Skip to content
exterior window being painted

How To Paint Exterior Windows

There are a lot of good reasons to paint your exterior windows. It’s a simple way to give the outside of your home a refresh, or you can completely change how it looks just by changing the color.

The key to a successful exterior paint job is to prepare and be patient. The materials and techniques you use can make a big difference to your overall finish, helping to create a long-lasting, professional look.

Take a look at our top tips on how to paint exterior windows.

What will you need?

Before you begin painting your exterior windows, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need. The essential items for painting your window frames include:

  • Cleaning cloths
  • Soap and water
  • Window cleaner
  • Sander
  • Exterior-safe wood filler
  • Masking tape
  • Primer
  • Exterior wood paint
  • Paintbrush - you may need multiple sizes

Top tips for painting exterior windows

Get an early start

Painting your exterior windows is a job that’s best done on a warm, dry day. This will make it easier for you, but it will also help your windows dry quicker.

On a suitable day, get an early start so you can paint during daylight hours, ensuring you get the best coverage and don’t leave any gaps.

Clean everything thoroughly

Cleaning your window frames and the windows will help ensure the best finish for your windows. With a cloth or sponge and some soapy water, clean any dirt and grime off the frames. You may want to clean the windows too to help get your windows sparkling so that everything looks fresh when you finish.

Take care of any cracks or damage

While cleaning your windows, you may notice some signs of cracks or damage. Use some wood filler to fill in any cracks, and smooth them over. If you discover any significant cracks or damaged windows, you should get these prepared before you begin painting.

Cover and protect your windows

Prep your windows by covering the glass and any other areas you don’t want the paint to go. You can use masking tape, and some people use newspaper and other materials to protect surfaces.

Sand your frames

Sand down your frames to create a smooth base for painting. This will help remove existing layers of paint, smooth your filler and give you a smooth surface to start painting.

Use a coat of primer

Primer can be very useful for helping your paintwork last. You should apply a coat of primer that’s waterproof, and leave it to fully dry before you begin painting.

Dry between coats

With your windows primed and ready to go, you can focus on painting them. Apply at least two coats of paint and allow each coat to dry properly. If you use exterior paint, you can benefit from fast-drying effects that will allow you to do your second coat quickly.

Clean up and admire your hard work

Remove your tape before the paint fully dries to prevent cracks and remove any other coverings. You may need to do some additional cleaning to provide the perfect finishing touch.

Make sure you open your windows to ensure they’ve not been sealed shut by any paint. You may need to use a knife or other tool to separate paint from any areas that are causing difficulties. However, if you’ve prepped and primed properly, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Additional tips for painting exterior windows

Creating the perfect finish for your windows can leave you with excellent results, helping to enhance your home and boost its curb appeal. Some extra tips for painting your exterior windows are:

  • Use water-based paints to help you enjoy a smooth finish that dries quickly. Make sure your paint is waterproof to help your paintwork last longer.
  • Take your time when painting to cover all areas and avoid any gaps.
  • Use a sealant to help you protect your windows for longer.
  • If you accidentally get paint on the windows, you should be able to move this easily with a cleaning cloth.
  • Match your exterior windows to your fencing and other external details to create a neat, coordinated look.

Once you’ve learned how to paint exterior windows, you’ll be able to use your skills to refresh your windows whenever they need it.

For all your painting and building needs, Durham Building Materials has you covered. Explore our store to see the products we have in stock, or contact us for advice so we can help you find what you need.

Previous article Selecting the Right Door Style for Your Home
Next article 4 Types of Stains to Consider for Your Deck