Need help opening windows painted shut

Old 05-31-06, 10:33 AM
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Need help opening windows painted shut

I am trying to open windows that have been painted shut. The previous owner told that they have been painted shut by 100 years of painting. Can someoen help walk me thru the process of getting these windows to oopen again? Thank you.
Old 05-31-06, 05:23 PM
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Depending on how badly painted shut they are, you may have to remove the interior stops to free the windows. When windows are painted up on all sides that makes it pretty hard to get them loose.

In short, picture a window like this: |x|x|

the left line represents the interior stop. The left X represents the lower interior sash. the middle line represents the parting stop, the right X represents the upper exterior sash, and the right line represents the blind stop, or exterior stop.

The lower interior window sash is usually painted to the interior stop, and to the stool which is along the bottom. The stool is often incorrectly called the sill. Scoring the edge of the window with a sharp utility knife is sometimes all you need to do to break it loose. When they are REALLy painted up, a thin putty knife or glazier's knife (or 5-in-one tool) and hammer are needed to break them loose, and this often can cause more damage than what you would like. So in those cases, you might be better off scoring the paint on both edges of the interior stop and try to remove the interior stop without breaking it- they are usually very brittle.

The lower window sash is also sometimes stuck to the upper sash at the meeting rail or interlock. inserting the putty knife where both windows meet will often break this seal.

The lower window sash is also often painted to the parting stop on the outside. Again, score it with a utility knife, but if this doesn't work, you may need to use the hammer and putty knife.

The lower window sash is also sometimes painted to the sill, which is the exterior sloped portion of the window. If you tap the putty knife under the window from the outside, you can sometimes break it loose. Getting underneath the window in this same spot with a large prybar will sometimes raise the window at this point. If not, start over and try it all again. Sometimes you have to go around and around the window before you succeed.

If you plan on breaking open the top window sash, you will need to go inside and break the paint loose from the parting stop on the sides and top.

The top window sash will also be painted shut on the outside- stuck to the blind stop, or exterior stop. Again, you'll try to cut it loose, or use the hammer and putty knife. It is often very difficult to get this window down, because there is nothing to pry against unless you remove the exterior blind stop.

If the windows are very old, there may be a little iron pull knob on one or both sides of the window sash, very near the glass. These pull knobs need to be pulled toward the center of the window in order to raise or lower the window. Sometimes they are missing or broken. The claw of a hammer usually works well to loosen them, if you hit the hammer with the palm of your hand.

Good luck. You've picked a very frustrating job.
Old 05-31-06, 07:40 PM
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If indeed they are double hung/sash windows....there are a number of alternatives.

First i would get a paint stripper or heat gun (like a hair dryer - only hotter) and apply sustained heat to strip (or moisten the painted areas).

If you have enough room....use a piece of 4x2 to chock under the upper cross sash frame....and tap (hit) the bottom up with a hammer (preferrably a mallet).

If for some reason the widows dont move still....check to see if they have been nailed.

Good Luck

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