Window Procedure: Step 3. Remove Paint from Frames and Sills
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johnleeke
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Joined: 20 Aug 2004
Posts: 2937
Location: Portland, Maine, USA

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 6:16 am    Post subject: Window Procedure: Step 3. Remove Paint from Frames and Sills Reply with quote

Basic overall procedure to refurbish windows:
(excerpt from Save America's Windows)

1. Remove sashes from frame, install temporary weather panel
2. Move sashes to onsite or remote workshop
3. Remove heavy paint buildup from frame and sill
4. Repair sills, paint sills and frames
5. De-glaze (remove glass) sashes, remove paint, cleanup
6. Mill out stock for replacement sash parts
7. Cut & fit stock for each sash repair
8. Repair wood of sashes
9. Re-glaze and paint sashes
10. Move sashes back to site and distribute to window locations
11. Re-install sashes in frame and tune up for proper operation

Step 3. Remove heavy paint buildup from frame and sill is detailed here.

Remove Paint from Frame Jambs and Sash Tracks

The outer jamb track (upper sash) is not used as much as the inner and often has a build-up paint that restricts the movement of the upper sash. Painters seem to clean their brushes off on the outer stop which leaves a bead of paint. All of this results in a thick layer of paint that must be removed if the upper sash is to be operable.--Guy Chipman, San Antonio, Texas

Here is a video showing how I used steam to clear out the sash tracks on a project last summer:




It shows how I adjusted the steam-time and scraping technique to avoid fraying the wood surface.

The total direct paint removal time for 66" of sash track was 21 minutes. This included the bottom of the track, the inner surface of the outer stop and the parting bead. Steamer setup and breakdown is 10 minutes. This time does not include lead-safe operations.

Other Methods

Chemical paint strippers can be effective.
Dry scraping works but it may generates a lot of lead-containing dust and debris that is difficult and costly to control.
High-heat dry-heat methods like open flame, hot-air gun and infra-red lamps run the risk of catching the building on fire.

The next step was removing the parting beads and upper sash. Then Wet Abrasive Scrub of the entire frame (jambs, header and sill), which removed remaining traces of primer and cleaned the frame and sill surfaces. The jambs were then clean and ready for repairs.


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