How Often Should Timber Windows Be Painted?

A well-painted, authentic timber window is a beautiful thing, but it does require maintenance. When it comes down to it, how often should timber windows be painted depends entirely on how well you care for them.

Windows sheltered from the elements will remain in good condition for much longer than those exposed to frequent wind and rain. The kind of protective finishes you have used, and how many layers of them you have applied, will also affect how quickly your windows weather. Even the colour of the paint can affect how regularly you need to paint. Windows painted in subtle or natural shades will chip and flake more discretely compared to brighter colours, for example.

Let’s look at this in more detail.


The same British weather that is responsible for watering our old forests is also the primary cause of damage to finished timber windows.

Rain might not seem damaging, but repeated rainfall has the ability to warp wood, damage paint integrity and nourish rot. Wind blows dirt and other small particles that can erode paintwork over time. In more severe cases, it can blow much larger objects into your windows. All of this causes damage; not necessarily immediately but certainly over time.

Areas subject to frequently bad weather will obviously be worse affected. In these instances, you might need to repaint quite frequently. You might consider using a more weather-resistant paint, to increase the life of your efforts and keep your timber windows looking their best that little bit longer.


There are a number of finishes at your disposal and all of them will help to prolong the quality of your paint job – and the valuable timber underneath.

The most commonly used finish is a varnish, which is a thin, transparent layer applied over your timber once any painting and other work are finished and dried. The varnish will then act as an invisible coat, protecting your paint and timber from weather and small scratches.

Varnishes come in a huge range of styles and strengths. To preserve the authenticity and quality appearance of your timber,  you might shoot for a matt finish, avoiding the glossy, shiny look that some varnishes create. If your windows suffer particularly badly from weather or physical damage, search out a stronger varnish, or apply several coats.

Applying a finish is another level of maintenance but it is worth it, in the long run, to help preserve the integrity of your painting and the timber underneath.


How you choose to paint your timber frame will depend entirely on you and the style of your home. Timber has strong associations with antiquity and heritage, making classier, complementary colours generally more appropriate, but there is nothing to stop you painting your timber however you choose.

For the purposes of repainting, however, your colour scheme will have a direct impact on how frequently you have to touch up your efforts.

Bright, vivid colours will show up more obviously when they become worn or scratched. Damage will also be more noticeable because the brighter colours draw the eye. By contrast, colours that better reflect the natural colouring of the wood underneath will not appear as obviously damaged.

Traditional timber

Whether you choose to varnish-protect a striking colour scheme or opt for a subtler, more natural shade of paint, timber is a quality material that deserves to be well-maintained. Look after your windows. Respect the romantic air that accompanies classic timber with regular coats.

Paint carefully, and be certain that your timber windows and your home are looking their best.

Talk with Cherwell UK about revitalising your home with classic timber windows.