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Spring Update

Timothy Bausack

Well the weather is finally consistently in the 55+ degree range which is good for paint and primer. As a result I have been getting going on continuing last fall's paint & window repair project.

I did not do anything over the winter really except prepare to make maple syrup. No shutters got squared and repainted. No hardware got stripped. No screens or storm windows got built. I was kind of lazy when you get right down to it. I guess I just needed a break from house things for a bit.

In the last couple days I have taken an hour or so to begin prepping some primed areas for painting. I learned a good technique for painting glazing if you don't have a steady hand. Ideally, the paint should extend past the narrow strip of glazing and onto the glass itself by about 1/16" but not be visible while looking out the window from inside (the interior portion of the muntins should appear wider than the exterior ones after glazing). The purpose for this is that the paint will prevent water from getting under the glaze where it can cause it to crack and the wood to rot.

At any rate, you tear off 2 strips of painters tape that are a little longer than you need. Then tear off 2 strips that are shorter than you need. Apply the longer ones first and parallel to one another, ideally leaving about 1/16" from the edge of the glaze (which should line up pretty closely with the back of the interior side of the muntin). The shorter ones go over the top of the longer pieces and run parallel in the other direction. On my window I did the long pieces vertically and the short pieces horizontally. Then, once all 4 pieces are taped to the glass, place a putty knife with a good sharp edge on top of the long piece with the edge right where you want the paint's edge to be. While pressing the knife against the glass, rip the tag of tape off quickly against the blade. It should leave a perfectly straight edge. Do that for the remaining 3 tags of tape and you are left with a perfect square. Don't slop your paint onto the tape or it will bleed under!

Ron Hazelton has a video of this online where he compared the taping method to scraping excess paint and found that, at least for him, the tape method was the quickest.

Jim, the retired glazier I know through work, said he just uses a big 4" paint brush and cuts a line in. I haven't tried that yet.

Since I was more or less patching up the glaze in the bad spots I had to go with the previous glaze profiles which are wider on the muntins than I would have done if doing the entire window from scratch. If my paint goes very far onto the glass it will be visible inside. I looked out in the morning and could see sun poking through all the edges. I will have decisions to make on how much glass to cover keeping in mind that it is more important to keep water out than to not see paint from inside.

*time passes*

Well I tried to move the tape a little but it was a big hassle. Half of the window looks pretty sharp with the tape removed so I'll paint the other half pretty soon. I can't wait until all the windows are done...all 47 of them.... 

Update - Dining room window with the taping process:

Long pieces of tape

bridged together with short pieces of tape.

Clean the tags up with the putty knife

and have the whole window taped in 20-30 minutes