Timber windows really add a little something extra to any home. Not only are they made from a natural and sustainable source with great insulating properties but they can also be easily adapted to any changes a homeowner wishes to make to the style of their property as times and fashion dictate. However, a neglected timber window can cause a homeowner many problems and over time the weather will have a disastrous effect on how well it fits and how insulating it is. There is no need to resign them to the rubbish heap though as this step by step guide to timber window renovation (as my friends in Sweden say Fönsterrenovering) will show you how easy it is to restore them to their former glory.


The first thing that you need to do is get the window ready for the work that you are going to carry out on it. Obviously this job is made much easier if the whole window can be removed, but if this is not possible, then try and at least to take the sashes off of the frame or find a way to secure them. Also remove any hard wear such as catches and locks so that you have a nice clean area to work with.

Once the work area has been prepared it is time to make a start on the window renovation. The first and most important part of any timber window renovation is removing layers of old paint and restoring them back to their raw condition. This can be done one of two ways, which is either using a liquid paint remover or using an orbital sander. I personally find a combination of the two works best for me. An orbital sander is a quick and easy way to remove paint on flat surfaces and the liquid paint remover is good on any tricky patches or corners.


Once all of the paint is removed, use some fine sandpaper and give the whole window a once over to remove any splintered edges and make sure that the wood is as even as possible. Now look at the frame itself and identify any cracks, holes and splits. Use a wood filler to plug any potential leaks and once it is dry, sand those patches over again with the fine sandpaper so that they are level with the rest of the frame.

Next you need to apply a primer coat and it is important that you use exterior grade where necessary as this holds up against the weather better.

Once dry, you can apply your final coat of paint or wood stain in the shade of your choice.


Whilst waiting for the various coats to dry, take the time to check that the beading or putty around the glass is secure and not cracked or warped. Cracked putty will let in moisture and drafts just the same as a warped window frame, so, if you find any, be sure to replace it.


Timber window renovation does not stop there however. Consider fitting new hardware to the windows, such as latches and catches that suit the overall look of the room they are in. Now might also be a good time to buy and fit better window locks to increase your home security too.