Shared Knowledge


How to - Get Stuck Wooden Windows Open


27 December 2010



Summary: Remove any and all paint from window edge that moves in window frame and rub bowling alley or paraffin wax on window slide edge.






In 1990 renovated older home and contractor installed new Marvin, double hung, wooden, low E. Argo gas filled, thermo pane, windows.


Windows were painted inside and out by professional painters.


From beginning, windows were nearly impossible to open. Partly, I always thought, this was due to fact that Marvin did not have any sort of hand pull indent or handle mounted on the bottom of the window.


Although we seldom open windows, always bothered me that windows were so difficult to open. Windows should open!


Finally, researched and bought metal handles that I installed, 2 per window, to make lifting easier.





BUT even with handles installed, most windows still would not slide up easily!



How to get stuck wooden windows open:


Remove window from window frame.


Inspect window sash mechanism. Window sash supposed to help lift window but springs or cords of sash can break over time. If a broken sash, replace. Insert window back into frame and test. if ok, all done, if not remove window from frame.



Inspect sides of window that is supposed to slide in frame. If any paint on side, remove with 200 grit sandpaper. Only want to remove paint.




Inspect window frame vinyl or area where window supposed to slide. Remove any paint you find from inside track or any place paint could contact wood frame of window. As vinyl, any sort of sharp edge should work here like a large flat blade screwdriver. Get any and all paint out of frame track or slot.



Insert window back into frame and test. Window should slide more easily than before.


If window is still difficult to get to lift and sash is ok and no paint on sides of wooden window, remove window from frame again.


Using 200 grit sandpaper, sand both edges of wooden window that slide in frame track. Make sure you sand entire edge and not too much in one spot and too little in another. Sand both sides. Sand for several minutes on both sides (you only want to remove the smallest amount of wood from the edge of the window) and then reinsert window back into window frame.


If window does not move easily than before, remove and continue to sand lightly on both sides.


If window when inserted into window frame does slide more easily after all paint removed from edges of window and frame, then procure paraffin or bowling alley wax from any hardware, craft or hobby store and apply to both window edges. Rub wax until both window edges are nice and slick.



Reinsert window into window frame and test. Window should move up and down easily. If window still balky, remove window and repeat sand, test and wax procedure above.