How To: Restore a double hung sash villa window, part 23 of 67 – Reassembly

With summer just around the corner, we were greeted with a lovely sunny weekend, meaning we could finally remove the hardboard from our windows (which may have reduced the tone of the neighbourhood somewhat, particularly after I painted a large smiley face on one of them)Replacing the hardboard with actual windows, required the frame to be repainted, parting beads replaced, and a bit of re-virginisation of the sashes.

How to: Reassemble a double hung sash window

This assumes the sashes have already been reglazed, and painted.

Part I – Repainting

  1. Apply a coat of oil-based primer to the sanded down frame. (It is necessary to use oil based primer on old wood, because previous coats of paint will have been oil based and seeped into the wood somewhat.)

    Repainting window frame

  2. Apply two coats of enamel paint. (We used white for the interior, and Spanish white for the exterior.)
  3. Wait for paint to dry. Install security web-cam, and head out for a coffee.

    While waiting for paint to dry, install online web-cam and head out for coffee and cake While waiting for paint to dry, install online web-cam and head out for coffee and cake

Part II – Replacing Sash Cords

  1. Remove old sash cord and weights (if possible) from window frame.
  2. Cut new sash cord to length, burning off the ends so they do not fray. Sash cord is available from Mitre 10, or Bunnings Warehouse, for around $6 per 10m.
  3. Nail, or screw the sash cord to the sash window.
  4. Fit the window into frame and thread the sash cord into window frame through the pulley. (It may be necessary to pre-thread a string with a weight through first, and then attach that to the sash cord)
  5. Holding the window in closed position, then tie the other end of the sash cords to the weights, such that they remain suspended 5 – 10 cm off the floor of the frame (this is necessary as the nylon sash cord will stretch with the weight of the frame and weights).

Part III – Re-virginisation

If there are any gaps between the frame and the sash, these should be filled as otherwise the window will be drafty, leaky and remain forever a loose, rattly, embarrassing beast to open and close.

  1. Measure minimum gap size between the window and the frame.


  2. Cut two pieces of timber to the appropriate width for either side of the sash. Cut out a section for the sash cord, and sand smooth so it will not cause the sash cord to fray*.

    R0013221.JPG R0013231.JPG R0013234.JPG

  3. Attach the wood to either side of the sash with small nails.

    Sash window revirginisation

  4. Wax window and frame with a white candle.

Part IV – Install parting beads and inside window

  1. Sand channel for parting bead, such that it is free of paint. If the parting bead is new, sand it to the appropriate width. (Bungalow and Villa sell parting bead for $2.10 per metre, however it is slightly thicker than the original bead).

    Sand parting bead to correct width

  2. Cut the bottom end of parting bead to match the slope of the window sill.
  3. Sand top end of parting bead to a round finish, so that it fits snuggly into the top parting bead. In the absence of the appropriate tools, this is best done by sawing a small channel into the centre of the parting bead, and then sanding down with some coarse sand paper.

    Round top end of parting bead R0013194.JPG

  4. Install parting beads, and gently whack in place with a hammer. In theory they should remain wedged in place. However, in old houses nothing is straight, and it may be necessary to also apply a few nails*.

    Gently tap in with hammer

  5. Repeat all above steps for inside window.
  6. Nail in stops. These are the pieces of wood that sit in front of the inside frame preventing it from falling inwards.

    Apply stops.

  7. Admire work.

    Observe results.

Also related:

*Note, not my hands

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