Top Tips for Redecorating Factory-finished Timber Windows

Wed 13 Apr 2016

There comes a time when even factory-finished windows need a fresh coat of paint. In average conditions, darker colours and south-facing windows may need attention after as few as six years, while others might last ten or more. My south-facing, mid-grey windows needed redecorating after six years as the sun had affected the pigment and they were turning pinkish, whereas the rest of the windows and doors are still as good as new.

1. Watch the weather

Ideally, you want moderate weather. Anything below 10°C is too cold as the paint won't dry properly; direct summer sun should be avoided; and you’ll want to avoid rain, too. Wash down the frames to remove any dust and debris. If the coating isn’t damaged, just rub over with a fine grade sandpaper, wipe clean and then apply two coats of topcoat – using a water-based microporous paint and a long-haired synthetic brush.

2. Keep your brush fully wetted

Wet the brush thoroughly with water before starting, ensuring the base of the bristles is fully wetted. In warmer weather, thin with between 5 and 10% of water to improve the flow and leveling properties of the product.

3. Be generous when coating your windows

Load the coating generously onto the surface and disperse the paint briskly, evening out the coating with light diagonal cross strokes. Don’t be tempted to overbrush - the coating will flow and level naturally. Finish with light brush strokes in the direction of the grain.

4. Use fine grade sandpaper for damaged areas

If you have any damaged areas, use a fine grade sandpaper to remove any unsound coating and feather out to leave a smooth surface before coating. If moisture has penetrated the joints, end grain, or mitres, rub down the damaged area with a fine grade abrasive paper to remove any unsound coating and feather out to a smooth surface. Clean and dry before re-coating.

5. Don’t forget the primer 

Any areas of exposed timber should be treated with a primer before the topcoats. Treat any exposed knots with a knotting product. Fill any small cracks with two pack wood filler. You can prime the area and seal any open joints with joint sealer applied by mastic gun, wiping with a damp cloth or spatula to give a smooth joint, and allow to dry to a clear finish. Seal any exposed end-grain with end-grain sealer and allow to dry thoroughly.

6. Dealing with oxidized resin

South-facing windows are particularly prone to resin exudation. Don’t be tempted to try to remove fresh wet resin. Wait until it has oxidized and remove with a stiff brush, washing off any remaining residues with a cloth.

Do you have any more redecoration tips to give?