How to paint window frames

Gary, Team member
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How to paint window frames

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Project Overview

Aluminum windows can last a long time but if you’re planning to change the look and feel in your room, you might want to update your window frames to match. Spray painting them is quick and easy and gives you a smooth professional looking finish. However, it’s important to prepare first and we’ll show you how.

Continue to step-by-step instructions
painting without tape
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How to renew old masking tape

Over time, masking tape can become hard and unusable. A simple way to bring it back to life is to put it in the microwave for 20–-30 seconds. When it comes out it should be soft, sticky and ready to use.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Remove the window fixtures
2 Lay down the drop sheets or ram board
3 Mask around the window frame
4 Cover the window and reveals with paper towel
5 Apply the etch primer
6 Apply the top coat
7 Remove the tape and paper towel
8 Put the window back in place
  • Step 1. Remove the window fixtures

    Use the cordless drill to remove any curtains or blinds and their fixings, that may be attached to the window frame. Put all of the pieces to the side. Also remove the sliding window from the frame. Then use a rag to thoroughly clean the window frame.

  • Step 2. Lay down the drop sheets or ram board

    When it comes to painting, preparation is important. While it might take some time at the beginning, it will save you time when it comes to cleaning up. To protect the carpet or flooring when you’re painting the windows, lay the drop sheets or ram board on the ground. This will prevent any paint from staining your floor.

  • Step 3. Mask around the window frame

    Use a good quality painters’ tape to cover the surfaces you don’t want to get paint on. When you get to a corner of the frame, press the tape into the edge with your putty knife and tear it off to ensure a perfect seal against the frame. Also place masking tape around the edges of the frame for the sliding window, which you have removed.

  • Step 4. Cover the window and reveals with paper towel

    To protect your windows and reveals from overspray, lay paper towel on top of them. Use the painters’ tape to secure the paper towel, so that they’re completely covered. Also cover the window with the paper towel to avoid any errant paint sprays. A handy tip when you’re applying masking tape is to rip off pieces that are about 30cm long. This allows you to apply the tape very close to the window frame.

  • Step 5. Apply the etch primer

    Because the window frame we’re painting hasn’t been painted before, we’re applying an etch primer. This will give the paint a better surface to stick to. Shake the can of primer well. Put on your disposable gloves, safety glasses and ventilator. When spray painting, hold the can 10-20cm away from the window frame. It’s also better to apply several coats than trying to apply one heavy coat. Let the primer dry. Apply primer to the frame of the window you removed.

  • Step 6. Apply the top coat

    Shake the can of paint well. Put on the disposable gloves, safety glasses and ventilator. When applying the spray paint always paint from the top, down. Use long, smooth strokes to reduce the risk of running paint. Apply the first coat and let it dry for about 20 minutes. Depending on the coverage, you might need to apply three coats. Also paint the window frame that you removed.

  • Step 7. Remove the tape and paper towel

    Before the paint has completely dried, carefully remove the painters’ tape and the paper towel from the windows, frames and reveals. If any paint has splashed onto the window or crept under the tape, use a single edge razor blade to scrape it off. 

  • Step 8. Put the window back in place

    Once the paint is dry, place the window back in the frame, rehang the curtains or blinds and enjoy your fresh looking window frames.
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