Sash windows are beautifully designed and engineered windows. They have been in England since the 1670s and have been offering our homes charm, style and presence ever since. While these windows are beautiful and can last many years with the right maintenance, they can still get stuck. So, we’re looking at how to unstick wooden windows today.
How to open a stuck sash window
Identify the problem
There are many reasons why a wooden sash window may be stuck. However, one of the biggest culprits is paint. If you’ve recently painted your sash windows, the paint may have sealed them shut or may have ended up between the frame and the sash or in the channels that allow the window to move. You’ll need to unstick your wooden window and then fix the problem to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Unsticking the sash window alone isn’t going to fix the issue, but here is how to unstick it.
The best method for repairing stuck sash windows
What you’ll need
- A hammer
- A block of wood
- A putty knife
- Utility knife (only needed if the seal won’t break)
The wooden block method
Place the block of wood against the window frame at the bottom of one side (you can wrap the wood in a cloth to protect the paintwork, but as long as you’re careful, you won’t damage the paint or the window). Gently tap the block with the hammer. You aren’t trying to break the window with this hammer blow, only the seal of the paint around the window. So a gentle tap will do.
Move the block to the other side of the window and repeat. Then move up slightly and hit the block of wood again. Then move back to the previous side, move up slightly again and hit the block of the wood. Do this, moving up about an inch at a time until you have reached the top of the window.
Putty knife method
If the seal keeping the window stuck has not released, you can try the same thing with a putty knife. Slide it into the crack between the window and frame and gently tap it with a hammer. Slowly work your way around the window with gentle taps on the putty knife.
The utility knife method
Finally, if the putty knife method doesn’t do the trick to unseal your wooden window, you can use a knife to cut the paint that is sealing your window. We only recommend doing this if the other methods don’t work, as this can cause the paint to peel. Carefully run the putty knife around the edge of the window and window frame. Take a few passes and ensure that all of the paint has been cut. You can gently rattle the window to check to see if there is movement as you go.
Now that your window is open, it is well worth giving the frame, channels and sash a good clean. This will remove any dirt or grease that may prevent the window from functioning once you’ve closed it again. Use a cleaning solution that won’t cause damage to the paintwork unless you intend on painting the window again, then it doesn’t really matter.
Wooden window repair is a delicate business. While unsticking a painted shut window isn’t too tricky, it can result in some damage to the paintwork. If your wooden sash windows are in need of repair work, Chameleon Decorators are the best wooden window restoration and repair specialists in the UK. Give Chameleon a call today to see how we can help you restore your old wooden windows.