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  • August

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    2022
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Removing Paint from Wooden Window Frames: Things to Pay Attention to

Removing Paint from Wooden Window Frames: Things to Pay Attention to

Wooden window frames are most often used because of the universal look and adaptive nature to any interior or exterior. Even though nowadays there are plenty of other materials used for window frames, wood is always a classic. 

In fact, wood is one of the best when it comes to insulation, but it also requires regular maintenance to keep it in shape. This is usually due to the fact that this type of window frames withstand harsh outdoor temperatures, including rain, snow, wind, and sun. 

The good thing about wooden window frames is that even though they can be heavily damaged, they can easily be renewed, reversing the damage. This includes repainting the window frames or stripping to the original wood and giving them a natural wax or oil finish. Sometimes stripping is the first and essential step in order for new paint to be applicable on the wood, in cases when there are many old layers of paint on the wood or when the paint is peeling. 

Nevertheless, depending exactly on the layers of paint, what kind of paint has been used for the window frames, as well as the type of wood, there are various different stripping techniques.

So, how does the stripping process of window frames go? Let’s check it out.

Caustic, Non Caustic or Hand Stripping?

First of all, once we inspect the material the window frames are made of, we decide which type of stripping method we’ll apply to the window frames.

In fact, most commonly, wooden window frames are made of pine wood. Pine wood can undergo caustic stripping when the wooden frames are dipped into a tank with caustic soda solvent. 

However, we have to mention that when it comes to stripping window frames, they have quite delicate edges and corners where paint cannot be stripped with the regular caustic stripping. In this case we have to apply handstripping for the piece to be completely free of paint and stain residue. 

Bear in mind that the procedure for stripping wooden window frames will be different from for example stripping aluminum or steel window frames. Also, the type of wood plays an essential role. 

The Details in the Window Frames Stripping Process We Always Pay Attention to

When stripping paint from window frames it is important to remove the window from its hinges in order to do the stripping outside of the house or apartment. This way the paint can be properly stripped and the drying process will be done outdoors since the fumes from the chemical solvents are toxic and should be avoided. 

It has to be noted that even our professionals who are in the field for so many years work with the right protective equipment and take breaks for fresh air. Also, paint applied to items before 1980 may contain lead which is harmful and you shouldn’t expose yourself to. 

Whether a window frame is old or not can usually be estimated by the year that the house or apartment has been built. Sometimes, windows and doors have been replaced with brand new alternatives throughout the years which will be visible. If they are coming with the building and haven’t been replaced since, you can use the date of the building to decipher the year when the windows have been painted the last time. 

So, in cases when you undertake stripping as a DIY project, you should first inspect whether there is a potential for the paint to contain lead. In case you’re unsure, you can consult it for a piece and get expert advice. 

Most of the time, we get requests from customers who have already tried stripping a piece at home, applying a stripping solvent, resulting in failure. In this case there can be plenty of damage done to the wood that will show up after we do the stripping process for them. That’s the reason why we always advise customers that we are available for expert advice if they want to do the stripping process themselves. 

If they are not sure how to do the stripping themselves, they can always get insight in the process from our articles or get advantage of our expert services. 

As mentioned above, even though window frames can be dipped in a tank with caustic solvent, they can also be stripped non caustically with a stripping agent. For instance, oak window frames should be stripped with a non caustic stripper in order not to damage the wood. And when it comes to stripping with a non caustic stripping agent, it’s important not to rush in the stripping process, to give the stripper time to work, but at the same time not let it dry out. 

Once the stripping agent is applied to the window frame the old coat of paint will start blistering and bubbling, making it easier to remove the paint. However, in cases when there are several layers of paint, the process has to be done several times. 

As mentioned above, even though window frames can be dipped in a tank with caustic solvent, they can also be stripped non caustically with a stripping agent. For instance, oak window frames should be stripped with a non caustic stripper in order not to damage the wood. And when it comes to stripping with a non caustic stripping agent, it’s important not to rush in the stripping process, to give the stripper time to work, but at the same time not let it dry out. 

Once the stripping agent is applied to the window frame the old coat of paint will start blistering and bubbling, making it easier to remove the paint. However, in cases when there are several layers of paint, the process has to be done several times. 

Final Thoughts

The process of stripping wooden window frames is quite common and used to give a whole new look to the windows. When stripping window frames, it is important to choose the right stripping method according to the type of wood. The other things to consider are the tools and equipment used in the process, as well as the techniques.

Also, we are open to giving you a free consultation or advice concerning a certain wooden frame in order to get the best result.

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