Painting glazing


This question directed at any painters out there.
I'm painting a house where I had to do quite a bit of reglazing on the windows, and am evaluating my painting technique, which seems less than optimal in this department.
The old glazing was falling out in many places, so I did the following:
1. Clean channel (window & wood frame) w/wire brush, brush out dirt. 2. Prime. 3. Glaze. (and wait 7-10 days depending on weather) 4. Prime. 5. Paint.
Pain in the butt doing it this way, and it makes for a very long job, but I want to do it right so it'll last.
Problem is cleaning up after painting. My preference has always been to paint as carefully as possible without masking, then clean up afterwards with a razor scraper. But it's that last operation that potentially makes a mess. If I'm *really* careful, I can scrape a nice line along the glazing--that is, until the blade careens off course and digs into the nice clean bank of glazing. Another problem is how to get that strip of paint off the window without slicing everything to shreds. Plus these are 2nd story windows, and I'm already in a bad state of mind hanging out there on the ladder and not inclined to be leisurely about it.
Ideally, the final coat of paint would be left untouched, so that the edge of the paint seals the edge of the glazing to the glass. In practice, however, I find this almost impossible to achieve. (Damn those books and instructions that show how to make a perfect paint job!)
So how do you do it?
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

High quality trim brush of proper bristle type for the paint and practice yields no scraping necessary.
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David Nebenzahl wrote:

[...]
Carry a rag or paper towel with you, and wipe off over paint as soon as it happens. If it does not wipe off cleanly, dampen the rag.
Using a good brush helps too. I've had good luck with Purdy, sold both at Lowe's and HD.
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I don't have any disagreements with your receipe for the steps to take but I do have an issue with a couple comments already made on this thread.
For background, I have a near 100 year old stucco house in Chicago with about 23 of the older style "wood" storm windows. Nine of those are the multi-pane type, maybe five 6"x8" across and six or seven high.
Being the weather here goes from a week of sub-below temps in winter to near 100 in the summer, add in the blizzards, heavy rain storms, ice storms, everything takes a pretty good beating.
Not annual but probably every 3 years some kind of maintance is needed, usually just touch ups, this year I'm rebuilding five of them. Those five, based on how they were built are probably 50+ years old.
For painting the glazing, I don't you need anything more than one of those 1" made-in-china foam brushes Home Depot sells for 49 cents. They are the ideal brush to use for that. The beveled cut in the tip is a perfect fit. Besides learning how much paint to soak into it, it doesn't even require that steady of a hand.
The other thing, forget the tape (masking). Maybe it works well on glass made within the last few years but generally the older glass is not what anyone would call "first rate". It'll leak behind it like a sieve and you'll still have a razor to play with. Really a waste of time.
The only question I have is, there is absolutely no way to take down or unmount the windows so you can work on them in the shop/basement/ground level at least?
I mean I don't look forward to doing mine but at least all of mine can be removed and laid flat (or verticle resting against a wall, eye level). I can't imagine doing these on a ladder, two stories up. Seems to me the painting and clean up is the "easy part". I'm still using the Dap #33 glazing and that has to be one of the most frustrating compounds to deal with. I find getting that smooth, tapered properly and not looking like a 3 year-old with silly putty to be the big challenge.
Eventually they come out fine to pretty-good, but again, I'm not on a ladder two stories up. Plus I never seen that stuff become paintable in 7-10 days, two weeks at least and generally closer to the 3 week mark. Paint it any earlier and you will regret it later.
But anyway, try the 1" el-cheapo foam brush and forget the masking.
-bruce snipped-for-privacy@ripco.com
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On 8/15/2009 1:23 PM Bruce Esquibel spake thus:

All of the windows I'm painting are multiple-pane (the top sashes have 6 lites in them).

Always kind of scoffed at those brushes, don't use them, but hey, if they work for you ... maybe have to try one of those sometime.

Plus after a couple of weeks up there (remember, 7-10 days for the glazing to set), the tape would have to be scraped off the glass with a razor.

Not really. Upper sashes are all pretty permanently affixed (they're moveable but have many coats of paint sticking them to the jambs), and I'm not about to remove the lower sashes (more than one time) just to paint them. I just screw up my courage and go up and down the ladder.
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David Nebenzahl wrote: ...

Are they big enough you can open and sit in the window (w/ safety gear, of course)??? On the house, luckily all the second-floor windows are over roof (old square farmhouse w/ covered porches three sides; kitchen addition on fourth) and they're shallow enough to easily walk.
The cat's meow is I also have a 40-ft JLG manlift... :)
In the end, however, my experience has been that the good trim brush (angled bristle; your choice on angled handle as well) and some practice leads to becoming reasonably proficient. Perhaps if there are any that could be taken or lower floors use them for practicing.
I've never tried the aforementioned brush but can't imagine it would be any better than the good-quality trimmer that can be laid parallel to the glass at the bristle angle and holds enough paint to do a side of a pane in a single stroke for any but large single-lites. It's learning the technique to make a single stroke from corner to the opposite after the first fill from the nearest corner that's the trick ime. You want to work in the direction towards you for the longer stroke, obviously.
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If the upper sash is painted shut, now is a good time to remedy the stupidity.
Using a razor blade to slice the paint film, disassemble the windows and reglaze them while they are out of the frame.
Scrape any paint that is in the areas that should not be painted, and wax with paraffin wax.
Replace any sash cords that are shot, and apply plastic weather stripping to reduce any air infiltration.
Sand and refinish the woodwork and the windows will work good as new.
This is really not a difficult process.
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Roger Shoaf

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