Aluminium window frames are built to last, but if trends have changed since they were first installed, their longevity might seem like a curse. Fortunately, a spritz of spray paint can transform daggy 80s frames into on-trend black – or any colour you fancy.
Painting is easy, but the time and effort you expend in prepping is what makes the difference.
Start by removing window furnishings and fixtures, then take any unfixed windows out of the frame entirely. Thoroughly clean the window, inside and out, removing all dirt and dust.
Put down a dust sheet to protect the floors. Tape off around the frame using a good quality painter's tape. Press the tape into the corner with a putty knife and use shorter lengths – around 30cm – to make it easier to get a snug fit against the frame. Use sheets of paper kitchen towel or newspaper to cover the reveals (the window's timber surround), securing it in place with more tape – this will work to protect the timber, as long as it's not saturated with paint. Tape off the window, and cover the glass completely in paper towel or newspaper.
If the windows haven't been painted before, you'll need to use an etch primer spray paint first. This product contains a combination of resins that'll help the paint adhere to the smooth surface of the metal. The best way to use spray paint is to hold the can between 10cm and 25cm away and move it steadily over the surface. It's better to do a series of fine, thin coats than one heavy coat, which could run and give you an uneven finish.
Make sure the primer is dry before applying the top coat – look to the instructions on the can for application times. Shake the can thoroughly and apply in the same way as the primer, aiming for thin and even coverage. You may need to apply up to three coats, waiting about 20 minutes between each one – but, again, use the product instructions as a guide.
Take off the painter's tape and paper towel before the paint has dried completely. If any paint has leaked under the tape, let it dry and remove it carefully from the glass with a scraper blade. Once the paint is completely dry, return the window to its frame, rehang the window furnishings, then sit back and admire your newly stylish room!
Tip: When spray painting, it's very important to use safety equipment: a respirator, safety glasses to protect your eyes, and a pair of gloves – thin latex disposables are fine – to protect the skin on your hands.
Photo credit: GAP Interiors/Rachael Smith & Emma J Page, GAP Interiors/Costas Picadas
Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.
When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.