If your wooden window frames look worn or faded, you don't have to replace them. It is possible to refinish the frames and make them look new again. Wood frames get exposed to the elements, which causes discoloration and chipping, and refinishing them helps prevent further rot. Refinish your wooden window frames by following these tips.
Prepare to Refinish the Frames
To refinish the frames, gather:
- work gloves
- eye goggles
- painter's tape
- masking tape
- drop cloths or plastic
- oil soap or wood cleaner
- putty knife or scraper
- 120-grit sandpaper
- wood filler (optional)
- moisture meter (optional)
- paint stripper
- trim brush
- paint brushes
- mildew-resistant primer
- exterior paint or stain
Inspect the window frame, and assess the amount of damage. If there is more than 10 percent damage or rot, consider replacing the window. It is ideal to check parts of the window in shady areas with a moisture meter, since paint adheres better in moisture levels below 12 percent.
Lay drop cloths or plastic to protect the grass or surface under the frame. Fix small dings or cracks with wood filler, and let it dry.
Strip the Old Finish and Sand
Cover the glass edges with masking tape to protect the finish, leaving a sixteenth-inch gap between the glass and frame to help make a paint seal. Lay painter's tape over the wall on the exterior of the frame and hardware.
Use the putty knife or scraper to remove old paint chips or stain. When you have removed all refinish you can with the knife, apply the paint stripper, and let it stand for the suggested time.
Scrape the remaining finish off, then let the stripper evaporate. Sand the surface to remove splinters and dull the surface. Clean dust with a damp rag and oil soap or alcohol cleaner, and then let the frames dry.
In the meantime, prepare the paint materials. To ensure all sanding dust has been removed, vacuum over the frame.
Paint or Stain the Frame
The stain or paint should be designed for exterior use for refinishing outdoor frames. If possible, detach the window trim.
Apply a thin layer of primer, working in tight areas with a trim brush beginning at the top corner of the frame. For the best results, keep the brush held at a 45-degree angle. Let the primer dry, lightly sand, and clean dust.
Brush on multiple thin layers of paint in the same manner as priming beginning at the top of the frame. Sand in between coats, and let each coat dry separately with the window open. Alternately, apply stain in the same manner.