How to paint windows – give your frames a fresh new look

  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • Up your home's kerb appeal while the weather’s still warm enough to work outside, and you'll enjoy the results all year

    Forgive us the old cliché, but they do say that windows are the eyes of the house. And as we all know, tired eyes are far from ideal.

    So before the winter weather sets in, get out there and spend a few hours giving your window frames a fresh lick of paint. It’s one of the simplest, most effective and affordable exterior makeovers you can do, so well worth your time.

    Keep them sparkling: Top tips for cleaning windows

    How to paint windows – the tools you’ll need


    Image credit: Dulux

    • Masking tape or masking pen
    • Flexible wood filler
    • Sandpaper
    • Primer or undercoat
    • Exterior wood paint
    • Cutting-in brush
    • Small or medium paintbrush

    1. Clean the frame

    Make sure the frame is clean and dry – give it a good going over with a hand brush to get rid of dust and cobwebs, etc.

    2. Smooth it over

    Fill any cracks or holes with flexible wood filler, such as Wilko’s Knot a Problem. Sand gently, going with the grain of the wood, then remove the dust produced.

    Buy now: Knot a Problem wood filler, £2.10 for 330g, Wilko

    3. Mask the glass

    Mask around the window to make sure the glass stays paint-free as you work, leaving a 2mm gap, so you overlap onto the glass to seal out water. If you find it easier, use a masking pen, which leaves a layer of wax on the glass. When the paint is dry, you simply remove it with a scraper.

    4. Prime the surface

    Apply a coat of primer or undercoat to the frame and sill. If you’re going to be using standard gloss or satin, make sure your primer is weatherproof for a longer-lasting finish.

    Another job worth doing: How to install interior doors

    5. Leave it to dry

    The time this takes will depend on the paint and the weather conditions. Avoid painting in hot sun as the paint will start drying and become sticky as you’re brushing it on.

    6. Paint smart

    Stir your chosen colour thoroughly and apply with a brush, not a mini roller, pressing it into corners. For the best results, start with the transoms (against the glass) with an angled cutting-in brush, then swap to a small-to-medium brush to do the top and bottom horizontals, then the verticals and, finally, the sill.

    If you are using more than one tin of paint, make sure the batch numbers are the same to avoid any variation in colour.

    7. Dry and repeat

    Allow to dry completely and apply at least one more coat. When you do your final coat, make sure your brushstrokes go in one direction for a neater finish. Remove the masking tape before the final coat is dry, to prevent your water-sealing border being lifted off with it. Or remove with wax and a scraper after it’s dry.

    All the latest from Ideal Home