A Few Tips for Homeowners Looking to Repair Their Own Wood Windows

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Wood windows are often preferred by homeowners who want a very cozy look to their home and the windows in particular; they may seem more attractive than vinyl and metal, and can work well with a craftsman style or other traditional look to a home. However, they do need consistent maintenance and repair work as the wood is likely to rot, chip, or otherwise get damaged over time, even with regular sealing. Note a few tips for homeowners looking to repair their own wood windows so you know the job gets done right. 

Use a deglazing tool

You'll often need to remove the old glass or glazing in a wood window to repair it, but you don't want to use a sharp edge to do this as this might damage the wood window frame. Instead, use a deglazing tool. This looks like a cross between a chisel and a pizza cutter; the tool has a flat side that you hold against the wood window frame to protect it, and then a small wheel on one side to cut out the glazing or the caulk that holds in the actual glass. This makes removal safe and fast and also protects the wood.

Remove the paint with heat

Rather than trying to scrape away old paint from a wood window, use heat to literally melt the paint and allow you to easily wipe it away or pull it off the wood. You can rent an infrared paint removal tool from the hardware store or use a torch at a low heat that you hold away from the window, keeping it just close enough to cause the paint to bubble. You can then use a soft and thick chisel to pull the paint away from the wood without scratching it.

Use a liquid epoxy on rotted areas

When you have rotted areas of wood, you'll want to remove them with a chisel and fill them with wood putty or filler. Before you add that filler, use a liquid epoxy. Apply it and let it soak into the wood to prepare the surface for the wood filler. The liquid epoxy will cover over any areas of wood that may still be rotted and which you've missed. It will also allow the wood filler to settle into the area and adhere to the surface without sliding away or becoming so thick that it actually falls out of the wood in a solid chunk.