About| Property Search| List Property| Advertise| Contact

RSS Feed Twitter YouTube LinkedIn Facebook Pinterest G+

Why and How to Restore Historic Wood Windows

by Marquette Turner Luxury Homes

in Design & Trends, Features, How to, Restoration, Variety

People who own or live in old homes should be familiar with how to repair old windows. There are usually many of them which need attention however with the right tools, and tutorials you could have them done in no time. The homes wooden windows are probably one of the most valuable part of the home however most people just choose to replace them altogether. The big mistake of replacing historic windows is that you bring down the value and natural beauty of your home.

Why do people choose to replace their old windows?

  1. The windows may not be working
  2. They may be leaking and not energy efficient
  3. People may have fallen prey to aggressive marketing campaigns by window companies. 

The issues mentioned above can be solved and vintage windows can be just as efficient as a new window would be. 

What should you know about historic windows?

  1. They are repairable – vintage windows were designed to be easy to fix in case anything was to go wrong. Vintage windows allow you to repair only the part that is broken instead of replacing the whole unit. 
  2. They can be upgraded – old windows can easily be upgraded especially if they have become drafty. Their energy efficiency can be improved far better than a new window would offer.
  3. They are easy to maintain – all you need to do is to keep your old windows painted to keep them safe and protected for decades. They actually last much longer than a replacement window. 
  4. They are strong – since they are made from old material, they can last centuries if they are well taken care off. Replacement windows do not last this long.

Restoring historic wood windows

  1. Step 1 – Pre-treatment – apply to areas that may need them. Focus on parts of the wood that may be showing signs of water damage. When applying pre-treatment, you must put it on the wood sashes and muntins. Allow the treatment to completely dry before moving on. 
  2. Sand wood surfaces if it is necessary – all the surfaces must feel smooth, if not, then it should be sand papered. Dust off the remnants with a tack cloth.
  3. Prime the sash – prime all the areas of the sash beside the side edges. Also do not prime the glazing rabbets if were previously pre treated with an oil resin. Allow it to dry completely. 
  4. Sand the primed surfaces – just like before, sand off any grains or dirt from the surface until it is smooth. Dust off with a brush or tack cloth. 
  5. Bed the pane – ensure that all the panes fit by placing them in the sash. Once you remove them, ensure that it is kept in an order that you can remember. Warm the putty and begin kneading it with your hand. Apply the putty in the glazing rabbet with your fingers. Place a layer of putty in all the rabbets of the putty. Shake the pane slightly with your fingers along the edges. Do this to ensure that it fits perfectly into the putty. 
  6. Set the glazing points – you may do this by setting at least one point per edge on panes smaller than 6 and 8 inches. 
  7. Move around the entire sash applying putty. Don’t worry if it does not look neat just yet. You may decide to use your hand or a putty knife to continue distributing the putty. 
  8. Polish the pane – after the tooling has been completed, you can then proceed to polish the outside of the pane with whiting. This will clean the oil from the putty off from the glass. Dust the area and allow to dry using dry powdered whiting. 
  9. Tool the putty in the back – turn the sash and use a putty knife to remove the excess putty that may have come out through the bedding.
  10. Polish the panes – polish and clean the inside of the panes with whiting just like you did in step 8. Leave the sash aside to allow the putty to cure. 
  11. Prime putty – Sometimes putty and paint combinations must be primed, however not all need this. Only do it if it is necessary.
  12. Paint sash – you can now paint two coats of paint over the sash and putty. This will seal the rainwater out and gives the putty a longer life. 

The above information is useful if you need to repair your historic wood windows however remember that they must be maintained regularly to last you a lifetime. 

About the contributor 

Apex Window Werks is a company that does wood and glass works. Their services include but are not limited to: historic window restoration, wood rot repair, broken glass replacement, glass defogging and many more. Feel free to visit their website for more details about their services, service areas and guarantees. 

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: