Can I paint windows myself

CaseStudy22November 2, 2011

I have knotty pine, dark stained, double hung windows. I am fairly confident stripping wallpaper and painting walls but have never tackled trim.

I'm going to paint the walls in F&B modern emulsion (I think) and am planning on F&B eggshell for the trim.

My painter (she is great and her crew painted the exterior beautifully) wants $150 per window. I have 20+ windows in the house. Skilled painters earn their money but honestly, it doesn't seem like rocket science. Is there any reason why I can't take my time and sand lightly, prime (oil?) and then paint them myself with good results?

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graywings123

I'm doing it now, including reglazing and replacing the ropes on the sash weights. And I had no clue how to do this before moving into my house 2.5 years ago. There are lots of threads on the Old House forum on refurbishing windows.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:05PM
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CaseStudy22

Really -? Several of my sashes are broken (meaning if I don't hold the top up it will fall down).

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 6:15PM
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graywings123

When the sash falls down, is there a pulley in the window frame? If so, you can fix that pretty easily with rope and sash weights.

There is a book called Working Windows that is the bible for window repairs.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 8:46PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Send me a picture of your window and I'll lay out a plan for you.

As for falling sashes, is the window a cord and weight system, pulley and spring, or recoil?

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 9:08AM
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tuesday_2008

I don't know anything about the working mechanisms (sashes, cords, and weight systems) but I do know how to paint windows :). So YES YOU CAN!

All the windows in my house are wood, inside and out, no "vinyl clad". The insides were unstained, polyurethaned, ugly, orange/brown looking and the outsides were painted a creamy beige to match other trim. But they all worked great.

I completely replaced ALL ugly, cheap stained woodwork and hollow core doors in my house and painted white. I started out convincing myself that the windows would look JUST FINE stained. NO WAY. They looked like dark holes in the wall after all my pretty, fresh white trim and doors everywhere else.

I cleaned the wood well with hot soapy water, then I lightly sanded the poly sheen off them, cleaned them again to remove any sanding powder. Taped the glass off next; primed with Zinsser 123 primer (that stuff is great for glossy, dark surfaces), then painted two coats with the same Valspar semi-gloss paint that I had used on my other trim and doors.

Love my "new" white widows.

Tuesday

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 10:01AM
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CaseStudy22

Tuesday, *thank you* I'm going to copy your advice on the painting. I have pretty much convinced myself to give it a try.

Graywings, I will look for that book. Carpentry is not really my thing but I emailed window repair people locally and they only seem to want to work on historic houses (mine isn't). I also have some casement windows that really need help, I can barely close a couple of them and the weather stripping is shot.

Brushworks, can I email you a photo through here? I am pretty sure there is no pulley/weight mechanism. This house is only 25 years old, the faulty windows are "Weathershield" brand double hung.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 11:59AM
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CaseStudy22

Oh and brushworks...my downstairs larger windows are Pella replacement windows, they have a tilt-in latch so you could put blinds inside them (I didn't but that was the only style that came in a cottage window, ie., larger on the bottom than the top). So there will be like 15 steps to painting them I think.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 12:03PM
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FroofyCat

yes you can paint them yourself!!

Are you neat and can you cut into edges very steadily? I'd strongly recommend AGAINST slopping the paint on the glass and trying to scrape it off later with a razor.

Just do it carefully and neatly the first time.

I'm not a fan of the Blue tape either, but it would probably work well on glass since it's easy to clean any residue off glass but if the tape messes up your painted walls it's worse than if you just painted carefully without paint in the first place.

I painted over windows that were done in brown paint and I used 2 coats of the zinsser 123 primer and once coat of BM Decorator's White semi gloss. They look flawless.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 12:35PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

Case Study, Weathershield uses a vinyl compression jamp liner in their newer windows. (less than 10 yrs old).

Just email me the pics.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 1:09PM
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CaseStudy22

These are original windows from 1986 so like 25 years old. Pix to come brushworks, many thanks.

On the primer, I take it from everybody that for this project it's okay to ignore F&B's demand to use their "undercoat" and just go with the Zinsser 123. I'll use the F&B primer on the walls though.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2011 at 1:38PM
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PRO
Christopher Nelson Wallcovering and Painting

On the primer, I take it from everybody that for this project it's okay to ignore F&B's demand to use their "undercoat" and just go with the Zinsser 123. I'll use the F&B primer on the walls though.

You do not need the extremely over priced primer for anything. The 123 will work just as well on the walls.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 6:49AM
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Brushworks Spectacular Finishes

The reason F&B encourages the use of their under body enamel is to guarantee the enamel holdout of their product. In other words, so that the sheen of the paint isn't absorbed by the primer. Avoid cheap primer.

123Plus has excellent enamel holdout.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 10:28AM
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CaseStudy22

brushworks just emailed you some photos. They make me realize how badly these windows need care.

I have used Zinsser primer in the past and liked it a lot so I am excited if I can use it on both the walls and windows.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2011 at 1:17PM
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