Can You Paint Wooden Window Frames?

Paint can be a great way to give any wooden item a new look. But when it comes to wooden window frames, is painting them an option?

Painting wooden window frames is achievable with the right preparation and materials. A semi-gloss or high-gloss paint formulated specifically for wooden surfaces will guarantee maximum durability and color vibrancy. Both oil- or acrylic-based paints work well with a good-quality wood primer. 

In this article, you will learn about:

  • The pros and cons of painting wooden window frames
  • The best paint and primer for wooden window frames
  • How to paint wooden window frames

Is Painting Your Wooden Window Frames a Good Idea?


Protection from weather damage

Painting wooden window frames provides a layer of protection from moisture, sun exposure, and other elements. Additionally, painting the frames can help to protect against pests or insects that may damage the wood over time.


Painting is usually much cheaper than replacing wooden window frames, which can be expensive. It’s also a much simpler solution if you don’t have the budget to install new windows.

Improved aesthetic

Painting wooden window frames can be a great way to enhance the look of your home. It will give it an updated, modern feel while adding color and texture to the area.



Painting wooden window frames requires patience and time as you need to properly prepare the surface and apply multiple layers of paint. If you’re not confident in your painting skills, it may be best to hire a professional.

Imperfections might be visible

Painting wooden window frames can reveal existing imperfections in the wood, especially if you use a gloss finish. If this is a concern, consider using a satin or semi-gloss finish instead, which can be more forgiving.

Labor Intensive

Painting your wooden window frames can be a labor-intensive job. It will require time, effort, and a lot of preparation to ensure you get the best results.

The Best Paint and Primer for Wooden Window Frames

When finding the right paint and primer for wooden window frames, consideration of the environment they will be exposed to is key. Climates come with different humidity levels and sun exposure, so choose a paint that won’t crack or fade in those conditions.

This can drastically impact the durability of a particular paint or primer type. Additionally, look into the wood used in your frames and ensure sufficient preparation and priming before painting.

Finally, when it comes time to select a paint or primer, always keep in mind that high-gloss or semi-gloss products are best for exterior wooden window frames as they will provide the most protection against weather elements and environmental stressors.

Spray paint can be used on wooden window frames. However, it can be difficult to achieve a smooth and even finish while using spray paint. Spray paint is most often used when trying to achieve an even coat over wide areas quickly.

When using spray paint, it is important to use a primer first and work in multiple thin coats rather than one thick coat to avoid drips or runs. Furthermore, ensure you work in a well-ventilated area, as spray paint can release harmful fumes into the air.

Best Paint

Sherwin Williams SherCryl HPA is the ideal paint for wooden window frames. Its unique combination of features makes it the perfect choice for any project requiring a durable, long-lasting finish.

The high-gloss and semi-gloss options allow for greater versatility and aesthetic appeal to any window frame.

The paint also offers superior chemical and humidity resistance, making it great for outdoor applications or locations exposed to high amounts of moisture.

SherCryl’s application characteristics are outstanding, allowing for easy spreading and even distribution when applied with a brush or roller.

Finally, this paint offers a fast dry time, so you can get your window frames painted in no time. With all these features combined, Sherwin Williams SherCryl HPA is truly the best paint option for wooden window frames available on the market today.

Best Primer

Dulux Water-based Gloss Primer for Wood is well-suited for use on wooden window frames due to its excellent adhesion properties. This quality not only makes painting easier but also results in a durable, enduring finish.

The fast-drying formula ensures it will be dry to the touch within an hour of application, so you don’t have to wait too long before painting.

The enhanced smoothness of Dulux Water-based Gloss Primer creates a perfect base coat with minimal surface preparation required.

Its excellent adhesion and smoothness make it a great choice when painting wood surfaces. Additionally, thanks to its water-based nature, this primer won’t leave yellow stains like oil-based primers often do. 

Not only is Dulux Water-based Gloss Primer easy to use and environmentally friendly, but it also contains no added lead or mercury, substances that have been shown to cause health problems when used on painted surfaces inside the home.

How to Paint Wooden Window Frames

Tools and Materials

  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Cleaning supplies (rag, vacuum, mild detergent)
  • 120-180 grit sandpaper
  • Wood filler (optional)
  • Brush and roller
  • Paint tray
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloths

Step 1: Prep the Frames

Before you begin, taking the proper steps to prep the wooden frames for painting is important. Start by checking for any signs of mold on the windows.

If you see signs of mold or you are unsure, use Dulux Fungicidal Wash, and give them a thorough clean before painting. Put painter’s tape around the glass to avoid getting paint on it.

Step 2: Remove Locks and Handles

Before painting, remove all locks and handles from the window frames. You can leave one screw in if needed for opening and closing the window while working on it.

It may help to open or close the window several times during this process to ensure an even coating of paint when finished. 

Step 3: Sand Down Surfaces

To ensure that your paint adheres evenly once applied, sand down all surfaces using a medium grit sandpaper until they are smooth and free of blemishes or irregularities.

Work your way from 120 to 180 grit. Remember to pay attention to any grooves in your window frame since these can sometimes trap paint if not properly prepped beforehand. 

Step 4: Make Any Necessary Repairs

Check your window frames for any signs of damage, such as cracks or warping, and repair them with wood filler if needed. Once the repairs have dried and cured, sand down again to ensure everything is smooth and even before the painting process begins. 

Step 5: Prime Surfaces

Apply a coat of primer with a brush or roller onto every surface that will be painted, including trim and any corners or edges on the frame itself. Let your primer fully dry according to the directions written on the product packaging before proceeding with the next step. 

Step 6: Apply Paint

Once your primer is completely dry, begin applying coats of your chosen paint color onto all surfaces, including trim and all edges around the corners of the frame, with either a brush or roller, depending upon your preference.

When painting, do not load up your brush with too much paint as this can cause dripping or uneven coverage. Make sure to apply several thin coats, allowing each coat to fully dry before applying the next.

You may need more than one coat of paint in order to get a perfect finish. Allow the paint to fully cure and dry according to product instructions.

Step 7: Remove the Tape and Reattach the Hardware

Once your paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape and reattach the locks or handles. Now you can enjoy your newly painted wooden window frames.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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