Opening Paint-Sealed Windows

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When you paint the interior or exterior of your home, it is wise to be careful around windows. In addition to avoiding painting the glass itself, you want to keep from painting too deep into the sash of the window. If paint makes it into the sash and dries there, that paint can act almost like an adhesive, causing the window to possibly become stuck in a closed position.

This is not only inconvenient but also dangerous in the event a fire were to occur and a window escape becomes necessary with the only option being to go through a window that is sealed closed by dried paint.


In the even that your window has been painted into a closed state, there are a few steps you can take to attempt to remedy this situation. If unlocking the window and trying to gently maneuver it open has not worked, it is time to call on the assistance of a rubber mallet. With this mallet, gently bump the top frame of the window sash a few times over different locations then try opening it again. If you are still faced with failure, it will be necessary to call on a utility knife or even a putty knife to aid you.

With the knife of your choice, be it utility or putty, head to the outside of your home where the troublesome window is located. Take your knife and carefully cut through the dried paint in the area where the window stop meets the window sash, using a hammer if you must to encourage the process along. Once this is done, again attempt to raise your window. If you are still having little or no luck, you may have to try using a pry bar to get the job done.


Starting at one end, insert a flat pry bar between the window sash and sill and carefully pry it free. Once you feel the location in which you are working give a little, remove the pry bar and move down the window, then repeat the process. As you move from place to place, the window should loosen with each effort, until it finally breaks free at the end, giving you the freedom to open and close it once again.


Now that your window is finally open, adding a little lubrication to each side of the frame will help keep it mobile. In the case of windows that are still tough to open even then, the window stop may need to be removed to add space.

Alternatively, the sash can be removed and edges planed for the same affect, but whichever method you choose, an easy to open window can again become yours.

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