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See all Interior paint how-to »

How to Paint a Window

Skill:  Intermediate DIY'er

Windows can highlight and accentuate your home's most interesting features. Because of this, window casings are often painted with higher sheens, which naturally draw the eyes to the glossy surface.

For Best Results:

Allow enough time for the paint to dry fully before putting windows back into use. Otherwise, they will stick together.


Suggested Supplies

  • Brush (Nylon/Polyester)
  • Bucket
  • Vinyl Gloves
  • Ladder
  • Paint Can Opener
  • Rags
  • Sandpaper (150-220 Grit)
  • Stir Stick
  • Painter's Tape

Colour Used in This How-To

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The Window Frame

Step 1

Begin your painting project by pouring your thoroughly mixed paint into a bucket and dipping a quality 2"-2½" wide nylon/polyester brush into the paint.

When using more than one gallon of paint, combine the containers for better uniformity of color. This intermixing is called "boxing."
Step 2

With your brush, begin painting the inside frame of the window starting at the top of the frame.

To avoid drips, tap off the excess paint against the inside wall of the bucket.
Step 3

Continue until the inside frame is complete. Let it dry.

Reload the brush when necessary to maintain a wet edge

The Window Sash

Step 1

Raise the lower sash and drop the upper sash.

Step 2

With your brush, paint the upper sash beginning with the crossbar.

Step 3

Continue to the lower sash beginning with the crossbar. Repeat the process with the obstructed sash areas.

Do not brush the top or the bottom edges of the window sash as they will be used to raise and lower the sash.
Step 4

Paint the window casing and sills. Let this dry.

For optimum results in quality of color and finish, apply a second coat.

The Window Trim

Step 1

Starting at a top corner of the window trim, begin painting the side edge of the trim where it meets the wall. Continue until all side edges of the trim are complete.

Reload the brush when necessary to maintain a wet edge.
Step 2

Return to the top of the window trim and begin painting the face of the trim.

Step 3

Continue until the window trim is complete. Let it dry.