If you are a do it yourself kind of person and your wooden window frames and sills are in need of refinishing this article is for you. I will show you step by step how to refinish wood window frames and sills yourself.
In older homes especially most wooden window frames and window sills were painted. In some cases lead paint was used. In many cases layers upon layers of paint have been added over the years. The paint often cracks and peels and looks unsightly.
The first thing to do is to remember that if your house is very old you may be working with lead paint. It is best to use a lead paint test kit on the window frame and window sill to determine if there is lead in the paint you will be removing. If lead is found it’s best to have a professional remove the paint for you as it can be very toxic. If not lead is found you can safely do this project yourself.
Use a small scraper to remove as much of the peeling paint as you can, if your window frame and sills have a painted. If they are just wood that has been stained or varnished you can forget the scraper and skip to sanding.
Once all of the loose paint has been scraped away it’s time to sand to rest off. Use an electric handheld sander and rough grit sandpaper to remove the remaining paint. Once it has been removed replace the rough grit sand paper with fine grit and go over the frame and sill one more time. This ensure the wood will have a clean, smooth, flawless surface.
Use a clean dry cloth to remove any dust on the window frame or window sill that remains from when you sanded. If any dust particles remain the new finish could be applied over top of them and the end result will be bumps and blemished in your new finish.
Once the window frame and sill is clean it’s time to apply painters tape. Apply 1 or 2 inch tape around the entire outside of the window frame and on the sides and bottom of the window sill. The tape will protect the surrounding walls from getting the new finish on them.
Decide how you want to refinish the window frame and sill. If you want to repaint them simply apply a couple of coat of latex paint. You can choose to use any color available. Apply the first coat using a small soft paint brush. Wait 20 minutes then apply a second coat. Allow the second coat 10 to 15 minutes to dry then remove the painters tape.
If you want to keep a natural wood look you can choose to use a stain to enhance the color or polyurethane to show off the bare wood look. Apply stain using a soft dry cloth. Wipe off excess quickly to avoid dark spots. Apply poly using a clean foam paint brush. A second coat of poly is recommenced for added protection of the wood. Allow the first coat 20 minutes to dry before applying the second.