1 out of 5EasyDepending on the condition and age of the window.
1 to 2 hours
In this video, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva explains how to open a painted window.
How to Open a Window That’s Been Painted Shut
- Slide a putty knife between the stop bead and window sash to cut through the paint seal.
- Use putty knife to open the joint between the bottom sash and stool (windowsill).
- Slide putty knife along the meeting rail where the top and bottom sash meet.
- Try lifting the sash; if it’s still stuck, move on to the next step.
- Force a putty knife behind window stop; if necessary, use two or more knives.
- Carefully pry the stop from the side jamb using a small flat pry bar.
- Use a hammer to pull any nails from the jambs.
- With one stop removed, try lifting the sash.
- If the sash doesn’t budge, remove the opposite window stop.
- With both stops removed, gently wiggle the sash free of the window frame.
- Cut the sash cords and remove the sash.
- Scrape the sash of all loose paint, then sand it smooth.
- Prime and repaint the sash.
- Install new sash cords and replace the sash and window stops.
Tools & Materials