Double Hung Windows Part 2

Wow, time has flown by and I forgot/have been to busy to follow up with this awesome project. I’m happy to say, it’s wrapped up… and here’s how…

First step, read Part 1! lol. Then get your trusty tools together. When we left off the windows where just pressed in and nailed shut and I had vacuumed the room. Well, take out those nails and remove the windows. Time to get dirty, time to get busy and time to get this done!


With the windows removed once again (if you haven’t marked them in order, do so now so you can reassemble them into the same opening) it’s time to remove any hardware and get straight to sanding. The hardware was in pretty rough shape, so we decided to replace it. These could be stripped and painted, but we decided not to as it is a security point to the house and new ones are dirt cheap. We have kept the original ones though, as they are 80 years old and we can maybe use them later.

20150809_115445 Setup a bench Now, get outside and get to it. Dorota and I divided and conquered for this phase of the project. I would focus on the window frames inside and out and she would focus on the glass panels and frames.


Next, clean everything really well and start taping everything up to receive the paint.


A little tip for you to make taping now and in the future go so fast and get better results. This is my secret trick, I have never seen anyone else do it, and it is awesome. Simply use your blade scrapper to wedge the tape into the corner and pull the tape back at an angle. Clean cut corners! Check the pic to make sense of that sentence…


Now that your taping master, get to it, these mullion bars are a pain in the ass with so many sections to paint. But, prep is everything and will make the painting and cleaning go way faster. So take your time, drink your coffee and plug away at it.

Once everything is taped your ready to caulk and then paint. Don’t skimp on this part, get top quality paintable caulking and high quality outdoor paint (we used white) and do 3 thin coats and wait for proper cure times in between coats. It takes time, so expect 3-4 hours before even considering press fitting the windows to call it a night. We just got up early and made a long day of it… it sucked, but all great things come from time and effort..

I will note that caulking the windows is worth doing. I’ve found in our wet climate that if you skip this step water does and will get inbetween the glass and wood frame… then you get mold, damp and rotten wood. So a thin bead of caulk when you tape up nicely will come off with a clean edge creating a nice seal and preserving all your hard work for another 80 years.

Now. Once the paint is dry, peel off the tape slowly and pulling at a 45 degree angle to help “tear” it away from the painted and caulked frame. Next, use your trusty scrapper to remove any and all paint bits that remain.


Beautiful! Now your window frames on the house and your inset window frames should look great! So reassembly is next. Get your weights prepared, confirm the roller wheels are spinning freely and grease as needed. Ensure you have high quality reinforced cord at the ready and get together some zip ties… just incase…

So, take your cord and test fit the cord into the upper  and lower window frame leaving some extra length to play with. Work on the top window first to work back into the room. Cut and remove the cord from the window frame. Tie a knot in one end and push the tail and knot into the hole in the inset window sash frame (Same as the one you removed that most likely broke and left your window unable to hold it’s own weight). Now, much the same as the old ones removed with a nail, hammer in a small 1 1/4″ picture nail. Once hammered in with care to not break the window, bend the end over to ensure that knot will not pull out.


Note: You can see how I labelled the window “LT” for Left. Simple step, but worth doing to make sure everything will fit correctly.

Next, set the upper window sash into the window frame below the roller, then slid it into place. Make sure to feed the other end of the cord through the window frame and get a second set of hands to help out. While one person holds the window in place (or use a nail if your solo) the other person can tie the knot. Double know it leaving a bit of a tail to the cord. Test the window movement up and down and makes ure the cord it set correctly. To short and it won’t open, to long and it won’t be able to pull itself shut tightly..


Now this next step is optional. I have a technology and visual arts background. So to me, zip ties = yes. It may actually chafe the cord? But, it may prevent it from every slipping the knot… so, we’ve done it to all windows we have replaced. Some are over 3 years and no issue’s, but time will tell. So it’s optional.

Cut excess cord and burn the end with a lighter.


Do all the other windows and weights, test fitting, sliding up and down and generally testing and fitting the whole way. The next picture shows the middle section of our double hung windows.


With this very long and now exhausted day, we called it a night. Things closed up to stay warm and safe until the next day. I nailed the windows shut because… well… it’s 2015 in eastvan. Tomorrow I can get hardware on properly with a cool head and a steady hand. Stupid mistake are already starting to happen with such a long day, best tio when to put the tools down and enjoy each breath for a awhile with a warm cup of tea and a wool blanket…

Day 2. Closed, done and dusted!