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How to paint exterior window sills

WordsMaha Elley

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Although window sills may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking of sprucing up the look of your home, you’d be surprised how much simply painting your exterior window frames can impact how smart the front of your home looks. It also has the added benefit of protecting the window sill material, keeping it looking healthier for longer. 

Learn how to paint exterior window sills by following these easy steps.

What is the best paint for exterior window sills? 

From painting front doors to painting fences, when painting anything outside of your home, you’ll want to reach for paint that’s specially designed for exteriors (learn how to paint a house exterior). The good news? We’ve just launched a collection of exterior & masonry paints, a high-coverage range of self-priming paints designed to be used on all kinds of outside surfaces. Our exterior paints have the same vibrancy of our indoor paints, with the extra durability needed to withstand the outdoor elements. 

Explore our range of exterior & masonry paint colours here.

Tools you’ll need to paint exterior window sills

Start by getting your tools together:

How to paint wooden exterior window sills 

Ideally, you would paint exterior surfaces (link to how to paint your house exterior) on a day where the temperature is above 10 degrees and no rain or frost is forecast. This gives the paint the best possible environment to dry thoroughly.

On to the ‘how’: 

  1. Start by removing any old and flaking paint with a paint stripper and scraper. You want to apply your exterior paint to a completely bare wooden surface.
  2. Wipe down the surface with a sponge soaked in warm water.
  3. Sand the surface so it’s nice and smooth. 
  4. Use your painters masking tape to mask off any areas that you don’t want to get paint on.
  5. If the wood you’re painting on is new or well-weathered, apply a diluted first coat (a mixture of 70% paint and 30% water). This first ‘mist’ coat is the most important one for long-lasting results. 
  6. Note, some woods will stain and bleed through light colours. For plywood, red cedar and very resinous woods, apply a stain blocker first. 
  7. Paint your first coat and allow to dry for 2-4 hours
  8. Paint the second coat and remove masking tape. Leave to dry for 16 hours/overnight. 
  9. Step back and admire your freshly painted window sills. You did that. 

Follow the above steps using Lick exterior paint and your paint job will last you up to 10 years. Note: if the wood is new and treated, we’d recommend leaving it for at least 6 months before painting, as the treatment needs time to weather first.

How to paint exterior uPVC window sills

If your window sills are made of plastic or uPVC, you just need to prep them slightly differently. Just make sure that you lightly sand the surface before application. This will give the paint something to stick to so it lasts for longer. You also don’t need to apply stain blocker. 

Ready to pick a fresh colour for your window sills? Explore our new range of exterior and masonry paint colours, with 13 colours to choose from.

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