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How to Restore Your Old Windows in 10 Steps

Restoring old windows in a house can be a rewarding project that adds charm and character to your home. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to restore old windows:

Elizabeth spoke with a professional Mike Brovont of Wolfe House & Building Movers to debunk the whole process. Watch the whole thing on Youtube, here!

1. Evaluate the condition:

Inspect each window to determine their condition and the extent of the restoration needed. Look for issues such as rot, broken glass panes, loose or missing glazing putty, and damaged or missing hardware.

2. Remove the window sash:

Carefully remove the window sash from the frame. This may involve removing screws or nails that hold it in place. Take note of the order in which the window components are assembled for easier reinstallation later.

3. Strip old paint and finishes:

Strip away any old paint or finishes from the window sash and frame. Use a chemical paint stripper or heat gun following the manufacturer’s instructions. Take precautions to protect yourself and your surroundings while working with chemicals or heat.

4. Repair or replace damaged parts:

Replace any rotted or damaged wood components. Use a chisel or wood filler to repair minor damage. If necessary, seek professional help for extensive repairs or replacements.

5. Reglaze the window panes:

Remove any old and cracked glazing putty around the glass panes. Apply a new glazing compound with a putty knife, pressing it firmly into place. Smooth the glazing putty to create a neat, finished look. Allow it to dry and cure according to the product instructions.

6. Prime and paint:

Apply a high-quality primer to the sash and frame to protect the wood and improve paint adhesion. Once the primer is dry, apply several coats of exterior-grade paint in your desired color. Follow proper painting techniques, including sanding between coats, for a smooth and professional finish.

7. Clean and restore hardware:

Remove the hardware, such as hinges, sash locks, and pulls, from the window sash. Clean them thoroughly using an appropriate cleaner or polish. If the hardware is severely damaged or missing, consider replacing it with matching period-style pieces.

8. Reinstall the window sash:

Carefully reinstall the restored window sash back into the frame. Ensure it fits properly and operates smoothly. Use new screws or nails to secure it in place.

9. Weatherstripping and insulation:

Add weatherstripping to create a tight seal between the window sash and frame, improving energy efficiency and reducing drafts. Additionally, consider adding insulation around the window frame to further enhance energy efficiency and soundproofing.

10. Maintain and protect:

Regularly maintain and protect your restored windows by cleaning them, inspecting for any signs of damage, and promptly addressing any issues that arise. Proper care will ensure their longevity and continued beauty.

Remember, restoring old windows can be a time-consuming process, but it’s more than worth the necessary time and effort. It’s better to reuse well-made old windows whenever you can swing it! If you’re unsure about any step or encounter significant issues, consult with a professional or seek guidance from experienced craftsmen to ensure the best results.

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