How to Open a Stuck Window

May 12, 2015

There is nothing more frustrating on the first day of spring than trying to open a stuck window. You were hoping to let the fresh spring air into your home but the windows are virtually sealed shut. Windows can be stuck in the closed position for a variety of reasons, and it may require a specific technique to open the window depending on the root cause.

The window could be stuck because paint has been applied between the sash and frame and has been allowed to dry while the window was in the closed position. The issue may simply be that the channels have a build of dirt and need to cleaned and subsequently lubricated.

How to Open a Stuck Window if it has been Painted Shut | 1st Attempt

The most likely reason that a double hung window will not open is that wet paint has migrated between the sash and the jamb. This is common occurrence when window frames have been repainted without the proper care and attention. Most professional painters will make sure that the windows are placed in the open position while painting the jambs and left in the open position until the paint is 100% dry. Not just dry to the touch buy 100% cured.

If this is the case with your home, and you are attempting to open a stuck window sealed by paint, all you need is a utility knife, a putty knife, possibly a hammer, and some patience. For your initial attempt to free the window, carefully run your utility knife around the entire perimeter of the sash. This includes the top edge on the rear side of the sash. After doing so, with any luck the window will now move freely, although it may take a little force to get things in motion.

How to Open a Stuck Window | 2nd Attempt

If you still can’t get the window to budge, it’s time to employ the putty knife and the hammer. Once again, you need to follow the entire perimeter of the window but this time, carefully wedge the putty knife between the sash and the frame. Tap the putty knife into the seam with the hammer. Tap gently and avoid striking near the glass itself.

How to Open a Stuck Window | 3rd and Final Attempt

If you have carefully cut the painted seam around the entire window, and tapped the putty knife deep into the entire seam to free the sash, and the window still won’t budge, it’s time to apply some leverage. Using a small block of wood and a crowbar, gently pry the bottom of the sash. Lay the block on the lower sill and pry up placing the crowbar underneath the sash. Move back and forth from the far right corner to the far left corner. If the sash still won’t move it’s time to call a professional.

Contact Us:

Problem with stuck windows? Are you searching for a professional contractor you can trust, to help you open a stuck window in Illinois: contact One Source Renovation, LLC at or give us a call at (815)-634-8922.