How to Repaint a Wood Window Or Door Frame

How to Repaint a Wood Window Or Door Frame

Wooden frames offer an unsurpassed architectural element to any residence. There’s been a great push in recent years to upgrade old windows and doors with more energy-efficient models, especially with low-cost vinyl windows, but in many instances – and especially in historic buildings – replacing is not an option.

Wood needs to be repainted regularly to keep them looking good, and also to protect the window trim and door jambs from rotting over time. If you see exposed wood on your building’s windows and doors, know they are dying a slow death to the elements.

How to Paint Wood Frames

Inspect. Before beginning any repair job, first inspect the frames for excessive rot or water damage. If damage has gone too far, no amount of paint can keep water from causing further damage, and it’s probably best to call in a professional to address the causes of water rot.

Clean. Remove all old, flaking paint (or stain) from window trim and door jambs with a chemical paint stripper, sander, scraper, or wire-bristled brush. Wipe down with a wet cloth to gather fine dust from sanding.

Fill. Using wood putty, fix minor abrasions, nail holes, and pits in the wood. Sand with smooth sandpaper and wipe with a damp cloth.

Prime. Good primer helps seal the wood and provides a good bond with the paint.

Paint. Once you strip off the old finish, you must repaint quickly as untreated wood can be damaged by the sun, rain or humidity. Avoid dark colors, as they cause excess heating and cooling. Paint all surfaces, but avoid slopping paint onto the door or window hardware. Use care not to let paint bind a window shut. Use oil- or water-based paints designed for outdoor use. Two coats on exterior window and door frames ensures adequate coverage and longer life.