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How to Maintain Timber Windows

How to care for timber windows

General Cleaning – at least twice a year

  • Use a soft cloth and water with soap or washing-up liquid
  • Remove grease from timber with washing-up liquid with little or no water then rinse with clean water
  • Do not use glass cleaner on timber frames
  • Do not use kitchen/bathroom cleaners on timber windows

Maintain your Timber Windows in less than 1 hour

How to Maintain Timber Windows

If you’re reading this it means you’re beginning to wonder how to maintain your timber windows. You’ve noticed signs of wear or you’ve recently had new wooden windows fitted and want to care for them.

We’re here to help homeowners like you maintain their timber windows and keep them in tip-top condition.

Before we start, we need to point something out:

You don’t have to be a DIY guru, so if you’re not the most DIY savvy, you’ll love the simple steps in this guide.

This is what you need to do.

Step #1 – Cleaning your timber windows

If your windows are painted follow:

  • You will often get the best results by using a scouring pad or soft brush with some washing up liquid to lift the dirt.
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with warm water, using a soft cloth to dry and remove any excess water and washing up liquid.
  • In most cases, painted timber windows are painted white, and if this is the case with yours, a diluted bleach solution can also be used to remove any stubborn stains or mould patches on your windows.

If your paintwork has seen better days, use a soft bristle brush and remove any flakes before cleaning. We recommend a new coat of paint is applied to help maintain the protection of your window.

If your windows are stained follow:

  • You can remove excess dirt with a soft bristle brush – if there is any existing dirt.
  • Clean with a dilute solution – washing up liquid and warm water should be fine – with a soft cloth to wipe away any remaining dirt, marks and grubby areas.

Bonus tip 1 – Avoid using bleach on stained windows as this can result in discolouration and can dry out the timber.
Bonus tip 2 – To protect your stained timber windows against sunlight and water damage, re-stain your wooden windows every 2-3 years depending on the colour you have chosen.

If your windows are varnished follow:

  • You can often clean varnished windows the same way as stained windows, and doing so will often yield best results.
  • You can use sandpaper to remove the top layer of varnish – reapplying as you go – if you struggled to remove stubborn stains or watermarks from the initial clean.

If your windows are Waxed or Oiled follow:

  • You can follow the same method as stained and varnished to clean your waxed or oiled timber windows.
  • We advise you re-apply the wax or oil regularly to feed the wood to help prevent weather damage. Do not use bleach however, because this can cause discolouration.

Step #2 – Removing Mould and Mildew

If your windows are painted follow:

  • You can use bleach to remove mould spots on painted wood. You will need a damp cloth, dipped in water mixed with bleach.

If your windows are stained, varnished, waxed or oiled follow:

  • We advise you to soak the mould spots in a vinegar dilute solution. You can create this by mixing four parts water with one part vinegar. Once you have soaked the mould spots, leave for 2-3 minutes, then wipe off with a damp cloth.

Bonus tip – If you notice mould developing on the inside of your window, therefore it might be worth investing in a dehumidifier.

Step #3 – Painting timber windows

Painting timber windows is a great way to protect your windows from harsh elements and can quickly transform the appearance of your home. The key to painting your wooden windows is preparation.

Before you start painting, you will need:

  1. A few small paint brushes
  2. Paint – we recommend water-based paints because they are ideal for timber and have a quicker drying time
  3. Toothbrush
  4. Sandpaper
  5. Scraper
  6. Masking tape
  7. Cloth
  8. Small plastic pot with water
  9. Screwdriver/drill
  • Clean window frames

Before you start painting your window frames, you need to clean them and remove any dirt, dust or mould. Thankfully, we have already gone through this step above.

  • Sand away rough edges

You can sand away rough edges with a medium-grade piece of sandpaper. It’s also worth sanding away grooves in the timber. Not doing this will result in an imperfect paint result.

  • Remove dust

There’s no doubt since cleaning your windows more dust has accumulated.

Use a dry paintbrush to brush away the dust, and use a toothbrush to get into corners or narrow areas of the window.

Follow the steps above to perfectly maintain your timber windows.

If your timber windows have scratches or chips

If the timber has been damaged, you should re-paint or re-stain your windows immediately before the damage worsens.

How to repair damaged timber windows:

  • Remove all surface damage with a light abrasive following the line of the grain
  • Remove all dust and debris with a wet cloth
  • You may need to apply timber filler to repair the damage and smooth the surface before reapplying the finish
  • You can now reapply paint or stain your timber windows