How To Decorate Sash Windows
Sash Window Decoration can look awkward and daunting on first inspection. As with all jobs the key is to break the job down into more manageable segments. The method used by most preffesionals is mask up glass,scrape paint and sand, primer,light sand, filling, light sand, primer any filling, undercoat, final rub down, a second undercoat, gloss, masking tape removal and glass cleaning. Lets look at each individual job in more detail:
Masking the glass is not actually required although most novices would mask up given three coats of paint without needing to be accurate will be a great deal quicker. It’s worth buying a good quality masking tape that can be left on glass for a good period of time as the longer the tape if left the more fully cured the gloss will be and naturally the cleaner the edge when removed.The most important reason to mask glass is always overlooked. When sanding putty it’s very easy to just catch the glass. This will create scratches to the edges of glass. I have replaced thousands of panes of scratched glass as a result of poor and thoughtless sanding. It is very important to carry out each segment of the job correctly as it will make the next component easier. This will give you far more confidence as a result.
Removal of any loose and flaking paint is an absolute must. If you are to decorate well and want five years of life from your decoration it’s important your paint applied has a good surface to bond to. Once you have scraped paint and removed any loose debris it is now time to grab a course to medium grit paper and give the windows a good solid rub down. Again be carefull not to damage glass in this process.
Once the sashes have been rubbed down nicely your next stage is to dust the sashes down nicely and clean up. This is very important for several reasons. The first is working in a clean environment will result in a better finish on the sashes. The second and most important reason is dusting your sashes down nicely will allow the primer your about to apply to bond well to the bare timber. It’s important the priming is only applied to exposed timber as any further priming will not help at all. The sole purpose of the primer is to seal exposed timber.
Now the primer has set you will turn your attention to blemishes in the windows which are not aesthetically pleasing. You may spend as much time at this stage as you like. It is worth remembering your sash windows are likely to be over a hundred years old and some blemishes will almost add to the finish. If you were looking for a new window and finish you would not of bought a period property with character in the first place! Once filler is fully cured sand flush to timber.
Prime any filling to seal this into the window. It’s a usefull step which will help to increase the lifespan of this decoration. Now set you are ready to apply your first undercoat. At this stage it’s important to undercoat the lower sash joints, sill and surround methodically. Afterall this is the most vulnerable point of the window so take care to cover well as it will ultimately mean getting the paint brushes out for these windows may not be required for an extra summer or two. Once the undrecoat has set rub back with a medium to light grit and paper and apply another undercoat. You do not require a second undercoat but well worth the effort.
You are now ready to rub back lightly and apply that gloss which will bring the windows to life. You may want a satin finish and that’s fine – it will be applied in exactly the same way. Be carefull to apply gloss thinly and even. Take care in making sure brush strokes are even and in the same direction to improve the overall look and finish.
Preferably leave your masking tape removal and glass cleaning for a couple of days after application of gloss to allow paint to fully cure. It will mean you are much less likely to pull the gloss with the tape as it’s removed. It would be very annoying to have to cut in after spending time methodically masking up all glass. Use a glass scraper to clean paint off glass which are available in major DIY outlets.
Now stand back and admire your beautifull sash windows!