Guides to Fine Arts Like Painting, Designing, Architecture, Sculpture, Photography and More

By Jason Wood


Vinyl windows, energy efficient and easy to use and maintain are seen in new construction everywhere. When an older home is remodelled using these casements the authenticity of the home can be lessened. A better choice would be sash window refurbishment. With patience and effort these great wooden framed panes can be restored to their original usefulness. Sash windows are the older movable type panes with counter weights and pulleys hidden in the case to make the frame easier to open and close.

Many times the frames for the glass have been painted over making the assembly immovable. Taking this paint off and freeing the frame is a required task. The person doing the restoration must deal with it before any other restorations steps can be taken

Clearing the casement, frame and guides of paint can be quickened by using an electric sander, preferably the rotary kind. Paint remover can be used as well. Paint remover is a caustic chemical and wearing eye protection is a must. Sanding paint will put particles in the air. Remember old paint contains lead. For both the paint remover and sanding a good quality respirator is required for safety.

Once most or all the seams are fully exposed you can work the seams with a utility knife or other narrow metal tool to penetrate the remaining paint. Patience is key here. If you rush the job or get frustrated you can crack the glass or even break the wooden framing. Though you can get this frame replaced it can be time consuming.

The guides that allow the frame to move up and down should be taken out. If the channel allowing movement has been painted that too needs to be cleaned and sanded. Any paint could impede the future moving of the assembly. Removing the guide will allow easier access to the framework below.

Guides can be easily replace by similar lumber from the local home improvement centre. Breaking one or both of the guides should not be a concern. Cutting through the old paint where the guide meets the casing with a utility knife is the first step. Then loosen the guide with a flat pry bar. The now open groove should have any surplus paint removed and the bare wood treated with a preservative. Repainting the groove is not recommended. The restored window, as it is opened and closed will wear the paint off. Coating the guide with paraffin or wax to assure smooth operation is recommended.

Once you have removed the guide you will have better access to the wood frame beneath. Check for any sign of weather damage. If moisture has been allowed in then you may see some mold or mildew. This usually presents as a black stain on the wood. More sealing will need to done on the exterior to prevent further damage.

Sash window refurbishment will restore your classic home to its original design, look and feel. On vintage homes this can add not only owner satisfaction but true value to the property. Restoration vary in effort and score an can require care. Find a contractor who does restorations like this for advice and guidance.




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