While windows allow us an opportunity to let in light and look out onto a scenic view, they are also an important element of your home exterior. Window frames that are well-maintained and look good are like a swipe with mascara … they add appeal to your property.
Whether you have steel or wood frames, here are a few easy DIY tips to keep your windows looking good.
Wooden window frames
Most wooden window frames have a strip of beading that runs around the inside of the frame to secure the glass in place. If not regularly maintained, this strip can work itself loose or become brittle and fall apart. It isn’t difficult to replace the beading and you will find beading strips and small panel pins at your local hardware
store. Alternatively, or you can substitute an exterior acrylic sealer instead of using panel pins.
YOU WILL NEED:
small panel pins or exterior acrylic sealer
mitre box and backsaw
tape measure and pencil
1. Use a putty knife to pull the beading away from the window glass and frame. As you do this you will loosen the strips and it will be easier to locate the pins that secure the beading in place and pull these out with pliers. Take into consideration that the glass pane will not have any support once you remove the beading. If the glass pane is not secure, have someone on hand to help you hold the glass in place while you work.
2. With the old beading removed you can measure and cut new lengths of beading to fit into the frame. Use a mitre box and backsaw to cut 45-degree corners.
3. You now have the option of fitting the beading into place using panel pins and a hammer, or to apply a bead of exterior acrylic sealer and bedding the beading over the top of this.
4. Allow time for the acrylic sealer to dry before sealing or varnishing.
Steel window frames
Broken or cracked window putty can be an eyesore for any window, yet is an easy problem to fix and you can buy window putty at any hardware store. Not only does broken or cracked window putty detract from the exterior upkeep of a house, it also means that windows are not well-secured and weatherproofed.
YOU WILL NEED:
pack of window putty
putty or palette knife
optional: heat gun
GOOD TO KNOW
Window putty starts to dry out as soon as you open the pack, so make sure you plan what windows need to be fixed in one go.
1. Use a putty knife to remove the old putty. If it is brittle and cracked you can use a heat gun to soften it and make it easier to remove. Take into consideration that the glass pane will not have any support once you remove the old putty, so have someone on hand to help you hold the glass in place while you work.
2. Break off a piece of window putty and roll out into a long, thin sausage shape that is approximately 2cm in diameter.
3. Press the putty into position along the inside of the frame and start to press this firmly down along the full length with your thumb. You want the putty to sit at the edge of the frame, so that it won’t be visible from inside the window.
4. Hold the putty knife at a 45-degree angle, so that you can run the knife slowly down over the top of the putty to shape and remove any excess. You can dip the knife in mineral spirits (see our ‘Top tip’) to lubricate it and allow a smooth run over the putty.
Have some mineral spirits on hand should the putty become stiff as you work. You can also use mineral spirits to smooth the surface of the installed window putty. You only need a small amount – too much and you will dissolve the putty.
5. Repeat the rolled sausage, pressing down and scraping off with the putty knife until the entire frame is complete.
6. Before painting, allow the window putty to dry thoroughly, normally about two to three days, depending on the weather.