How to Restore Sash Windows

Sash and case windows face the most defects. Upon close inspection, you can see the decaying timber, which is not easy to spot. However, it’s easy to restore the damaged windows. Most sash windows are made of strong heartwood, which is difficult to find nowadays. So, you have to repair the original wood as much as you can.

Maintaining the sash windows is pretty straightforward. You will need a matched joint that can repair the required places. The sashes can be removed from the frame to replace the worn and broken cords. It’s important to keep the external paint in good condition which will protect the putty and the joints. Also, sash windows can be upgraded to get better energy efficiency. Let’s read on to know more about the restoration process of sash windows.

Check for the knockout panel

If the window is in a good shape, then you can go for a knockout panel. Check for the horizontal line in a frame to determine whether you have a knockout panel to work with. If it’s already painted, it will require a force on the scored lines along with a narrow implement. If you are looking for access more than the ropes and weight, then remove any trim around the window at first.

Remove trim, sash, and stops

The interior stops and trim come first in the sash window restoration process. You can use a box cutter to cut through the caulk and paint, after that start trimming from the frame using a suitable painter’s tool. Do this task very carefully as it might hurt your fingers, wear gloves to protect yourself.

You have to gently remove the trim from the wall and after that switch to the flat crowbar, here too apply gentle pressure. You can use a fine tip magic pen to mark the places you have already scraped off and the areas that require painting. After this go for the parting stops and remove it, and lastly remove the top sash.

Check the frame

Old houses often faced years through settling and shifting, so usually, the frames are snugly fit and not square. There can be build-up moisture which affects the joints, nails and damaging the wood. The frame is normally the bigger part, and square features are for good window function, so you can go for squaring the feature.

Clean the window

Before starting the restoration process it’s important to remove debris on the windows. You can use painter’s tools to remove the old glazing compound, broken glass, debris, and dust. This clean-up part is important as it will allow you to work smoothly.

While cleaning you can use a rough sander to cut the thick paint and in some cases go for a chemical stripper to soften the color so you can scrape it easily. To get a fine finish use a sander and apply this on the areas where you have to be gentle. On the delicate areas, you can also use a chemical stripper, and once it’s removed you can remove the rot and fill the holes with putty.

Replace the missing or damaged glazing compound and glass

If you have a good original panel leave it intact, there’s no use in breaking it. You have to keep an eye on the replacement areas only. In here the damaged glasses should be replaced and you have to find salvaged options and cut them from the hardware store. For the glazing compound use a caulk style gun and at a first run a small bead on the channel this is to secure the glazer’s points and the glasses without pins.

Clean the wood edge and the product container tip properly so that you can get a uniform line and neat one. It’s important to smooth down any flaws with your fingers. Resume your work the next day as it will take time to harden up, and then trim the excess things with a razor blade.

Paint or stain

For a sash interior, you can use a stain or paint and for the first, you can use oil-based stains. You can always test it on the hidden part of the window to ensure the right color before finally applying it on the sash and trim. Finding the right match can be difficult, so you have to test various shades on different parts of the window and check if they are the correct ones. In the case of the exterior, you must use weatherproof paint.

Notice the ropes and pulleys

Weights are often missing from sash windows, as the house is old they were salvaged in the early 20th century and others simply slid down the wall. You can normally reshape the pulleys with pliers, if one part is sharp to cut then replace it entirely. Old or new pulleys require regular application of lubricant for smooth running.

Generally, you can try greasing the pulley because of the squeaking issue, and for this, any spray lubricant will work. If you have to replace the ropes then go for cotton than nylon, it’s better and will stretch after some time. You will get sash cords in the market easily and there are options for smaller windows too.

Gather everything together

After all these steps now you have a good wood frame and sash, now you have to put them back together. For the reattachment of the stops use small nails and a bit long so it can do the job easily. For trimming utilize the longer finish nails, and make sure to use a few of them. While restoring the sash window it’s important to put it together in the reverse way you have separated it.

You have to check that everything is in fine condition and working properly. Check if anything is missing while you are putting things back in their original places, inspect if there’s any part that needs shimming. After you are confident that everything is in order, replace the parting stops, the interior stops, and the bottom sash and finally hang the trim.

Sash window restoration is easy but it takes time for the entire work to finish. Follow the above-mentioned steps to get a nice and restored sash window. However, if you think it’s too much work then you can easily call a window repair service and they will do the work for you.

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