Window Painting – How to paint window frame and trim

Paint your windows – DIY Guide for window painting

It is always fun to paint your window in your home when you instantly see the reslut of your labour. However, it is paramount to use the right paint to paint your window, and you must know what you are doing when painting. In order to get a long lasting painted window frame, we created this guide that helps you through DIY window painting.

Basics about painting window frame and trim – Paint

To make sure you get the right paint in hands when you are on a chase for the best window paint, we show you the basiscs that you need to know about paint and compare acrylic paint, alkyd paint and primer. You will need a primer and an acrylic or alkyd paint to paint your window frames.

Alkyd Paint – Oil-based – Solvent-based: Alkyd Paint is a synthetic resin (binder) that is dispersed in organic solvents. We call those solvent-based paint or terpentine-based paint. They are suitable as a window frame paint.


  • leaves a very smooth, hard  finish, can be applied within a large temperature range.


  • organic solvents are not healthy for the environment and you as a painter.

Acrylic Paint – Water-based: Water based paints are based on water als a solvent and acrylics as the binder. It is the go-to paint when you want no harmful painting experience.

  • is available in a large range of colours and easy to apply as brushes can be rinsed out with water; also the paint is are less harmful for the environment, and the drying time is shorter than oil-based/solvent-based paints.


Finishes are slightly less perfect, and coats are less resilient.

Primer – Undercoat: Primers and undercoats can be both made from acrylic or alkyd, thus are water-based or oil-based. The key is to match your primer with the right paint for the top coat.

Rule of thumb

Stay within one system to make sure topcoat and primer are compatible. Keep acrylic primer with acrylic paint and alkyd primer with alkyd paint.

Buy Window Frame Paint

Window frame paint are available in your local hardware store, but they can be ordered online – comfortably from your home and delivered to your address. Here are some window frame paints for you to buy:

Oil-based and acrylic paints

Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain – Solvent-based – Exterior – Alkyd
Sadolin Extra Durable Woodstain
  • Solvent-based
  • Exterior
Dulux Once Gloss Wood & metal paint – Solvent-based – Interior
Dulux Once Gloss Wood & metal paint
  • Solvent-based
  • Interior
Leyland Trade High Gloss Wood & metal paint – Solvent-based – Interior + Exterior
Leyland Trade High Gloss Wood Paint
  • Solvent-based
  • Interior + Exterior
Dulux Weather Shield Quickdry Satin Wood & metal paint – Water-based – Exterior
Dulux Weather Shield Quickdry Satin
  • Water-based
  • Exterior
Dulux Trade Weathershield Exterior High Gloss Wood paint – Solvent based – exterior
Dulux Trade Weathershield High Gloss
  • Solvent-based
  • Exterior

Oil-based and acrylic primer/undercoat

Leyland Trade Acrylic Primer Undercoat
  • Water-based Acrylic Primer
  • Suitable for: Interior + Exterior
  • Colour: White
  • Apply with: Brush, roller
  • Coverage: ca. 13m²/litre
  • Recoat after: 1 – 2 hours
Leyland Trade All purpose Primer
  • Solvent-based Primer
  • Suitable for: Interior + Exterior
  • Colour: White
  • Apply with: Brush, roller
  • Coverage: ca. 12m²/litre
  • Recoat after: 16 – 24 hours

Let’s paint window frames – How-to

Shopping List

To paint the window trim inside and outside, you need to prepare the trim first. After you have selected a matching team of primer and top coat in your chosen colour, head to the painting tools and other departments, to look for and buy:

  • 4 to 5 cm stiff angled brush
  • Non-soapy detergent
  • Scrub sponge
  • Cotton/Linen cloth or rag
  • Bucket
  • Sanding paper and sanding block with 120 – 180 grit
  • Masking tape
  • Plastic sheet or cardboard to protect floor from drips
    • if there are holes to be filled you also need:
      • putty knife
      • putty


  1. Wash the window frame to get rid of existing dirt and grime. To clean the window frame, use a bucket with warm water and detergent, then dip the sponge in it and rub the sponge along the window trim. If clean, rub lightly with a dry cloth to dry.
  2. Once the surface is dry, sand the window trim with sanding paper. If you have several grit sand paper, start with the riughest and move towards the fine grit sand paper. Sand so that the surface looks flat. Sanding is paramount to make the window trim receptive for the primer or paint. Otherwise paint will not adhere properly.
  3. If you find any holes or damage in the wood of the window frame, fill cracks and holes with wood putty. Immediately flaten the putty with a putty knife. Mind that putty will shrink when it is drying, so use it ample. Once the putty is dry, sand it to a flat surface.
  4. Tape the walls around the window frame with masking tape. Everything that you want to protect from paint must be taped with painters’ tape.
  5. Lay down cardboard and/or plastic sheet for protection of the floor underneath the window.

Painting Window Frame and Trim

The first layer of the window frame paint is actually the primer. In some cases a primer is not necessary and you can start brushing on the topcoat paint directly to the cleaned and sanded wooden surface. The brushing on of paint and primer is vitually the same. Here is how to paint your window frames with primer and/or paint:

  1. Give the paint a good stir and, depending on the size of the tin, pour it into an external bucket.
  2. Open the window so that you can reach to every part of the wooden frame to be painted.
  3. When dipping the flat brush into the paint, only cover the first 2 to 3 cm or so. By covering only the tip of the brush, you prevent paint dripping and messing up the brush and your hands.
  4. Paint in long, eassy strokes and follow the wood grain (if there is any visible). Always paint starting at the top and ending at the bottom.
  5. Work your way with the brush, starting at the front facing surface and the sash to the trim. Work relatively quick before the paint is guey and starts to dry. Work in sections if you cannot keep a fast pace.
  6. Wait for the primer or the first layer of paint to dry and applay the paint respectively the next layer of paint like before.
  7. Let the finished paint job dry for 24 hours before touching and using it.