How to Get Old Paint Off Windows
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How to Get Old Paint Off Windows

When renovating an old house, you might come across paint splatters on the windows or you might find a cheap second-hand window to replace a broken one but it has old paint on the glass.  This guide shows how to get old paint off windows without scratching the glass.

Tools and Materials Needed

Paper Towels, Rag or Non-Scratch Sponge – Save money by buying in bulk at Amazon. (Paid link)

Mineral Turpentine

Dish Detergent

Vinegar (paid link) and Water Mix or Window Cleaner


Time needed: 30 minutes.

How to Get Old Paint Off Windows

  1. Test the Turps

    First you will need to test the turps in one corner of the glass to make sure it doesn’t take off any protective coatings that may been applied to the glass.  Look through both sides of the glass to check before proceeding.

  2. Protect the Area from Drips

    You will need to be careful not to drip any turps on existing paintwork.  Cover the area with a sheet or put an old rag on the window sill.

  3. Remove the Paint

    Tip a little turps on your paper towel, rag or sponge then rub the affected area.  You will need to get the paint quite wet with the turps to make it easier to come off.

  4. Stubborn Paint

    Some stubborn older paint will take more elbow grease.  If this is the case try the scour side of a non-scratch sponge.

  5. Cleaning the Window Frame

    The frame around the glass can also be cleaned with turpentine but again you will need to test a small area first.  I have found it works well on powder coated aluminium frames but a wooden frame with a different coating would need to be checked.

  6. Cleaning Off the Turps

    To clean the turps off your window you could first try the window cleaner.  A 50% white vinegar and water mix is effective and cheaper than buying premade window cleaner.

  7. Streak Free Finish

    If your window still looks cloudy mix dish detergent in warm water then use a sponge to wipe down the glass.  Wipe the glass down again with warm clean water then finish with window cleaner for a streak free window.


If you are looking for a cheap old window to replace an existing one try second hand stores, garage sales or newspaper and online classified ads.

To Save or Print this guide on how to get old paint off windows, click the button below for the PDF File.

Do you have old wooden double hung windows with broken glass? Try this guide on Replacing the Glass in Old Windows.

Looking for more DIY projects? Try making a Bird Bath from scrap materials or Repairing a Shoe Heel.

Are you interested in growing your own food and saving money at home? Try this free Homesteading guide.

For more information try this guide on DIY Projects around the home.

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