Q. Should the sides / insides of my sash windows be painted?
No, The insides of the sash window are normally left unpainted, this is how they have always been and it serves no purpose to paint them.
Areas which should be left unpainted are:
- The insides of the case (visible when the top sash is pulled down).
- The insides of the case (visible when the lower sash is lifted up)
- The top of the top sash.
- The sides of both top and bottom sashes.
- Behind the baton rods / staff beads if they have the simplex system fitted.
The below article is from the building conservation website website on the correct order of how to paint traditional sash windows.
Procedure for internal painting
- Slide the outer sash down a little and raise the inner sash slightly, leaving a gap top and bottom.
- Paint the glazing bars and the surfaces of the inner sash including the top surface of the meeting rail and the underside of the bottom rail.
- Then paint what you can see of the outer sash, including the face (but not the underside) of the meeting rail.
- Now slide the outer sash up, but not quite closed, and lower the inner sash by gripping it from the outside so that you don’t touch the wet paint.
- You can now complete the painting of the outer sash, omitting the top surface of the top rail. Ideally you should leave the sashes in this position until dry.
- According to how your colour scheme relates to the outside paint colour, you can either paint the pulley stile at the same time as the sashes, or later. If painting at the same time, then the stile, parting bead and staff bead can be painted in sections as the sashes are moved up and down. Pull the sash cords out when you are working behind them (painting the cords makes them more likely to break); paint the pulley housing but not the pulley itself, otherwise it will jam and the sashes will not run easily.
- Finish off by painting any inside linings, frames, and shutters. Tackle one component at a time if possible, and complete it before moving on to the next. Any framed elements such a shutters or lining should be covered in the following order; mouldings and panels (at the same time), muntins, top rail, middle rail, bottom rail, and stiles. Remember to ‘lay off’ (the final brush strokes) in the same direction as the grain of the wood.
Procedure for external painting
- Reverse the sashes as described above and paint all visible surfaces except the top surface of the top rail of the inside sash. The pulley stiles can be painted at this time also.
- Return the sashes to an almost closed position and complete the painting of the inner sash and the pulley stiles, together with the cill.