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Doors & Windows

How to unstick a window that has been painted

Windows on the 2nd floor of a brownstone have been painted shut from the outside. We cannot get to the exterior without a lift or scaffold. 

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Posted 2013-09-24T15:30:10+0000  by hea71mac hea71mac

What a difficult situation hea71mac!


You'll have to hire or make up a solution.


If I were charged with finding a low budget solution, I would think about an extension pole, a 14-in-1 painter's tool, and that handy-man specialty ... duct tape.


fourteen-in-one w tip.jpg


Start by firmly attaching the painter's tool to the end of the paint pole with duct tape.


Extend the pole and run the sharp edge of the painter's tool (see arrow above) up-and-down across the painted window seam.


Breaking the adhesion of the paint may require more than just a few strokes.


So, if you choose this option, be prepared to work on each side of the window until you break the seam.


A second pair of hands inside the window might also be helpful.


I find that bumping several spots along the side of the window sash with the fat part of my palm also helps break free painted seams.


Be very careful not to bump against the glass ... a good pair of heavy-duty work gloves may be helpful.



If all else fails, hire a painter to come "touch up" your window and have them break the window free as part of the project.

Posted 2013-09-24T17:14:58+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL



Look at the bright side, in a couple more months winter will be here and you will be glad the windows are air tight!  :)

Seriously,without getting up to the window with a window opening too, a prybar and a hammer, you are not going to get the windows open from the exterior.


An extension ladder should easily reach a second story window, even in an old high elevation brownstone. However, if you are uncomfortable at heights, perhaps it is best you hire a handyman.


If you are fairly handy, it is also possible to remove the sash from the inside by removing the stops to remove the lower sash, then removing the small wooden strip which separates the two sash and acts as a track between them. This is a great time to renew the sash cord too. Removing the sash also gives the opportunity to remove the excess paint which makes it difficult to move the sash up and down.




As one who grew up in Chicago working with my dad in the 1950's, wooden wndows were constantly being freed up from poor past paint jobs. About a dozen years ago, I did the 1883 Victorian shown above. When I finished, all fifty of the original windows had functioning upper and lower sash.


By the way, that house took 145 man-days of labor over 5 weeks and used over 170 gallons of paint and primer.The bid price was a mere $48,000. It sold a year later for $1,300,000.







Posted 2013-09-25T05:21:13+0000  by ordjen
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