How to restore tired windows

If you have natural wooden windows that are showing their age inside, such as flaking sills and faded varnish, it does not need to take very long to get them looking their best again. It is simply a case of sanding them down to get rid of the old finish and to achieve a good surface for the new one, then applying a lovely new natural finish.

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Over time, sunlight, extremes of temperature and damp take their toll on varnished windows and they begin to look a little tatty; in fact, sunlight and UV exposure can turn a wood finish into powder. It is important to choose the correct finish to ensure the wood is protected and your results last.

If you have sash windows, the larger areas of wood – such as the bottom of the sash and the sill – are the places that will look worst, but don’t be daunted. This is not a long job and the results can be spectacular.

Before you start

Before you start, check the outside of the window to make sure it is not leaking water, possibly because of cracked putty. If the exterior condition of the windows is poor, your work is likely to be undone very quickly; therefore, you need to restore the outside of the windows before you start on the inside. Assuming the exterior condition is fine, protect the interior of the windows by using masking tape before you start work.

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Remove any blinds that are in place. Now is the time to consider replacing them with new blinds to set off the windows. Waterproof roller blinds from a supplier such as are a good choice because they will resist any damp or moisture in the air, making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.

Remove any flaking or loose finish, lightly sand the windows, and wipe them down to make sure the dust has gone.

Check that the new finish matches

Now apply the new finish. While DIY shops have plenty of varnishes and wood finishes, you could consider a specialist varnish such as a marine or yacht varnish if you think the wood is going to be subject to any kind of damp. Make sure the colour matches any existing finish or other windows.

With new blinds and renovated window, the entire room will get a facelift.

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