in order to make sure your sashes and frames are ready to have the paint applied to them.

Our team does 95% of our own painting on sash windows projects. This is especially true for any of the larger or listed building projects we get involved in. The sashes are simply too valuable and require that extra bit of care. Painting sounds like a trivial part of the process but it is certainly one of the most important parts.

Occasionally, we’re happy to outsource painting if the task is extremely simple and we know that there is close to 0% chance the painting can be done wrong on our or your sashes. Generally, this will be for new sash windows that a client is not necessarily counting on (I.E. us restoring their old window for them) and if it really does go wrong, we can just create a new sash window.

Painting is something we have been carrying out on sash windows since the first day that we entered this trade, many years ago. Our skills have built up nicely, now boasting a wide range of experience painting metal and wood in all sorts of colours, conditions and situations.

The two reasons that paint are essential on sash windows

Two key reasons, which you can probably guess, are aesthetics and protection. These are virtually the only reasons that paint is required, but they are two of the most important factors in why a window exists anyway. If you think about it, windows are designed to get ventilation into your home.

They are always facing the elements and therefore they need to be strong and lasting. Having sash windows without strong paint would just mean that your wood will be wilting extremely quickly. For those of you that have really old and valuable sash windows… this would mean saying goodbye to the most valuable aspect of your window: the timber. So, paint is essential in fighting off wind, rain and snow from your precious wood.

The other key reason is aesthetics. We all want our property, be it commercial or residential, to look excellent. We want it to be valued highly and we want other people to notice how good it looks! Your windows are your gateway to the outside world. Everyone can see your windows as they approach your home. Sash windows especially standout (if new and looking excellent).

Well, they can also standout if looking beaten up and run down. Flakey and worn paint never looks good. But what does look good is solid, thick, colourful and new looking paint, smothered over your sash windows. This is a flawless look! You can use your sash windows as a chance to make your property to look even better.

Sash windows certainly hold the capacity to look excellent and paint is just like the icing on the cake. The cherry on top. Most people opt for white paint as it is neutral and basically goes with every other aspect of their property (bricks, door, garden, roof etc.) so that will probably be the colour you go for too. Feel free to tell us if you want more of a jazzy colour. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. We’ve had clients that have had light blue sash windows right the way through to deep grey sash windows! Whatever floats your boat is what we can apply to your windows.

Historical timelines

Did you know that we can chip away at old windows and tell how old your windows are? Crazy right! The process is essentially by seeing the over-coating that has happened throughout history.

Most of the time, sash window tradesman of the past have just painted over the previous layer. If you have a really old property and want to know how old your windows are: this can be done!

How do you apply paint to sash windows?!

Avoid lead paint

If you’re an avid DIY’er, please avoid lead paint. Although the government still licenses lead paint to be used, it isn’t particularly safe compared to its modern counterparts.

Probably the only time you would want to use it is if a listed building had lead paint before, using the same materials is usually the most favourable option for a listed building’s sash windows.

Evening out surfaces

If you’re going at the painting alone, a crucial step before applying any paint to your sashes or frames is one of the most important steps. You can’t just throw paint on a rust infested metal frame, or an uneven wooden frame.

Strip any of the old paint from the window and sand the timber down until the surface is even. You can even sand metal if you need to manipulate the dimensions of the window.

If you are simply painting over the windows without taking them out of the frames, make sure to get it right. You can quite easily get paint all over your cords or something like that and have a nightmare on your hands.

Have some fun!

Painting sash windows is probably one of the more satisfying and fun parts of creating or refurbishing sash windows. Have fun with it. Mix up the colours. This is the stage where you get to make a sort of worn looking piece of timber into a glimmering piece of architecture that brightens a whole property.

So yes, painting is extremely important for any sash window. This goes for aesthetics as well as the longevity of your windows.

Apply the paint to an even surface, remove rust if necessary, stay away from lead, make sure to be careful with your paint if applying to an installed window, prime your windows and will be good to go!

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