Home>Discussions>INSULATION & HVAC>Plastic window sheeting -- impact on paint?
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Plastic window sheeting -- impact on paint?

Our 1952 brick master bungalow has the original single-pane, metal casement windows. The 2nd floor windows have exterior storms. Marble windowsills throughout. LOTS of windows. Replacement windows aren't in the budget.

The windows are set into the wall about 4". There's a 1.5" piece of wood trim set at a right angle to the windows, but the rest of the inset is plaster. Both wall and trim are painted.

I'm considering the 3M-type plastic flim to cut heating costs. I understand that if I go this route the windows will be inoperable until the film is removed.

  • Is this type of product typically attached to trim? Or to the wall?
  • The handles and crank stick out approx. 3" at the deepest point. Is attaching the film to the trim even a possibility?
  • How does it impact the paint? Is there a difference in impact between putting it on the wood trim or the plaster?

I would appreciate any/all comments/answers/suggestions. This issue is both window and heating related, so I'm cross-posting.

Thank you!


Re: Plastic window sheeting -- impact on paint?

I have a few widows in my house where I use the same thing. The package comes with a roll of two sided tape(sticky on both sides), I cut to length attach to the trim and overlap in the corners, peel the paper off the other side and put the plastic up as even as possible and use my Daughters hair drier to make it tight.
The windows will be inoperable but since I plan on replacing mine anyway I drilled a 3/16 hole in the window sill and ran a string through to the shade, then made it long enough to be able to roll the shade up and down. Then I attached the string to a piece of wood with a hole so I wouldn't lose it behind the plastic. There were a couple places where the paint peeled but I think it is worth the cost of a little paint to keep the draft out. If you have to poke the handle through the plastic I would use the hair drier and then the seal as best as possible with scotch tape. It does a very good job. Good Luck!!! :)

jim hankinson
Re: Plastic window sheeting -- impact on paint?

I've been using 3-M and Frost King for at least 6 years. Paint removal is minimal and really minimizes air infiltration. Crank handles can usually be removed by loosening the set screw.

Re: Plastic window sheeting -- impact on paint?

Oh yeah, the set screw, forgot about that. :o

Re: Plastic window sheeting -- impact on paint?

I think it would depend on the quality/age of the paint, too. I put up plastic sheeting at my old apartment, where the windowsills had been painted a million times over. When I removed it in the spring I definitely pulled up lots of big paint chips, too. But if your windows are as old and rattly as mine were, it's definitely worth the effort--paint is comparably cheap.

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