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Sash windows painting

Exterior sash windows painting using paint spraying.

Sash window painting

If you want to find out more about sash window painting, you’ve come to the right place. Chameleon offers window restoration services that include paint spraying for your sash and casement windows.

After working extensively with private clients, we are now rapidly expanding to offer our services to commercial businesses that appreciate the speed, precision and professionalism.

When to paint sash windows

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner, you’ll need to refresh your paintwork every so often. For business owners, it’s even more important to keep your building facade with sash windows looking well kept.


There are a few telltale signs that it’s time to have your sash windows repainted, including:

  • Peeling flaking paint
  • Cracks in paintwork
  • Bubbling in the paint, which is caused by oxidation;
  • Damaged or decaying wood resulting from ageing or poorly applied paint.
  • Faded coatings on your painted surfaces;

New sash windows maintenance cycle

Newly installed windows will typically need repainting between 10 and 20 years after installation, depending on their quality, the amount of UV exposure they receive and the paint colour (darker colours absorb more UV light and can degrade faster).

New sash windows maintenance cycle

Old sash windows maintenance cycle

Older sash windows need more upkeep, with a typical maintenance cycle of around 3 to 5 years.

However, with the proper restoration, your sash windows can be repaired and the maintenance cycle pushed back to around 10 years.

This is achieved by repairing vulnerable parts of the window using Accoya or Tricoya timber, which helps prevent rot and peeling. You can read more about sash window repair on our website. 

Painting a sash window

Painting sash windows with brush

Painting with a brush is effective indoors and reduces the need to cover a large area with masking paper and tape.

It’s also good for those on a budget, who lack the proper equipment to spray paint or properties with only a small number of windows to cover.

If you’re completing the job alone, brush painting is the way to go.

Painting sash windows with paint sprayer

However, with a small team of two to three professionals, extensive spray painting jobs can be completed in one day.

Your sash windows can be prepared for spraying in the morning and painted in the afternoon, with the job completed and all materials cleared away before the end of the day or the next day morning. 

To achieve the perfect finish, a strict process must be followed. Our professionals have experience working with this equipment on a daily basis, and they have the knowledge needed to troubleshoot any problems that arise to achieve the perfect finish.

Sash window paint spraying process

1

Preparation & sash window frame repair

Without addressing any underlying damage, new paint on wooden windows won’t last for long.

sash window frame repair
sash window frame repair

Any signs of rot have to be removed, and all old paint has to be stripped away, otherwise, it will peel off under the layer of new paint.

Based on our experience 90% of damaged or ageing wooden windows can be repaired and upgraded.

  • We start by removing any decaying and damaged timber before we sand down the original paintwork to the bare wood beneath. We sand and treat the window frames, glazing bars and mullions (the dividing rails segmenting your glass). Sanding down the wood ensures that the paint will adhere well.
  • Damaged areas are protected with wood hardener, while wood fillers and other appropriate timbers like Accoya and Tricoya are used where there is a significant loss.
  • Damaged frames and rails are then entirely laminated with Tricoya timber, a man-made material that is guaranteed for up to 50 years aboveground when left unprotected. Properly protected, these rails will last for as long as the house stands, even on exterior surfaces.
2

Protecting the surrounding areas

To avoid getting paint on the surrounding areas, we apply heavy-duty masking tape and film onto the surfaces around the sash windows.

Sash windows glass isn’t covered with masking materials – unless it’s textured – as a sharper edge can be achieved when paint is cut away from the edge.

Sash windows painting

3

Spray painting the sash windows

We use paint sprayers to paint sash windows. Once your surfaces are properly protected, we can start painting. The first layer, a thinner coat of paint, is applied as a fast-drying primer, followed by a second, thicker coat. We apply the equivalent of up to six coats of paint when compared to brush applications.

You should always start paint spray sash windows on upper floors first and move downward.

It is also a good idea to paint the sunny side of the building first as the paint will dry quicker for the second coat.

4

Removing the masking materials

When the paint has dried on your new sash windows, it’s time to remove the masking materials from the surrounding areas and scrape off the paint from the glass, leaving neat, sharp edges.

Take a look at some of our finished projects to see the results you can expect.

You should first remove the masking paper from the window surrounding areas.

Be extra careful not to peel off the fresh paint, cut the masking tape edge close to the timber frame with a utility knife.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is spray painting sash windows better than brush painting?

Professional decorating companies are quickly adopting spray painting as a preference over traditional brush painting methods. Not every company will offer this service, but spray painting sash windows is always our first choice. Here are just a few of the benefits of choosing a spray painting technique over brushes for your sash window:

A higher-quality finish

When paint is applied with a brush or roller, user error can easily result in uneven coats. Aside from appearing rougher, this can also lead to chipping. Spray painting applies the paint more evenly across the sash window frames and mullions. There is also greater control over dispersion when painting, meaning that a primer and undercoat can easily be applied.

Better protection for your windows

When the paint is sprayed, the fine particles are able to penetrate the wood’s surface at a deeper level; this results in greater coverage. Conversely, when applied with a brush, the paint sits on the surface of the wood. When your wood expands and contracts under natural temperature fluctuations, the paint can crack and allow moisture to penetrate the surface. This can then lead to peeling and flaking paint.

Less imperfections

Since you’re not using a brush, there’s also no risk of bristles breaking off and becoming embedded in your paintwork.

Overpainting is also common when using a brush, which can lead to paint drips in the window runners. This is a common cause of sticking when sliding your sash windows; however, paint spraying avoids this problem.

Faster results

Spray painting services cover a greater surface area in less time than it takes to apply paint using a brush. Our equipment allows us to cover all the windows in your property much more quickly.

Greater control and precision

When painting with a brush — especially the second coat — you can get lost (especially during the summer when paint dries very quickly) and miss some parts of the sash window.  With paint spraying, it is very difficult to miss any part of the window, and because it takes up to 1 minute to apply one coat to one medium size sash window, you can visually inspect the surface for uncovered, dry areas.

What type of paint is best for sash windows?

Choosing the wrong paint for a sash window can result in some problems during spraying; some paint is not sprayable or needs to be thinned/diluted before spraying. You should check the tin before you buy it, as it will normally state whether the paint is sprayable or not.

Typically, if you need to thin a water-based paint, you do so by using a 30/70 proportion (water to paint); however, it’s not a strict rule for all types of paint, even those from the same batch.

They do not always have the same thickness, so you’ll need to develop a gut feeling for diluting the paint according to the current job’s requirements, equipment and temperature. We use all kinds and varieties of paints, and we select the appropriate paint depending on the job, temperature and the desired finish.

Water-based paints are the easiest to use, but the temperature has to be 15+ C, so it is not an option for cooler months. Oil-based paints can be used at any temperature above zero, but it takes more time to prepare and clean the equipment afterwards. 

Window renovation and upgrade enquiries

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