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Interior Painting Tips: All About Window Frames

Interior Painting Tips: All About Window Frames

Most of us here in the San Francisco Bay area don’t give much thought to our windows themselves; rather, we focus on what we can see through them. However, when we take a moment to notice them, the condition of our windows and their frames can make a big difference to the look and feel of a room. For those who have older windows, or who don’t care for the color of their window frames, that leads them to wonder, “Can I paint my window frames?”

Let’s take a look at the main styles of windows found in San Francisco homes, and discuss which ones can be painted.

Painting Wooden Window Frames

One of the greatest treasures of San Francisco’s architecture is the historic wood that defines so many beautiful homes. For many of us, that tradition extends even to our window frames. As these age, their appearance can become shabby. Fortunately, wooden window frames are a great candidate for painting!

To paint wooden window frames, first, scrape off any loose or peeling paint, and prime any bare wood. Next, apply painter’s tape to the surrounding surfaces that you don’t want paint on. Use a relatively small, angled paint brush to apply the paint, taking care not to get paint in any seam that would prevent the window from functioning.

You may want to open the window slightly as you paint it, so that you can paint right to the bottom and top of the window sash without painting the window shut.

When painting next to the glass itself, you can apply tape to keep the paint off it, or you can just use a razor blade to scrape off any wayward paint once the project is done. Choose whichever option seems easier to you!

Painting Metal Window Frames

Metal window frames can be very classy and attractive if they are kept in good shape. Metal surfaces often look best when they are spray painted with a paint intended for metal. This is not hard to do, as long as you carefully use tape and scrap paper/plastic to protect all surfaces you don’t want the paint on.

Once the area is protected, carefully spray or brush the surfaces with the new paint. With spray paint, it is important to make multiple thin coats, rather than applying a lot at once. Also, remember to use breathing protection. If you brush it on, be careful to use smooth strokes, avoid drips and runs, and make your brush strokes go in consistent directions.

When you go to remove the tape, it is advisable to use a razor knife to lightly score the paint at the seam where the tape meets the painted surface. That way, there is less risk of the tape tearing away some of the paint with it.

Can I Paint Vinyl Window Frames?

Most manufacturers discourage the painting of vinyl window frames, especially on the exterior where this can lead to failure of the vinyl and damage to the window. In many cases, painting a vinyl window frame will void the warranty. However, if you really want to paint the interior of a vinyl window frame, here is the general action plan.

First, gently sand the surface with a light sandpaper, such as 220 grit. This creates a surface that new paint can cling to better. Next, clean the frame to make sure it is free of dust. After that, use a primer that is specifically formulated for vinyl. Then, apply the paint you want to have on the windows. Of course, you also need to follow the instructions mentioned above regarding the protection of non-painted surfaces.

House and Window Painting Services in the San Francisco Bay Area

If you have painting questions, MB Jessee has answers! We provide high-quality house painting services for Oakland and the entire Bay Area, including interior painting, exterior painting, kitchen cabinet painting, wallpaper removal, decorative finishes, plaster and drywall repair, and more. Of course, if you are looking to have your windows painted, that’s right up our alley also!

Call MB Jessee for a free house painting estimate, and find out why we are one of San Francisco’s favorite residential painting companies!



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