How to Paint Exterior Windows
Time Required: 2-4 hours
Putting a fresh coat of paint on your exterior windows in a simple way to make an instant improvement to your curb appeal.
This guide will take you through the process of stripping old paint and repainting exterior shutters and trim.
Tip: When painting window frames, look for a quality exterior trim paint. Trim paint is specially formulated to be tough and long-lasting in any weather.
- Scrub area with TSP cleaning solution and thoroughly rinse with clean water.
- Scrape off loose paint and window putty from around the edge of the window and brush clean.
- Sand smooth.
- Brush the wood you exposed with linseed oil to help the new putty stick.
- Roll new putty into a thin tube shape and press it into the bare spots.
- Pull a putty knife along it to create a flat sloping surface. Slide a damp finger along the putty in the other direction to remove any small imperfections.
- Once new putty is applied, open the window and pull the top down until it’s about 3 inches from the sill.
- Push the bottom sash up until it's about 3 inches from the top of the window frame.
- Allow to dry for as long as indicated on manufacturer’s instructions.
Tip: Don't worry about getting some paint on the glass. Just wait until it's dry, then use a single-edge razor blade to scrape off the excess.
- Prime any bare wood.
- Start with the pieces in the window grid (called muntins) if there are any.
- Then paint the horizontal pieces, followed by the vertical pieces. Following this pattern will give you a nice, neat results. Any brushstrokes running across the grain are subsequently covered by strokes running with the grain.
- Return the sashes to their normal position and paint what you were unable to reach earlier.
- Once painted, open the window slightly, leaving about a 1-inch gap at the top and bottom.
- Move the sashes a few times as the paint dries to keep them from sticking.
Note: Practice lead paint safety. If the house or surface you're painting was built before 1978, see EPA's renovation, repair and painting program for guidelines.