How to Paint a Sliding Window.

  • 3 hours
  • Beginner
  • 35
What You'll Need
Drop cloth
Painter's tape
1-inch paintbrush
Paint cleaner
Tack cloth

Painting a sliding window frame isn’t a difficult job. It does, however, take some thought to carry out the task without running the risk of painting the shutter and make it difficult to open and close. With a little time and preparation, you can easily paint a sliding window without deteriorating its purpose. Gather the common tools below and follow these easy steps.

Step 1 - Prepare

Inspect the sliding window frame for any holes or depressions in the wood. Use filler on these then sand down smooth with the wood. Sand the paint to roughen it, making sure you cover all the frame and the sash properly with sandpaper. This will help the new paint to adhere properly.

You also need to check that the window opens and closes smoothly. If there are any problems with this, take care of them all before you begin painting. Use a tack cloth to remove any sawdust and dust from the sliding window frame. Apply masking tape to the window glass to avoid having to clean up any mistakes. You can just peel it off when finished. If any paint goes beyond these, clean up with the appropriate solvent or scrape off.

Step 2 - Start to Paint

To begin, you need to have both sashes partially open. Lay down your drop cloth below the window. Open the can of primer and use your 1-inch brush to paint the inside rear sash’s frame, as well as the bottom half of the front sash and the bottom of the window frame where the sash would rest when closed. Once you have completed that, paint up the side tracks to just below the sashes.

Make sure you use long brush strokes that follow the grain of the wood. Don’t overload your paintbrush with paint or you’ll just encourage drips and runs.

Step 3 - Front Sash

Change the positions of the sashes around. You’ll now be able to paint the rest of the inside frame of the lower sash on the sliding window frame. You’ll also be able to paint the top of the window frame where the sash rests, known as the rebate, and the top half of the front sash. Paint the tracks at the top of the window to just above the sashes.

Step 4 - Finish the Sill

By now, you should have painted both the upper and lower sashes of the sliding window frame with primer. It’s time to move on to the window sill. Start with the sill’s underside, then paint the inside of the sill and move up around the frame. Give the primer ample time to dry and apply your finish coat just as you did for the primer. You’ll achieve the best result by using silk or gloss vinyl paint for your finish coat because it will wear longer.

Once the final coat of paint has dried, use a glass cleaner and a paper towel to clean the glass in the window to shine. This will set off the new finish on the sliding window frame.