Wood Windows: How to Restore, Cleaning & Maintenance

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Experts in Sash Windows Repair & Restoration, Timber Windows & Timber Doors in east midlands

Why Trust Sash Window Refurbish?

Sash Windows Refurbish specializes in providing repair and restoration services for wooden windows and doors in the UK, as well as various types of carpentry. During the process of fulfilling orders, we utilize a range of tools and paints, including saws, sprays, primers, resins, and adhesives. With more than 20 years of experience in carpentry, we have tested and used various brands and types of work tools, making us well-equipped to offer helpful advice on selecting the right tools and paints for your needs. Read more ...

Timber Window Cleaning Tips: Inside and Out

Cleaning Techniques for Internal Glass Panels:

Start by dusting the sills and frames. For the internal glass, a mixture of mild soap and warm water works wonders. Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub away dirt and grime. Dry the glass thoroughly with a clean, lint-free cloth to prevent streaks.

Cleaning Methods for External Glass Surfaces:

Outdoor windows endure harsher elements. Clean external glass with a solution of water and vinegar, or a dedicated glass cleaner. For stubborn stains, a mixture of water and baking soda can be effective. Don’t forget to clean the frames and sills, removing debris and cobwebs.

Preserving Timber Window Frames: Interior and Exterior Care

Regularly inspect the timber window frames. To clean internal and external frames, use a mild detergent solution and a soft brush. For added protection, apply a suitable wood preservative or sealant. Remember, prevention is key to preserving the natural beauty of timber.

Restoring the Beauty of Timber Windows: Step-by-Step Guide

Over time, timber windows might lose their lustre. To restore them, start by sanding the surfaces to remove old paint and imperfections. Apply a high-quality wood primer, followed by two coats of paint in your desired colour. Proper restoration not only enhances aesthetics but also protects the wood from environmental damage.

  1. Inspect for potential areas requiring repair. If you have worries about necessary fixes, consult the relevant section below.
  2. Thoroughly cleanse the glass and frames following the previously mentioned instructions.
  3. Gently and meticulously sand the frames – a light sanding will suffice.
  4. If preferred, apply a coat of paint to your frames. After sanding, ensure any residue is wiped away with a damp cloth for a smooth finish.
  5. Conclude the process by treating the wood on your frames. This shields the wood from weather-related damage.
  6. In cases where the silicone has detached from the window or developed mould, remove the old silicone and apply a new layer.

Repairing Timber Windows: Solutions for Common Issues

Common issues like rot, decay, or loose joints can affect timber windows. Repairing them promptly is crucial. Treat rot with wood hardener and filler. Loose joints can be reinforced with epoxy resin. Regular inspections and swift repairs ensure the structural integrity of your timber windows.

  1. Should you encounter deteriorated wood, delicately eliminate the decayed portions from the frame. Employ a top-notch wood filler or putty to fill any openings.
  2. Acquire screws of superior quality and rejuvenate the latch by exchanging outdated screws with fresh ones.
  3. Revamp hinges by substituting worn-out screws with new counterparts. Utilize an oil spray to restore hinges that have become jammed.

Painting Timber Windows: A Complete DIY Tutorial

When it comes to painting timber windows, preparation is key. Clean the surfaces thoroughly, sand them to create a smooth base, and apply primer. Choose a high-quality exterior paint suitable for wood. Apply multiple thin coats for a flawless finish. Properly painted windows not only look appealing but also resist weathering effectively.

  1. When dealing with a frame that already bears paint, the initial step is to remove any peeling paint carefully.
  2. Whether you’re applying paint to an untreated frame or one with existing paint, a thorough sanding is essential before proceeding further. Employ fine-grit sandpaper to safeguard the frame from damage. After sanding, meticulously clean the frame to remove any residual dust.
  3. Apply a primer to all parts of the frame to guarantee the wood’s resilience against cracking.
  4. Opt for high-quality paint specifically formulated for timber applications. Applying paint slowly and in modest quantities is crucial to avoid drip marks. Ideally, employ a paintbrush to cover the entire frame.
  5. Once the paint has dried, utilize a sealant to protect the paintwork. This step is vital in preventing the wood from contracting or expanding excessively in extreme temperature variations.

Durability of Wooden Window Frames: How Long Can You Expect Them to Last?

The lifespan of wooden window frames largely depends on the type of wood, quality of maintenance, and exposure to weather conditions. Typically, well-maintained timber windows can last for decades, providing warmth and character to your home. Regular cleaning, repairs, and occasional refinishing significantly extend their durability.

Identifying Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Wooden Window Frames

Despite proper care, there comes a time when replacement is necessary. Signs such as severe rot, extensive damage, or difficulty in operation indicate it’s time for new windows. Modern replacement options offer energy efficiency and security, ensuring your home remains comfortable and safe.

  1. Evident heat loss serves as a compelling reason to consider window replacement. Not only will your indoor space struggle to retain warmth, but your home will also cool down rapidly. Moreover, the heat escaping through your windows necessitates increased usage of your central heating system, leading to unusually high energy expenses.
  2. The presence of interior condensation, especially during mornings, indicates potential failures in either your glazing or the seals encasing your frames. Ignoring this issue allows moisture to permeate your living spaces, leading to dampness and mould growth.
  3. While deteriorating sections of timber frames can be removed and filled, a complete decay of your window frame poses a significant security risk. Rotten timber weakens the frames substantially. If the decay has consumed the entire window frame, a complete unit replacement becomes imperative.
  4. Notable fading on furniture, walls, and carpets is a common occurrence in older windows; however, this issue can be mitigated by upgrading to modern timber windows. If you observe the sun’s UV rays fading the interior of your home, it suggests that your existing windows are not high-performing and likely do not meet recent building standards.


Is it worth restoring old wood windows?

Restoring old wood windows can be worth it for several reasons. It preserves the historical or architectural value of a building, enhances its curb appeal, and can be more cost-effective than replacing windows entirely. Properly restored wood windows can also offer good insulation and energy efficiency.

What is the life expectancy of a wooden window?

The life expectancy of a wooden window depends on various factors such as the quality of the wood, the climate, maintenance, and exposure to elements. Generally, well-maintained wooden windows can last anywhere from 30 to 100 years. Regular upkeep, including painting and sealing, can significantly extend their lifespan.

How do you repair a split wooden window frame?

To repair a split wooden window frame, start by cleaning the area around the split and removing any loose or damaged wood. Apply wood glue into the split, ensuring it penetrates fully, and then clamp the pieces together tightly. Wipe off excess glue and let it dry thoroughly. After drying, sand the repaired area smoothly and repaint or refinish the frame for a seamless appearance.

About the author

Glen Ramsey, who presently holds the positions of customer support and content manager, is a cherished member of the Sash Window Refurbish team. He is in a unique position to provide advice on all questions pertaining to the renovation of historic windows because he has a wealth of experience in all elements of window renovation, dealing with clients regularly and assisting them in choosing the best window-related course of action. He oversees the creation of information for all of our platforms in his capacity as content manager, including web content and other materials. Glen has witnessed the whole gamut of Sash Window Refurbish's window restoration activities, from our work on significant listed Georgian homes to a wide variety of smaller-scale private residential projects.


My technician Andrew replaced all my sash windows that had rotten sills. Accessing the rotten sills was not an easy task. He explained to me what needed to be done in order to fix the problem. He is a great person and I’m happy that he was the one who did the job. He is reliable, tidy, friendly and very professional. I highly recommend him.



I hired Andrew and Alex a while back to repair my damaged sash windows. They were was very considerate and very patient as he did his job. A few days ago, I had another problem with one of my sash lock keys and I called him again to come and fix the problem. I’m very impressed that Liam responded quickly and he not only fixed the problem but he also gave me a spare key. What a great after sales service!

Alan W.


I’m very impressed with the new windows that Andrew installed and also the reconditioning job that he did on other sash windows. The quality of his work is by far more superior than what we got when we hired another company a few years back. We will certainly hire him again if any window work arises

Kelly (Sleaford)


Our decorator referred us to Andrew because some of the work needed a window expert. Andrew together with our decorator did a fantastic job. The work was done efficiently and to the highest standards. Andrew is understanding, committed and very professional. I recommend him without any hesitation.

Steaven Reader


Alex did a great job in fixing windows in our terraced house. The windows were broken, frames damaged and the wood was also rotten. Alex's job was high quality and he did it pretty fast. I was also very impressed that he was considerate of my son’s asthma condition and maintained cleanliness. Top work.



Andrew just recently replaced three sash windows in my Edwardian house. He also repaired and replaced some sills and draught proofed three windows. In addition to that, he also did some carpentry work. What I like the most about Liam is that he did a clean job. He is very professional and always updated me about the timescales and costs. He also did his job with minimal disruptions. I highly recommend him.

Cris M.