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Window Painting 101

A step-by-step approach to painting your windows sloppily, yet having everything magically turn out okay. Because when it comes to DIY, skillz and careful preparation will only get you so far, and then they'll waste your time.
Difficulty: Easy
Step 1: Paint your windows. Sloppily. I like to leave a good 1/4- to 1/2-inch line of paint on the glass.
Step 2: Allow the paint to dry, then gather your sharp objects. I like to use both an Xacto knife and a straight-edge blade, but you could simplify even further and skip the Xacto knife.
Step 3: Score the paint with the Xacto knife (or the point of a straight-edge), held parallel to the muntin. Take a moment, like I did, to congratulate yourself on learning what those fancy grille-thingies on your window are actually called.
Step 4: Hold the straight-edge razor parallel to the glass, and scrape the paint off in one long ribbon.
Step 5: Run the Xacto knife along the muntin again, to clean up the edge.
And voilà! Perfectly painted windows.
I swear this method is faster than taping off the glass, because tape never seems to work that well on glass anyway — so if you have to do some scraping either way, why not skip the taping step? For "Window Painting 102," hop on over to Because I'm just full of tips for people who would rather clean up a mess than put a lot of effort into preventing one in the first place.

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Ask the creator about this project

  • Donna Shipley
    Donna Shipley Placerville, CA
    on Jun 20, 2014

    Sounds good, thanks for sharing :)

  • Shari Veater
    Shari Veater Hayden, ID
    on Jun 20, 2014

    My hubby thought I was a terrible painter when he saw me paint like you...he refused the paint brush when I tried to let him do the job...when it was done, scraped and window cleaned he then said how good it looked :)

  • Marion Nesbitt
    Marion Nesbitt Canada
    on Jun 20, 2014

    I go the long way. Tape, prime, top coat. I then use a wallpaper knife to cut a nice edge and keep paint from being torn off when the tape is removed. Have tried a short cut but the scraper never removes in one long ribbon so I scrape from outside toward the inside. Invariably the fresh paint gets messed up in places. Must be doing something wrong.

  • Penny
    Penny Syracuse, NY
    on Jun 20, 2014

    i'll bet that would work on windows too!!!! i sure paint enough of those!!! thanks for the great tip!

  • Nancy Willard
    Nancy Willard Buford, GA
    on Jun 20, 2014

    I have done my window painting like this for years. One time, I hadn't gotten around to the scraping off part when "real" painters came in to do some work inside. They laughed at my windows, but that just inspired me to finish the scraping and the next day, I proudly showed off my work. One painter told me it looked better than what they would have done. It is sooooo simple this way.....why don't THEY do it???

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