Easing a sash window

Author: dpinning  //  Category: DIY Tips, How To Guides

Sash window look great and they are really functional, they do justice to any home particularly older homes where they were a standard fitment. However, one thing that can go wrong with a sash window, especially if it is in a very old property and that is they can stick either when just open or they will not open at all. The main cause of this is usually that it has had years of paint applied, both inside and outside, and the paint has either been liberally applied or it has been done badly, but do not despair, they can be made to work again satisfactorily.

With a sharp Stanley knife carefully score down the edge, sometimes the paint has penetrated quite a way and it’s difficult to get a Stanley knife in deep enough without damaging the paintwork. Usually with patience you will be able to free it enough, but if not then you will have to use a flexible steel scraper. Please note these are not like putty knives with wooden handles but have a steel capping on the top edge.

Use a medium sized one which is about 3to 4 inches and hold it up to the gap and gently tap with a hammer.  Because they are so thin they can get into the gap and free up the window without any damage. Do this all around the joins inside an out. Once you’ve got the window, you may have to use a hammer and chisel for this and for the lower window place the chisel only from the outside at the base, the upper one from the inside only and prize them up or down. Then use a sharp chisel or sandpaper to remove any build up of paint on the inside of the runners where the windows run on. It can be quite thick there but with a little effort the window should start to run much more smoothly.

To ensure smooth operation use an old candle to apply some candle wax to the runners this really helps the window to run smoothly. Rub the candle hard on all the parts where the window runs up and down the frame.

Picture: P.Flintandco

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