Cost of Painting Window Frames

A guide to painting window frames, including the costs that you may encounter and what the job entails.

Duration:
1-4 Hours
Avg price:
£40-£125

Introduction

To professionally paint window frames and leave a perfect finish, we’ll look at the methods used and the potential pitfalls of doing this yourself, and how to assess whether the frames need replacing rather than repainting.



How much does painting window frames cost?

If you hire a painter to paint your window frames, they’ll charge between £25 to £40 an hour, depending on the location of the job and their experience. For a whole house, the entire job should cost £400 to £1,500, but this is based on the house size, the number of windows painted, and house type. The price and timescales will also depend on the amount of prep and coats of paint needed.


What painting window frames entails

Painting window frames will usually involve checking the initial condition of the wooden frame and assessing whether they're suitable to paint. Then removing the old paint as appropriate, making good any problems with the wood, applying a primer, and finally applying several topcoats to ensure that they continue to repel rain and snow.

Preparation - Ideally, you should strip the window back to its base material before repainting. This is best achieved by using a light paint remover – nothing too aggressive – or a heat gun and a scraper. You should wear gloves in both cases to protect your hands from the stripped paint and/or hot gun. Once the paint is removed, check for any blemishes that may need filling and sanding flat before you prepare the surface for repainting. If, however, you want to paint over window frames that have already been painted without stripping, you need to roughen the surface with some fine sandpaper or a wire brush. This should be enough to make sure proper adhesion of the fresh coat. It’s a good idea to clean everything and make it greases-free, including difficult-to-reach places. The best way to do this is to use a mix of water, cleaner and ammonia. Ensure you avoid scratching the glass with any abrasive tools, as it can’t be repaired later.

Painting - Once you have prepared the surface, and they are dry and free from flake paint, you can start to apply the primer (if you are using it) and the subsequent topcoats. If you are painting outdoor windows and doors, you should overlap the glass by a few millimetres. This will prevent the entry of moisture and stop windows rotting from the inside out. To achieve this, you will need to apply a layer of masking tape on the glass, two millimetres above the frame so that the paint encompasses the top of the frame and slightly onto the glass. When the paint is dry, you can gently remove the tape, ensuring that the dry paint doesn’t start to come away from the glass as you do so.




What paint should I use?

There are many different kinds of paints and varnishes are available for indoor and outdoor use on windows and window frames. The main types are:

  • Water-based acrylic paint.
  • Paint that’s thinned out with turpentine substitute (alkyd).
  • High solid paint, which gives better coverage, has a higher concentration of resin and a smaller level of volatile organic compounds (VOC). By using a high-solids paint, you get a quality finish and save money due to the better coverage performance.
  • Polyurethane paint (PU): This is a two-component paint that’s used with acrylic or alkyd paint. This kind of paint is tougher and more hard-wearing and will withstand significant bashes and bumps.
  • Varnish or any other clear coating that seals the wood and defends it against damp and UV radiation. Varnish gives an even finish that’s easy to clean. Varnish generally does not add colour, and it is usual to have the wood below showing through.

Regardless of what you have on your window frame at present, you will need to strip them back to the base wood, and that means that you can finish them with any of the above paints and varnishes.


Other jobs to tackle

If you are removing all of the outer coatings of your windows, it is an ideal time to assess the general condition of the wood and carry out any repairs as necessary. While you are dealing with the paintwork, you could also look at the general condition of the hinges and fixings, and make sure that they all work correctly. If you don’t have locking window catches, this is a perfect time to fit those too. If you have sash windows, this is an ideal time to check the condition of sliding and rope parts.


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Sam J

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