Peeling paint on a windowsill is a common problem in most homes. Luckily, it is easy to fix. In fact, you can do it on your own without having to hire a professional painter.

To fix it, start by scraping off loose paint from the windowsill. Sand the area, apply a primer, and then apply the first coat of paint. And after it dries, follow this coat with a second and final coat.

Here is a step-by-step guide that will come in handy in helping you to get the best results.

Peeling paint on a windows

If you have a peeling problem with windows in your house, you needn’t worry. Fixing it is easy. In fact, it is easy enough for you to be able to do it on your own.
Here are the steps that you should follow in order to make your windows look as good as new.


Step 1: Cover

The first step is to cover any valuables or items near your windows in order to protect them from splashes. A good drop cloth will come in handy for this step. Plastic sheeting will also get the job done.


Step 2: Scrape

The next step is to get rid of as much of the old paint as you can. A scraper is an ideal tool for this job. A putty knife can work too. And so can a chemical paint stripper or a heat gun.


Step 3: Fill

Years of wear and tear are likely to leave windowsills with dents, holes, or cavities. To make sure that you end up with great results, you need to repair these gaps with wood putty. Make sure that you slightly overfill the gaps in order to create room for sanding.

A putty knife can also come in handy when leveling off any excess putty.


Step 4: Sand

With the area free of the old paint, it is now time to sand the windowsill surface. Sanding with 120 grit sandpaper will smoothen the surface, something that will guarantee a bump-free and smooth finish.


Step 5: Clean

A lot of dust will be left on the windowsill after sanding the wood.

Remove this dust by first vacuuming the area. And then use a paintbrush to remove any remaining traces of the wood particle dust that may be trapped around the corners. You can then finish the cleaning process by wiping the area with a damp piece of cloth.


Step 6: Prime

The next step is to then prime the wood using a primer. Use an oil-based primer to do this.
Apply oil-based primer on the wood using a tapered paintbrush, and after you are done, give the oil-based primer enough time to dry — a couple of hours should be enough time to allow the primer to dry.


Step 7: Paint

After the area becomes dry, it is now time to apply the first coat.
The best paint for the job is either oil-based or enamel paint. If you plan on repainting a windowsill inside your home, then using interior paint is ideal. And if you are fixing one that is facing the outside, then using exterior paint is recommended.

Apply it, allow for about 24 hours to pass in order to give it enough time to dry — especially if you are using the oil-based alternative. Once it does, apply the second coat. And then simply allow it to dry.

These steps should be enough to restore the look of windows around your home.

Why does paint peel around windows?

Why does paint peel around windows

The following are the main reasons why this is a common problem.

Exposure to the sun

Exposure to the sun

The sun is also a common culprit.

Exposure to UV rays usually weakens the adhesive bonds of most paints. Therefore, the more the windowsill is exposed to the sun, the weaker the paint holds onto its surface. It will then eventually flake off.

Physical impact

Accidental scrapes by tools, equipment, or children can cause cracked paint.

Poorly sealed framing

Poor sealing of window frames allows water to seep underneath the surface. As the wood absorbs this water, it expands. The constant expansion and eventual contraction simply loosen the bonds between the wood and the paint. It eventually results in peeling.

Poor prepping of the area to be painted

It is important to make sure that you begin with properly prepare the area before painting.

This is because, sometimes, you end up with cracked paint simply because it was applied before properly getting rid of dirt and debris. And it is this dust and debris that kept the paint and the wood from bonding properly.

Exposure to moisture

Window sills are usually under constant moisture exposure. When it rains or snows, moisture even tends to pool on them.

The moisture eventually finds itself under the paint. When the temperature rises and it tries to evaporate, it generates pressure under the paint and this causes bubbling. With time, the bubbling paint peels off.

Can I paint over peeling paint?

Can I paint over peeling paint

You shouldn’t do it because of two main reasons.

The first is that the old paint will weaken the bonds between the new layer of exterior, or interior, paint, and the wood. This will eventually lead to premature peeling and flaking.

The second reason is that a surface that has flaking paint is not smooth. Applying paint on such a surface will lead to ugly paintwork that is full of bumps and marks.

Therefore, removing old paint with a scraper is a tip that most experts recommend.

How to protect painted window sills

How to protect painted window sills

You can protect your window sills from premature peeling by doing the following.

Use multiple coats of latex paints

Unlike other types of paint, latex paints that are specifically designed for use on the exterior of a home can withstand weather elements. They can comfortably handle the stress of expansion and contraction that usually comes with constant exposure to the elements.

Therefore, using them will definitely help to shield your window sills from the damaging effect of rain and other weather elements.

Use a waterproof sealer

It is not enough to use high-quality paint. To guarantee lasting paintwork, you also need to add extra layers of protection from rain and other elements. The best way to do this is to use a waterproof sealer.

Adding a waterproof sealer will provide an extra protective layer. It will keep the paint from getting in contact with moisture. Some paints can also provide a protective shield against UV rays. Both of these are things that will definitely reduce the odds of premature peeling.

Use caulk

Water seepage in the seams is a common cause of this problem. By sealing these seams and window joints with a caulk gun, you will be able to significantly reduce the odds of premature paint peeling. Just make sure that you wipe away any excess caulk with a putty knife to ensure that the seams remain smooth and attractive.

Trim plants and bushes around the window seal

Trim plants and bushes around the window seal

If there are any kinds of growths near your house, you should trim them. This is because plant leaves and stems redirect and retain water. They will thus extend the time that your windowsill will be exposed to moisture. Trimming them will solve this problem.

If you do any of the above, you will be able to reduce the likelihood of ending up with an unattractive window.

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Benjamin McInerny
Author: Benjamin McInerny - is a qualified arborist with 20 years of industry experience. Ben has a wide knowledge of renovation and DIY projects around the house such as lawns, fencing and painting. Ben shares his skills with DIY and gardening enthusiasts.