How to Update Older Exterior Windows With Spray Paint

Save yourself hundreds of dollars by updating your older home's exterior metal windows the DIY way. Black paint makes the decades old windows pop and look brand new!

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Today's post is a doozy! And I can say that because I did very little of the work myself! If you've been following me, you'll know that we're moving back to TN at the end of May. Before putting our home on the market, Mr DIY decided our windows needed an update so we could get top dollar. He did a fantastic job giving our home even greater curb appeal, and we sold in only 2 days! If you've got a home with older windows, you need to read about this inexpensive way to update them and save yourself some big bucks!

Welcome to Thrifty Style Team. Once a month we share our best tips for creating a beautiful home on a budget, with DIY and shopping tips, as well as home decor ideas. You can see all my past TST projects here. Thanks to Julie of Redhead Can Decorate for keeping us organized each month! I'm sharing all the links to the rest of the team below my window tips.

How to Update Windows for Greater Curb Appeal

Our home was built in the mid-80's and when we moved in nearly 6 years ago, we considered replacing the windows. However, after getting the sky-high quote, we decided to put that off. The windows are in great condition, although they're not as efficient as newer windows would be.

There are some home projects that are better left to the pros (anything to do with electrical, plumbing, and even painting the exterior). But you can definitely save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars by painting your exterior windows yourself. You need to do it right for the best results, and it is labor-intensive (hence the high cost), but it's very do-able and I'm going to show you how we did it!

First of all, you need the right supplies. Here is a list of what we used, I'm including Amazon links for your convenience but you can probably find some items for less at your local home improvement store.


*check your Ollie's store for paint deals!
**Mr DIY needed 8 cans for our 2800 SF home

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Steps to updating exterior windows

Step 1 - clean windows

Start by giving all the exterior windows a good scrub first and let them thoroughly dry before moving on. If you purchase a cleaner that attaches to your hose, it makes the job much easier.

Step 2 - scrape windows

Our windows are original to our 80's home and the black paint had faded to a dingy brown. There was also peeling paint. Mr DIY used a wire brush and angled sanding sponges to remove any loose paint and rusty areas.

Once all the windows were scraped, Mr DIY hosed them down again.

Step 3 - taping windows

This step was by far and away the most labor-intensive, mainly because our windows are mullioned. There was a lot of taping and many pieces of paper to cut!

Mr DIY taped a piece of paper to the middle of each window with a couple small strips of tape, and then went back and applied tape to the edges so the paper was fully secured to each glass panel.

You could skip this step and scrape the paint off the glass afterwards, but we felt this would be the best way to approach the hundreds of panes of glass we had to deal with.

I helped by pre-cutting the paper pieces and handing them to Mr DIY one by one. He also taped paper around the edges of the windows themselves, to protect our freshly painted white house from black overspray!

Step 4 - painting windows

It was finally time to paint the windows! Mr DIY said this went relatively quickly. He used a foam brush to wipe any drips that formed from spraying at a vertical surface.

Once the paint was dry to the touch, we removed the paper and all the tape.

The results are incredible! Here's a side by side comparison so you can see the difference.

Here's another look at the windows before the update.

And after giving these old windows a much needed makeover.

Our home has always had great curb appeal (it's what drew us to the house in the first place!) Updating the metal window frames with matte black spray paint really helped to give our home a fresh, updated look and we saved hundreds of dollars by doing it ourselves.

Please exercise caution if you need to climb on a ladder or go onto your roof! Safety first!

Mr DIY spaced the project out over 3-4 days, keeping it manageable and focusing on different sides of the house each day.

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Apparently everyone else thought the update improved the curb appeal too! We accepted a fantastic above-asking-price offer just 2 days after listing our home for sale!

I hope these tips are helpful to someone out there who is looking for an afforable way to improve your home's curb appeal and get a few more years out of your older windows! I hope you'll consider this DIY alternative to updating your exterior windows with spray paint! Please let me know if you have any questions about the process.

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  1. It looks terrific Cindy. Good luck on your move.

  2. Congratulations on the sale of your home! It's so much work selling and moving, your Mr DIY is very ambitious! Very nice upgrade!

    1. Thank you! This move is taking it out of me haha! We appreciate your kind words!

  3. Wow that made a huge difference! It’s so nice! Yeah, moving is a royal pain! I’ve got well over 20 moves in my lifetime and I’m not doing it again. It’s a lot of work and of course we women get stuck with the bulk of it but if we didn’t we’d have a mess on our For the last 8 years I am in my forever home and god forbid if I had to move again, I don’t think I could do it. At 68 I’d have to hire someone now, I just can’t do it again!
    Leave as much as you possibly can in boxes when you move. Take the bare minimum to the rental. It will be so much easier on you when you have to do it again. Good luck!

    1. P.S. LABEL EVERYTHING before you move. Put the name of what room each box goes in. It makes things much easier!

  4. Oh, now that is a huge job!!!! Congrats on selling your house and I hope everything falls into place over in TN!

  5. Cindy - y'all are the dynamic duo! It's not surprising that your home sold so's gorgeous! Much love and best wishes for your move!

    1. Aww, big hugs for all the sweet compliments! Thank you so much !

  6. Cindy, your painted windows look so nice and I'm sure it helped sell your home so quickly. Great idea! Good luck on your move and welcome to Tennessee! Hopefully we can meet up in Nashville at some point soon.

  7. Cindy-- this was such a brilliant idea and it turned out FABULOUSLY! So happy for you and the quick sale! Best wishes in your new digs...I'm sure they'll be BEAUTIFUL, too! xoxo, kristi

  8. Cindy...your husband totally ROCKS! WOW...that is incredible! I love how black paint updates EVERYTHING it seems lately. I am so excited for your move. I bet you are tired out...we are selling our home in a couple months so just getting started over here. I can't wait to see your new home! XO

    1. That comment was from me, Julie btw!

  9. Ok Cindy, what a fabulous upgrade! They look so good and I love how the black pops against the white. I hope you are having luck finding a place in Tennessee.

    1. Thanks Kelly, Mr DIY did a great job and we were both thrilled with the improvement! We've even had neighbors drop by to ask how we did it bc they have the same windows!


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