Re: Re: Edwardian Farmhouse
Yes this is one of the most common misconceptions about timber windows – they do not need to be painted annually at all.
Indeed windows in a particularly sheltered elevation can last up to 8-10 years without repainting, even if the the vibrancy of the colour may have deteriorated somewhat by that stage.
Five years is the average interval between painting with standard paint. What could be causing the misconception is modern exposed timber windows like beech etc, or 1980s softwood windows that are stained with Sadolin etc which all probably need more attention, as the water and UV penetrative protection of such products I presume isn’t as strong as the shielding skin that paint provides.
People are often turned off painted timber windows as everyone knows of decaying window horror stories from the 60s and 70s, or have nightmareish images of flaking paint, build-ups of paint, clumsy streaks of paint over the glass, bubbling cracking paint etc etc.
All of this can be avoided if surfaces are prepared well before painting, and care is paid when applying to make for a neat job.
Perhaps the biggest cause of problems with timber decay is that people tend to paint their windows when they want to change the colour rather than for the good of the window. The 5/6 year rule needs to be stuck to for the structural soundness of the frames rather than for aesthetic reasons.
An annual inspection of the windows also helps – and a washing of the glazing bars and frames too when cleaning the glass goes along way towards making them look good for as long as possible.
If this pattern is followed, along with a complete stripping of the windows every half century or so :), timber windows can last for well in excess of 200 years with little to no structural repairs.
No doubt your sashes were largely as sound as a bell before the previous owners dumped them 🙁
Definitely ask neighbours what they remember of the original windows – or try contacting the previous owners if you know of them: always the best source of info for replica windows.