Having wooden sash windows can be a wonderful addition to any home or business, providing they are in good working order and that they are properly decorated. Whilst the benefits of having sash windows are huge, one should be aware that painting wooden sash windows is one of the most difficult projects for an amateur to undertake and if the truth be told, a lot off professionals shy away from sash windows and it can be an extremely laborious undertaking and there are many factors that need to be considered.
The first thing that you should be aware of before you still painting any sash windows is that, on the whole, sash windows tend to be pretty old which in turn means at some point, the chances are that the windows would have been painted using leaded paint. Leaded paint can be extremely dangerous to not only the person who will be painting the actual windows, but also others around you and even anyone that will enter the room a short time after work has ceased. For this reason it is a good idea to seal of the room you are working in if possible and make sure you wear the correct breathing protection and that you take extreme care at all times. Another thing that you should be aware of is that a lot of sash windows will have been painted shut over the years or may even have been blocked shut to prevent draft or for security reasons. If this is the case on the windows you will be working on, you should be aware that you may have to enlist the help of professionals ie a carpenter or a painter that specializes in sash windows, to get the windows to a standard that you are happy with before any painting can commence.
Once you are happy that the windows are in a state you are happy with, you next need to decide if you are going to paint the existing paint / stain, or if you are going to strip the windows back to bare wood. If you do decide to strip them back to bare wood, there are three main methods you can use which are: using a heat gun, using a blow torch or using a chemical stripper. A heat gun and blow torch is the quickest method but can also cause damage to the glass in the windows if the user is not extremely careful. Using a chemical stripper has the advantage of not running any great risk of damaging the glass but does carry its own risk, in that that can seriously aggravate a person's skin and eyes.
When all of the above has been resolved it's time to move on to the actual painting. There is not a quick method of painting sash windows and you should be aware that the take an amazing amount time and effort to get them looking anything like perfect. Having said that, a sash windows brush can speed up the process a little and as always, using quality tools and materials is always a good idea but above all else it will take time, patience and skill to make them shine once again.