Bathroom Renovation Chapter 7–Painting Windows

I experimented with a new painting technique on our bathroom window this weekend.

Now before I tell you about this new technique I would like to point out that painting is my thing.  I am the Rainman of painters-“I am an excellent painter.”  I like to boast that my painting skill is such that I rarely have to tape off because I am just that good.  That’s why I wanted to share this awesome new method of painting windows.  It’s called the “Haffass” painting technique.

What?  You mean never heard of it?  Well, let me tell you…it’s all the rage with strung-out, working moms everywhere.

If you’re feeling a little intimidated by the Haffass technique – don’t be.  It’s not hard, although it is a bit time consuming.  But don’t worry, I’m going to walk you through it step by step.

The first thing about any good Haffass painting job is to be in the right frame of mind.  In fact, I’d say it’s essential.  So here are a couple of suggestions that might help you get in the right mindset.  You could:

  1. Discover that your cat (in an effort to properly express her dislike of the constant commotion upstairs) has been urinating on the bathroom rug.
  2. Wait until it’s a beautiful weekend to paint.   What’s best would be one of those rare Spring days in Oklahoma – you know, a day that’s crisp, clear, with calm winds. That’s the perfect kind of weather for being stuck inside all day painting.
  3. Ask your husband to shake the year-old can of paint you dug out of the basement and watch as he flings paint all over your kitchen countertop and floor.
  4. Have a total meltdown about your disgustingly dirty house and the general state of chaos in your bedroom.  And as an extra option, if you feel the urge to throw a complete hissy-fit and drop a few F-bombs too, go for it!  I won’t judge you for being an over-achiever.

But for maximum effect – I’d suggest doing all four.  It work wonders for your state of mind!  Remember, you’re creating a masterpiece here – don’t be afraid to go completely off the rails!

So now that you’re in the proper state of mind, let’s get your supplies together. 


I recommend the following:

  • 3M angled sanding sponges in 60 grit and 150 grit
  • 5 way tool – it’s that funky scraper looking thing with the handle
  • window and door caulk
  • spackling paste
  • crappy, old paintbrush

So let’s get started.

First things first – you must turn your radio to country music.  Classic rock is fine for yard work, but country music is required for inside projects.  That’s just the way it is.  I don’t make the rules here.

Second.  Let’s talk about your windows.  For the Haffass paint technique to really shine, it’s best to work on 100 year-old windows.  The worse condition the better.  If they’ve been hidden under a wall of sheetrock for say the past 30 years or so, that would be best.  And ideally, your window would be caked with at least a dozen different coats and/or colors of paint. 


Now what you’ll want to do is to take your 5-way tool and run it all around window scraping off all the majorly flaking layers of paint.  Don’t be afraid to get aggressive here.  Oh, and the pointy end of the 5-way is great at getting out all the old, dried-up loose window glazing in between the window muntins (the wood pieces dividing the window).

_MG_6484  _MG_6482

Once you’ve got the majority of the flaking paint off, use the 60 grit sponge to sand down the entire window.  It doesn’t have to be perfect – that’s kind of the signature look of the Haffass paint job.


Use your crappy paint brush (and I recommend your vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool) to remove the dust and debris from around the window and muntins.

Awesome.  Now you’re ready to caulk.

 Take your trusty window caulk and run a small bead of caulk between the wood and the glass to fill in the gaping crack left by the old, dried-out glazing.  Run your finger along the bead to smooth it out. (You’ll want to be sure to ruin your brand new manicure here too.)


OK.  Now that you’ve got that done, let’s talk about the all the giant chips of paint you scraped off.  With the Haffass technique there’s no need to get out a palm sander and try to smooth them out.  All you need is a tub of spackle.  I am particularly fond of this DAP brand that starts our pink and turns white when dry._MG_6518

With your right index finger, very sloppily apply a thick coat of spackling along the major chipped out areas and fill in where necessary.  Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly smooth._MG_6519_MG_6522

So now let that dry for a bit.  This would be the perfect opportunity to do a couple of loads of laundry and/or oversee the workshop bench assembly project your husband has going on outside.

After you’ve waited *almost* until the spackle and caulk is dry, it’s time to sand again.  This time, use the 150 grid sanding sponge and go around the window sanding down the lumpy spackled areas.  Please try to create as much dust as you possibly can as this will help to extend the frazzled mindset that you worked so hard to create earlier.  And remember, we’re not looking for perfect here._MG_6525

OK.  Now you’re ready to paint.  And this is an important step.  So, if you can find a year-old can of paint in your basement that is a little dried out and on gloppy side – man you’re golden. That’s the perfect consistency for the Haffass paint method.  If you’re forced to go out and buy a new can of paint, I would recommend putting it on as thick as possible.  Don’t worry about keeping the paint on the wood…we’ll address that later.  And don’t fret about those random drips and runs – once again those are the hallmark of any well done Haffass paint job. 

We call that “charm” and “character” in our neck of the woods.

So once you’re all done, let that dry for almost the right amount of time before applying a second coat of paint (if needed).  And then let everything dry overnight.  The next day your window should look something like this.


Now it’s time to clean up around the edges of your window panes.  I recommend using a razor blade and this knife thingy.035

If by chance you have a piece of shit razor blade that falls out every time you turn it upside down, that really helps to extend the fun factor of this project.  But since I’d had about all the fun I could stand this weekend, I dug around until I could find a decent razor blade.  I’ll leave that decision up to you.

So what I suggest you do next is go around the edge of each window pane with the knife thingy first.  This will help to create a clean edge in the paint/caulk overrun on the glass.  Then take your razor blade and scrape around the entire edge of every blessed window pane until all the paint is removed.


You’ll want to actually take some care as to not scratch or scrape the thick layer(s) of paint you applied yesterday.  I know it’s a bit of work, but thinking of the beautiful weather you’re missing outside will help you reconnect with the Haffass mindset you cultivated the day before.

Once again use your crappy old paintbrush and vacuum to remove the debris from the window.  Then after your window is clean and free from paint and caulk, stand back admire all your hard work.


Then try to remind yourself why you ever bought a 100 year-old house to start with. 

And then go have a cocktail.  You’ve earned it.

So there you have it.  I hope this blog post gives you the courage to experiment on your next painting project.  Remember, never be afraid to do a Haffass paint job!

Peace, Kelly


About Minding My Nest

wife, mom, not-so-empty nester.
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