As a window repairing professional, I can help you restore your old wooden window frames. Restoring wooden windows can be a daunting task, but it’s definitely worth the effort. Instead of replacing them, restoring your wooden windows can make them look as good as new and they can last a lot longer than uPVC ones. So, if you’re up for it, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Sandpaper (a mixture of different grits ranging from about 40 grit, 120 grit to 240 grit)
  • Wood Chisel
  • Glazier Putty
  • Glazier Tacks (you can get them at a local glaziers workshop)
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint (make sure to use paint that’s specifically for windows. It’s expensive but professional-quality paint is a must for this project!)
  • Wood Filler (make sure that it’s suitable for windows)
  • Wood Glue
  • White Spirit
  • Putty Knife
  • Glass Scraper
  • Orbital Sander and/or Palm Sander

If you’re completely stripping the paint, you’ll also need one or two of these:

  • Chemical Paint Stripper (this is the only paint stripper we recommend)
  • Heat Gun
  • Paint Shaver (look at the video later in this post and you’ll know why we love it!)

Here’s our guide to restoring wood windows:

  1. Before you start restoring your window, check the overall condition. Even badly damaged timber windows can be restored, but they may be beyond repair, so it’s important to find out exactly what you’re letting yourself in for before starting any work.

If you have large sections of your window or frame that are rotten, they may still be salvageable, but it’s probably a job that’s best left to the professionals. Stand back and take a look at your window. Does it still fit in the frame as it should? Is there any part of the window that doesn’t look right, wobbly, leaky or rotten? Is the putty in one piece or has it shrunk and cracked? What condition is the hardware in? Are the hinges still working as they should? Can you easily open the window?

Check that the casement (the part of the window with glass that opens) fits in the window frame and that it opens and closes correctly. If it does catch, make a note of the areas by drawing a big “X” with a pencil on the frame. Next, remove the casement window from the frame in the wall and place it on a flat surface or some trestles so that you can easily access every part of it. Have another look at the condition of the window.

Are any parts rotten, loose or broken? If there are any really major issues, you may have to have the window repaired by a professional, but you can definitely do the more basic repairs like sanding, filling, and painting yourself.

Remember: it’s important not to repair, paint or restore your windows in autumn or winter. The cold and damp weather will make the timber swell slightly, which could accidentally make you sand too much of your window away to get it to fit properly within the frame. When it shrinks again, it may be too small and could end up leaky. Always sand as little as possible!

  1. To remove the glass from the window frame, start by considering how much work you need to do on the frame. If you can work on the window with the glass in place, that’s easier and there’s less risk of damaging it. However, if you prefer to remove the glass, be very careful as it’s easy to break it.

Begin by removing any old putty with a chisel, being careful not to damage the glass. Some putty will come off easily, but other bits may require more effort. Once you’ve removed all the putty, you’ll find little glazier’s points spaced around 15cm apart holding the windowpane in place. These can easily be pulled out with pliers.

The glass may have dirt, old paint, and bits of putty stuck to it, so use a glass scraper to carefully remove them. Lift out the glass and store it somewhere safe while you work on the rest of the window frame.

Next, remove any loose or flaky bits of paint before sanding the surface. If you want to go the extra mile and remove all the existing paint, it’ll give you a better finish, but it’ll take longer. Check for lead paint before removing any paint, especially in older properties.

  1. Different methods can be used for paint stripping, and for the quickest result, it’s best to use a combination of different methods. A heat gun is great for most detailed areas and large surfaces, while chemical strippers are great for really detailed areas and anywhere that a heat gun can’t be used. Sanding is best when you’ve already stripped the majority of the old paint, and a paint shaver is perfect for large flat surfaces but not for any curves or detailed areas.

Strip as much of the old layers of paint off your window as possible, paying particular attention to the window sill. Keep the groove that runs along the length of the sill completely free to allow water to drip off the underside of the window sill and keep it away from your window. Always wear the necessary safety gear when working on your windows.

  1. Assess the condition of the window frame after removing the old paint. Are there any areas that need more attention than you initially thought? If so, now’s the time to repair them.

Fill any cracks with wood filler suitable for windows, and glue any loose or wobbly parts back together using high-quality wood glue. Check that everything is dry, smooth, and secure before moving on to the next step.

Check that the improvements made to the casement have worked by putting it back in the frame and ensuring it closes correctly without catching anywhere. Repair or sand any problem areas if necessary.

  1. Now it’s time to sand the window frame. Although it’s not the most fun task, sanding old windows makes a significant difference in achieving an amazing finish that not only looks great but also lasts for a long time.

Use an orbital sander with around 40 grit sandpaper for an initial smooth of the main surfaces and a mouse sander for any more detailed areas and sides. Sanding by hand is also an option but using electric sanders will speed up the process.

After sanding with coarse paper, move on to sanding with finer grits until the frame is completely smooth. Be careful not to sand the frame too much as you want to remove as little as possible to ensure that the window still fits perfectly in its frame in the wall.

  1. Start painting your wooden windows after completing the sanding process. To ensure a long-lasting and professional finish, it’s essential to select the appropriate paint for wooden windows. To choose the best paint for wooden windows, conduct thorough research. It’s crucial to select paint that is specifically formulated for wooden windows.

We highly recommend Rubbol BL Ventura Satin, which is used by professional painters as a primer and paint in one. Although it may be expensive, it’s worth the investment. The paint is specifically designed for use on windows and is both elastic and moisture-regulating, making it ideal for wooden windows. It’s also water-based, allowing for quick drying and easy cleaning of your brushes.

Avoid using cheap paint as it will eventually deteriorate. Vacuum and clean your window thoroughly before painting it. Wipe the surface with a cloth dipped in white spirit to remove any remaining dust particles. To properly protect your window, you’ll need to apply a minimum of three coats of paint, including a primer and two coats of your preferred paint finish.

Apply a thin and even coat of paint over the window frame. Multiple thin coats of paint are preferable to one thick coat. Using high-quality paintbrushes will make it simpler to achieve a perfect finish. Let the first coat of paint dry before lightly sanding the surface with fine sandpaper (about 240 grit). This will remove any flaws and roughen up the surface slightly, providing a good base for the next coat of paint to adhere to.

Remove any dust from sanding and apply another coat of paint to the window. Repeat the steps of painting, drying, sanding, and cleaning until you’re satisfied with the coverage. The same steps apply if you’re restoring the wooden window frame that stays in the wall. When working near an open window, take extra safety precautions.

  1. Once you’ve finished painting your window, the next step is to re-install the glass. Simply place the glass back into the newly painted window and secure it with glazier’s tacks, which can be obtained from a local glazier.

To complete the restoration process, fill the edge with putty. Begin by kneading a lump of glazier’s putty for a couple of minutes to make it soft and pliable. It’s similar to playing with playdough, but slightly sticky and oily. Once the putty is soft, press it firmly into the gap where the frame and glass meet.

Next, use a putty knife to remove any excess putty. Hold the knife at a 45° angle and press it firmly against the edge of the frame and glass, dragging it over the putty to squash it in place and cut off any excess.

Adding putty to single glazing can be a satisfying part of restoring a window. Although it takes a bit of time to perfect, with practice, it becomes easier and quicker after completing the second window. Wait for the putty to completely dry before painting it. Depending on the putty you use, this can take at least 30 days or more.

To give you an idea of the cost of restoring wooden windows, we have shared a detailed breakdown of our window restoration expenses. However, it’s important to note that the total cost will depend on the size and condition of your window.

For instance, restoring a single casement window that measures about 120 cm x 70 cm cost us a certain amount. Additionally, if you accidentally break the glass, a replacement sheet that’s roughly 110 x 65cm will cost around 30€.

It’s crucial to remember that restoring one casement is only the first step. The other casements will need to be restored as well, and the entire window frame will require sanding, filling, and repainting.

If your window has brass handles or any other brass features, we recommend checking out our post on the easiest way to clean brass. It only takes a few minutes and produces fantastic results.

Although restoring our window took longer than anticipated, we are pleased with the outcome. The window is now perfectly smooth, and most importantly, it opens and closes without getting caught on the frame. However, we still have 67 windows left to restore. We won’t be doing that job again in this apartment since we’ve sold it! If you have any questions about stripping paint or have restored a window before, please let us know. Are you a perfectionist or more of a “done is good enough” type of person?

Choose Professional Window Repair With’s window repair experts take pride in delivering exceptional service and top-notch workmanship. We guarantee customer satisfaction by ensuring we complete your window repairs with the highest level of care and attention to detail, keeping your home safe from the elements.Before attempting a DIY window repair project, consider the advantages of placing your trust in the professionals at for your home’s window needs. Reach out to us today, and let our experienced team assist you in bringing your windows back to their original splendor and functionality while offering you peace of mind and a stress-free experience.