Windows can get stuck shut for a multitude of reasons. Sometimes it’s because a house’s foundation has shifted, making it difficult, if not impossible, for a window to move on its track anymore. Other times, a wood window might swell on a humid day, making it difficult to open. But in many cases, windows end up getting stuck shut because they weren’t painted properly and when the paint dried, the paint effectively sealed the window shut.
The nice thing about vinyl replacement windows is that they’re so low maintenance; there’s no need to worry about painting the frames on them. But other types of windows, particularly wood windows, need a little more maintenance. Wood windows need to be painted or stained every now and then to prevent being damaged by water. Painting windows can be a challenge, but it’s very important to take the time to do it right so your window doesn’t get stuck shut. If you’ve ever tried opening a window that’s been painted shut, you know how difficult they can be to open again. Here’s what you can do avoid this problem!
When painting a window’s sash, be very careful. This is where many people end up accidentally painting their windows shut. The sash is the movable part of the window and consists of the window pane’s horizontal and vertical frames. If you have double-hung windows, raise the lower sash and lower the upper sash. If you have single-hung windows, you’ll only have to open the operable pane. They don’t necessarily have to be wide open, but they need to be open just enough so that you’re able to reach the exposed part of the sash with your paintbrush.
Once you’re done painting the exposed part of the sash, move the panes of your window a little bit, but don’t shut them all the way. Be sure to leave the windows open a little bit while the paint dries. If you shut them while the paint hasn’t dried, the paint will basically glue the window shut as it dries. It’s important to move your window a little bit after you’re doing painting so that any paint that may have seeped into the cracks won’t have a chance to dry while your window is in one place. Once the sashes have been moved, paint the rest of your sash.
While your windows are open, go ahead and paint your window’s casing and sills. Give the sills time to dry before you shut the window again. After you’re done painting, be sure to open your window sashes at least once a day for a week to make sure it doesn’t get stuck in place.
If you’ve tried your best to avoid painting your windows shut, but your newly-painted window still gets stuck, there are ways to fix it. Try sliding something like a putty knife, utility knife, or a paint zipper along areas where paint may be forming a seal.