Decent exterior paint for window frames?

#1
Our home in the Lake District is of typical stone and slate construction, built on a slope with two bay windows - one facing the road and another, Oriel style at the rear. In addition there are 7 sash windows and a balcony door scattered over four floors, making access difficult from the outside.

Given the house is listed, in a conservation area and in the National Park, the wooden frames have to stay (which is good as when I become Lord Protector of this scepte'd isle, I will make ownership and installation of plastic windows a Captial offence). The problem is the maintenance. I have yet to find a decent PBW paint that doesn't crack after a year or two and then needs to be taken back. I use a decent oil-based primer undercoat (grey) which means I can ensure decent top coat cover. Can anyone recommend a good, long lasting exterior white gloss paint?

Because of access issues (ie scaffolding) I'm going to take the time in July to remove the sashes from the inside at d fully refurbish them (replace the cords, runners etc) but I want to make sure I have a decent paint finish so I don't have to repaintbthem every 2 years.

Recommendations?
 
#4
Our home in the Lake District is of typical stone and slate construction, built on a slope with two bay windows - one facing the road and another, Oriel style at the rear. In addition there are 7 sash windows and a balcony door scattered over four floors, making access difficult from the outside.

Given the house is listed, in a conservation area and in the National Park, the wooden frames have to stay (which is good as when I become Lord Protector of this scepte'd isle, I will make ownership and installation of plastic windows a Captial offence). The problem is the maintenance. I have yet to find a decent PBW paint that doesn't crack after a year or two and then needs to be taken back. I use a decent oil-based primer undercoat (grey) which means I can ensure decent top coat cover. Can anyone recommend a good, long lasting exterior white gloss paint?

Because of access issues (ie scaffolding) I'm going to take the time in July to remove the sashes from the inside at d fully refurbish them (replace the cords, runners etc) but I want to make sure I have a decent paint finish so I don't have to repaintbthem every 2 years.

Recommendations?
If you are looking for longterm, don't use a paint which isn't an exterior grade paint. Tikkurila looked good and I considered specifying it for jobs when I worked at Hampshire County Architects but I moved on before I was able to.

Since wood such as that for windows and doors will expand and shrink as the season changes, what you need is a flexible paint that doesn't go brittle and will move with the timber.

And since it looks like you're doing something major, I'd go for stripping all the existing exterior paint off which may be the old style paint which gets brittle with age.

When I moved into my first house, I burned all the paint off (burning not recommended now due to the lead content in old paint, should use chemical peelers/stripper) I used Dulux Weathershield to repaint. It had a preservative primer system which was a thin blue tinted preservative which soaked into the joints and ends of the timber, 2cts undercoat then 1ct gloss, but I slapped on 2cts gloss as I didn't want to revisit the job for a number of years and in case I missed any areas.

It was only about 12 - 13 years later that it looked as though it needed painting again.

It's a while since I looked (I did the sin of going plastic since the original windows were single glazed and draughty and I was looking for an easy life) so what's available may have changed, but there should be a number of brands that have flexible paint systems specific for exterior work. The formulation may have possibly changed but it looks like Weathersield is still around.

Dulux Trade Weathershield Exterior High Gloss | Dulux Decorator Centre

One thing I couldn't get on with was using water based paint, the damned stuff just dried too quickly for my liking and I couldn't brush out paint runs and my brushes just turned to lumps of dried paint. I'm sure professional decorators could deal with it. So I opted for the solvent based ones.

E2A: I live in the sunnier climes of Hampshire so a bit of a different environment than the Lake District and so life span may vary. I've just re-read your post and realised you may have already primed and undercoated. Weathersield is a system but it may still work on what you've already used.
 
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#5
We had our sash windows done in Zinsser paint a year ago not sure exactly which one, so far no problems to report, no cracking or flaking, retaining it's gloss finish well. Professional painters spent longer on the prep than they did on the painting which gives a clue as to where the hard work should go
 
#6
When I had an older property a few years ago, I was recommended this:



for exterior woods. 3 years after using it on window frames, barge boards, etc it was still in good order when I sold the place.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#7
If you can get hold of older style oil based paints with a linseed base try them. Otherwise I recommend using Yacht Paints from companies like International.

As mentioned above all the hard work is at the prep stage, if you've taken the windows back to exposed wood, ensure that they are completely free of dust and other contaminants and start with a 50/50 mix of primer and thinners, this allows deeper penetration of the wood, use the same principle with linseed oil based paints, but your thinners will be proper pine turps not white spirit or turps substitutes.

After first priming layer apply at least 2 more primer coats with a reduced thinners content, eg 70/30 then 85/15 before a final unthinned primer coat.

Then apply your exterior paint on top of that
 
#8
Depending on the wood, why paint it?
As in why not stain it and show the grain and the wood through?
The climate in my little bit of France can vary from -18 in winter to +48 in August.
We had some windows made to measure in the UK (using Sapele) and the chippy bloke making them recommended using Sikkens UV stain.
He explained that it was the UV that was going to do the damage not so much the weather.
It is a bit exxy to buy but after 10 years fitted here there are no signs of any damage or fading.
We use Cetol THB plus and there is absolutely no build up on the wood at all, it goes on year after year.
One coat every year in April and they are good as new.
 
#9
Thanks for the great tips - international paints are good but I'd probably need to take out a second mortgage or sell the children into a vivisection programme to afford them!

I prefer heat guns and scrapers to remove old paint; and remain cognisant of the slight health hazards of burning off lead paints. I'll plant a tree or sponsor a dolphin or something to make up for it. I'm really looking forward to demounting the sashes and getting them (both lights) to slide easily - and to close and seal.
 

MoleBath

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
Dulux weathershield is expensive but excellent. As mentioned above proper preparation is time consuming but really makes the job. On dry timber I use a 2nd coat of the blue primer for good measure. It absorbs water vapour so just pour enough to use .
TOP TIP Make sure the drip throats under the sill are clear to allow water to fall clear of the wall
 
#11
Depending on the wood, why paint it?
As in why not stain it and show the grain and the wood through?
The climate in my little bit of France can vary from -18 in winter to +48 in August.
We had some windows made to measure in the UK (using Sapele) and the chippy bloke making them recommended using Sikkens UV stain.
He explained that it was the UV that was going to do the damage not so much the weather.
It is a bit exxy to buy but after 10 years fitted here there are no signs of any damage or fading.
We use Cetol THB plus and there is absolutely no build up on the wood at all, it goes on year after year.
One coat every year in April and they are good as new.
They are the original Baltic pine frames (c 130 years old) but stained and repaired in places, and cant really afford to replace them. Throughout the house we've restored the doors and parquet flooring; the finishes (variations of linseed oil) have stood up well to 8 years of holiday letting whilst we've been abroad.
 
#12
Dulux weathershield is expensive but excellent. As mentioned above proper preparation is time consuming but really makes the job. On dry timber I use a 2nd coat of the blue primer for good measure. It absorbs water vapour so just pour enough to use .
TOP TIP Make sure the drip throats under the sill are clear to allow water to fall clear of the wall
Yes, I learned that tip at my expense in our last house...
 
#13
When I looked into redecorating costs using contractors, the cost of the paint to buy in was only 13 - 15% of the overall cost (this was the 1990s, so ratios may have changed but I doubt it will be much), the rest was of course labour and prelims showing that it was time spent prepping and applying that was the bulk of the contract amount.

If you like painting and have time on your hands, get cheap paint.

But if you don't and prefer doing other stuff then it's worth shelling out for good quality paint, and the initial time spent prepping.
 
#14
As others have said, choose the right paint. But check the manufactures warranty. Most external paints have a five to seven year warranty (Dulux is IIRC 7 years). The warranty applies provided that the paint is applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

So the paint in accordance with the specifications and document doing so by way of photographs and notes.

If you use a contractor, use a reputable company, not a sole trader. Check their insurances. Get them to quote for application of a specific product against its manufactures specification and monitor their work. Ensure their invoice explicitly passes on the manufactures warranty.

Modern coatings are warrantied and should not be failing after two years. If they do, claim against the warranty.
 
#15
As others have said, choose the right paint. But check the manufactures warranty. Most external paints have a five to seven year warranty (Dulux is IIRC 7 years). The warranty applies provided that the paint is applied in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications.

So the paint in accordance with the specifications and document doing so by way of photographs and notes.

If you use a contractor, use a reputable company, not a sole trader. Check their insurances. Get them to quote for application of a specific product against its manufactures specification and monitor their work. Ensure their invoice explicitly passes on the manufactures warranty.

Modern coatings are warrantied and should not be failing after two years. If they do, claim against the warranty.
All good advice - especially on the warranty aspects. Now I'm on sick leave I've got the time to do a decent job. Last time the barge boards, eaves at the front etc were done about 10 years ago by a local contractor; this side is sheltered. It's the south facing rear of the house that gets exposed to the elements and where the most problems are and access is most difficult. But I'll take the time to refurbish the sashes as well.
 
#16
Ronseal Exterior when used with the matching undercoat has a 10 year "guarantee", for what that is worth.

Proper preparation is of course the key. Which, as I discovered in previous house, is not always a happy thing when you strip paint off only to discover a vast patchwork of filler and infill patches. :(

(Despite the planned death penalty for such blasphemy, there is a reason why uPVC windows are popular.)
 
#17
Not much help to the OP, I know, but re the uPVC v death penalty dilemma, I bought a newly refurbished house which has powder-coated aluminium windows. I moved from a listed, cob under thatch, 300 years old house in a conservation area and the new windows are just awesome. They look great (nothing like uPVC), have incredible thermal properties and need absolutely zero maintenance.

I don’t miss window painting and maintenance.
 

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#18
Ronseal Exterior when used with the matching undercoat has a 10 year "guarantee", for what that is worth.

Proper preparation is of course the key. Which, as I discovered in previous house, is not always a happy thing when you strip paint off only to discover a vast patchwork of filler and infill patches. :(

(Despite the planned death penalty for such blasphemy, there is a reason why uPVC windows are popular.)
I'll take two flats, two points and a packet of gravel.


Wooden windows are more durable, and aesthetically pleasing, but you do have to take proper care of them, which is a pain.
 
#20
Ronseal Exterior when used with the matching undercoat has a 10 year "guarantee", for what that is worth.

Proper preparation is of course the key. Which, as I discovered in previous house, is not always a happy thing when you strip paint off only to discover a vast patchwork of filler and infill patches. :(

(Despite the planned death penalty for such blasphemy, there is a reason why uPVC windows are popular.)
You are dangerously close to being put on ignored. Plastic windows are an abomination without any architectural merit. They are for lazy people who would prefer to do something else with their time rather than lovingly tend single-glazed and drafty windows...
 

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