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How to Paint Windows – Wooden Window Painting & Care

Factory finished timber windows are becoming more popular than ever, and it’s not hard to see why.

Not only is timber more sustainable and attractive than plastic, but factory finished timber windows last on average twice as long as plastic windows, with some timbers holding a 50-year guarantee.

Timber windows are also relatively low maintenance, with redecoration required only every 8 to 10 years on average – and in some cases even less.

But when the time comes for a touch-up – or maybe just a change of colour scheme – how exactly do you paint your timber windows to the standard that they were originally done?

Well, it’s actually surprisingly easy to do, with just a few important steps to follow to ensure that your timber windows are looking factory fresh again in no time.


How to Paint Timber Windows with a Factory Finish 

When the time comes to paint your window frames or any timber part of your windows, whether they are sash windows, casement windows, or any kind, just remember to follow these important steps.

Best Weather for Painting Timber Windows

One of the most important things to remember when painting timber windows – or anything outdoors – is that the conditions can play a big part in the quality of finish that you get. Too hot, cold, humid, or windy and things aren’t going to go well.

Ideally, you want a very “average” dry day, something with low winds, and a lack of moisture in the air. Aim to paint in temperatures above 5 degrees Celsius (41f), and no more than 20 – 25 degrees Celsius (77f).

Equipment for Painting Timber Windows

Like with most things, the equipment that you use to paint your timber windows will affect the finished product.

It’s recommended that you use a micro porous acrylic paint, designed for use on timber. This is different from oil-based paint but has many of its qualities, plus more.

It’s also recommended that you use a good quality, long head firm haired paint brush, and you may want some masking tape and a putty knife to ensure that paint does not get onto the glass.

Finally, some sanding paper is recommended for the first step, which you can see below.

Preparing To Paint Your Timber Windows

Before you begin painting your timber windows it’s important that the surface is properly prepared.

To do this, close the window and then lightly sand the timber to ensure that the surface is fully smoothed out, removing any bumps or anything that may make the paint job look untidy.

After this is done using a damp sponge or cloth to wipe away any sanding dust or debris that is left behind, then wait for the windows to fully dry.

Once the timber is dry, you’re almost ready to paint. If you don’t feel that you have a steady hand then lightly apply some masking tape around the edges of the glass panes, leaving an end unstuck so you can easily remove it afterwards.

Painting Timber Windows

Now that the windows are prepared it’s ready to add the first coat of paint make a start by painting from the top, section by section, and starting with the vertical sashes on a sash window.

Steadily work your way down the window, and be sure not to overwork the paint. Light brush strokes in the direction of the grain are the best way to get a great finish. Also, be sure to avoid painting over the window seals.

Once the first coat is applied, wait for 3 to 4 hours until the paint is dry, and then assess your work. If required, add a top coat, covering top and bottom and filling in any hole or gaps in the first new paintwork.

Again, allow the paint to dry and then remove the tape if you applied any, and use your putty knife or similar tool to carefully clear any paint from the glass panes, ensuring that you do not scratch the glass.

Finally, step back and take a look at what should be a finely painted timber window that looks as fresh as the day it was fitted to your property.

Maintaining Painted Windows

The beauty of timber windows is that they require very little maintenance, however, there are a few things that you can do to ensure that your windows stay looking their best for longer.

The main thing is to regularly wash the windows with warm water. Gently clean both the wood and the glass to clear off any damaging dirt and keep them looking their very best.

When choosing your paint it’s also worth noting that lighter colours typically last longer than darker colours, which absorb heat and can fade quicker than light shades.

See our blog post on how to maintain timber windows for more information


More of a visual learner than a reader? You’re in luck, as Remmers Paints have a very helpful video on how to repaint factory finished wood windows, which you can see below.

Alternately, the Cambium Joinery team have put together a couple of useful graphics for you to read, print, or share to remind you of some of the basic steps for painting your timber windows.

For more information on caring for timber windows, or if you’re interested in getting new ones for your property, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today, and we will be more than happy to help you find your dream timber windows for your next project.


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