How to Paint Window Frames Neatly and Quickly

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

You know, one of the most time-consuming and often frustrating parts of a paint job are dealing with window panes like these. The question often is, do you spend time upfront putting tape on the glass so you don't get so much paint on, or do you go ahead and paint and then scrape off the dried stuff afterward?

Well, actually, I'm going to show you the best techniques for doing both, and then you can decide. If you choose the taping method, you'll need three things: some masking tape like this, inch-and-a-half wide is a good width, a putty knife about 2 to 2-and-a-half inches wide would be my choice and a file.

That's right. Why? Because we're going to actually sharpen the putty knife to make it work better for us. Let me show you how. Lay the putty knife on the edge of a workbench or table, hold your file in the other hand and then pass it over the edge of the putty knife like this.

After a few times, stop, turn the putty knife over and do the other side. Next, tear off four pieces of masking tape that are a little longer than you need. Put the first one on the top of the pane like that, put the second one on the bottom, then take your putty knife and cut both of these a little short on each end, like that.

Take the two remaining pieces of tape and put them down the sides. Make sure you go right up to the edge. Then once again, take your putty knife, place it right up in the corner and tear them off cleanly, like this. That's about as fast and accurately as you're going to do that. Now let's paint with tape and without.
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Well, the paint's dry, now it's time to clean up. Let's start with the window that we didn't tape. Now the way to get this paint off is with a razor blade. I'm going to actually make one cut right where the glass meets the wood frame like this.

And then we're going to use this tool, which is a little holder for our single edge razor blade and we'll go in and we'll start peeling this back. The idea is that cut that we made first will help this to break away a little more cleanly.

Well, the scraping worked pretty well, took quite a while though to get that paint off the glass. Let's put the tape to the test. Now before we peel it off, I'm going to take one of these breakaway knives and just go around the edge here. I want to cut through any paint seal between the edge of the tape and the window frame. Now for the moment of truth —let's see how the tape does. Start peeling this off. Well now, which method do you like best?

On the one hand, we did spend some time putting the tape on the glass, but I think it was less time than I spent scraping the dried paint off the glass up here, and you didn't have to be quite as careful. So I'd say the tape has my vote.

Learn how to paint window sash and door frames; includes details on masking off glass and removing excess paint on glass.

One of the most time-consuming and often frustrating parts of doing a paint job is dealing with windowpanes. The question often is: do you spend time up front putting tape on the windows so you don't get so much paint on the glass, or do you go ahead and paint and then scrape off the dried stuff afterward? In this workshop segment, Ron demonstrated the best techniques for doing each. He then leaves it up to his viewers to decide which method is preferred.