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Tools

Click on any photo to learn more about that item and where to buy it. All prices are rough estimates.

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Helpful Items

Liquid Wood$50Helpful for repairing rotted wood and filling in holes. Can be invaluable for fixing old sashes and trim/casing.

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Paint Shield$10Helpful for creating beautiful paint lines. In my tutorials, I show you how to use a simple paint shield to flatten out your paint lines on the glass.

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Speed Square$10Helpful for making new pieces. I recommend keeping a speed square around. You can use one to help measure, cut strait lines, make a new rail, etc. etc. Plus they are very cheap.

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Circular Saw$50Helpful for cutting new pieces. If you want a cordless one, I recommend choosing whatever brand you have for your cordless drill so you can exchange batteries. I like Mikita and Ryobi. I like Ryobi because it's often very affordable, and you don't need a crazy strong saw with tons of battery for these window projects. Just a simple one will do. The link here is for a basic one off Amazon with a cord that should be able to handle most window jobs. If you don't have a saw or you feel uncomfortable using one, most of the time you probably have a friend that can lend you one or cut it for you.

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Nail Sinker$6Helpful for a beautiful final product. I like to sink all my nails so that when I paint, it creates a nice smooth finish. I like the Stanley brand, but the only one I could find on amazon is black. I lose this tool all the time, so if you get a black one, paint it a neon color so you can easily find it!

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Alternative Option: Nail Punch ($15)

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Pack of 100 Razor Blades$10Useful for cleaning glass. You will likely need some razor blades to clean any old glass. I like the square, flat ones because they are easier to grip on their own. I probably use one or two razor blades per window.

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Star Patterned Screws$11Useful for boarding up windows. Star screws add an extra layer of security. If a thief wants to uncrew your boarded up window, they will have to go find a star screw bit, slowing them down.

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Screwdriver Bits$13Useful for any projects. The link includes bits for your star patterned screws too! Plus you get several other bits.

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Nails - 2 1/2 Inch Finishing/Casing Style$5Use for Trim/Casing. Most trim/casing is held by 2 inch to 2.5 inch finishing/casing nails. One box should supply your entire project. You can use either "smooth shank", which are shiny, or "galvanized" which are galvanized.

LINK If you're buying a bunch, it might be better to go to your local hardware store and ask for them.

Nails - 1 1/4 Inch Finishing/Casing Style$5Use for rails/stops, sashes, and delicate areas. Most rails/stops are held by 1 1/4 inch finishing nails. One box should supply your entire project. You can use either "smooth shank", which are shiny, or "galvanized" which are galvanized. I preferred "smooth shank" for most of my projects.

LINK If you're buying a bunch, probably best to try your local hardware store and ask for them.

Wood Filler$8Good for filling small divits and nail holes.

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Wood Glue$10I like Titebond Wood Glue. Worked very well for me. Whatever glue you choose, make sure it's exterior rated.

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Clamp$21Not that necessary, but nice to have. If you have to glue together a piece, or glue an old sash, a clamp can be very helpful. But you can often just use an old brick to do the job. I didn't actually purchase a clamp until I filmed the videos for the tutorials since I always just had old brick laying around.

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3-step Painter's ladder$60Super Helpful. I'm really tall but still often needed a ladder for various projects. Even when you're standing on the ground, the ladder's paint holder is helpful as a place to put your paint can. I like to have a handle too, as it gives you something to grab if you lose your balance.

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Alternative Option: 4-step ladder version ($100)

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Moving Blankets/bath towel$10Great for resting your glass. Get the cheap shredded cotton ones! Very helpful for providing you a place to rest your glass when you take it out of the sash. Protects it well. You can also use a bath towel, but I like the blankets the most.No cheap ones on Amazon. Just go to your local u-haul and buy a pack of the really cheap shredded cotton ones. Those work best.
Disposable Nitrile Gloves$8Helpful to keep your hands clean. I don't always use gloves when I glaze, but it can get a bit sticky. So I like to use them when I remember. They can also be nice when painting. If you forget to use gloves, dish soap works pretty well for getting glaze off your hands.

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Glass Cleaner$3Useful for cleaning the glass.

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Cheese Cloth$7Useful for wiping up areas that have just been sanded to make the painting surface extra clean.

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Microfiber Towels$13Useful for cleaning glass, especially for that final shine.

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Glass Cutter$40A good glass cutter can be worth its weight in gold, because a bad one will be a major disservice. Having a glass cutter is not necessary, because you can also cut your glass at a glass shop. But it's a great skill to learn, and I have a video from Steve at Wood Window Makeover in my "Extra Resources" section (Under Glass) that offers a great explanation of how to cut glass from a true master at it. The times when you may need to cut glass is when you're replacing some broken wavy glass with other wavy glass from another, extra sash. Since the size may not always be exact, you can just cut it and then you'll be good to go. I had to do this a few times on my house. It's not too difficult. Please see my extra resources page for more.

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Flathead Screwdriver$9Great to find a screwdriver like this. It's a demolition screwdriver, so it has a plate on top that you can hammer and also a tougher metal down on the bottom. Having a demolition version is more important for the flathead and you will use it a lot. I recommend the smaller option as many historic screws are quite small (i.e. 5 x 100mm). Additionally, you can use a wrench on it for screws that are really stuck. Every historic screw is a flathead.

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Phillips Head Screwdriver.$10A US made screwdriver with very solid ratings.

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Paint and Metal Aging

Paint Brush - Pack of 3
$30Quality paint brushes can really help in the painting process, and I found Purdy paint brushes to be of high quality. I like this three pack because it has a 1 inch, 1.5 inch, and 2 inch. The one inch is great for painting detailed areas like the glaze. The 1.5 inch is an all-arounder, good for painting the sashes and frame. The 2 inch is great for painting the casing/trim. Be sure to keep them clean when you finish and they can last a long time.LINK
Extra 1.5 Inch Paint Brush$10Likely you'll need a second all-arounder brush, since often you're dealing with two paint colors, so included a link here.LINK
Primer Brush / Extra Paint Brushes$10You can use a cheaper brush for priming. Also, it's good to have a few extra brushes on hand, sometimes just to brush off dust. LINK
PRIMER OPTION 1: Latex Primer$25I really like PPG's "Gripper" primer (now called "Seal Grip"). I had an easier time working with it than oil based primers. After several years, it has held up well. Available at most hardware stores. One gallon will go a long way and it's relatively inexpensive. NOTE: Never apply an oil-based paint on a surface painted with latex paint. This will create compatibility issues due to the different curing processes of each type of paint. However, you CAN apply exterior latex paint on a surface painted with exterior oil-based paint.LINK
PRIMER OPTION 2: Oil based primer$50Benjamin Moore's Alkyd Oil Primer is a good primer to use if you want to go with an oil based primer. The link here is for exterior, and for our purposes here with wood window restoration, I suggest using just an exterior primer on both the interior and exterior. Most professional historic preservationists suggest using oil based primers, although I found many to be harder to work with. However, an alkyd oil-based primer will penetrate into old exterior wood better than latex paints, and you can apply latex top coats on the alkyd oil-based primers. For even better penetration into old wood, add 1/8 cup of boiled linseed oil to each gallon of alkyd oil-based primer. Note: while I liked Shermin Williams Paints for everything else, I did not like their oil based primer as it left ridges and was just overall difficult to use.LINK
INTERIOR "TRIM" PAINT: ProClassic Waterborne Interior Acrylic Enamel Paint$50This is the "Interior paint" that I use on the interior side of my windows and trim. I love this stuff and was impressed with it from the start. It has some sort of weighted technology, so it leaves a very smooth finish on interior doors and trim. It is advertised also as having a non-yellowing finish and I find it to be very durable. The best part is that because of the weighted technology, it goes on without brush marks and dries hard, meaning it won't stick when you're opening and closing the windows. Note that this is a Sherman Williams paint. Although they are more expensive, I really like their coverage and remain impressed with how well the paint has stood up over time. Typically, they have sales with up to 40% off, so best to wait for those sales to get cheaper prices. When you order the paint on a sales day, you may want to buy several gallons but only mix the first two gallons, so that you can return the unmixed ones later. For a typical american house from the first half of the twentieth century, you will probably only need one gallon for all the windows for the interior as this stuff spreads very well. (estimated price is for one gallon)LINK

Alternative Option: for specialty projects - Earth and Flax Linseed Oil Paint ($170 p/ 3L)

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Alternative Option: Benjamin Moore Interior Trim Paint ($25 p/ quart)

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EXTERIOR PAINT: Porch & Floor Enamel Paint$50This is the "exterior paint" that I use on the exterior side of my windows and trim. It is an "enamel" paint so it doesn't stick and It delivers exceptional block resistance as well as resistance to dirt. Overall, I find this to be a great paint for purposes of window restoration for the exterior side. Note that this is a Sherman Williams paint. Although they are more expensive, I really like their coverage and remain impressed with how well the paint has stood up over time. Typically, they have sales with up to 40% off, so best to wait for those sales to get cheaper prices. When you order the paint on a sales day, you may want to buy several gallons but only mix the first two gallons, so that you can return the unmixed ones later. For a typical american house from the first half of the twentieth century, you will probably need between 2-3 gallons for the exterior of all the windows. If ytou're doing the exterior trim/casing too, you might need a few more. (estimated price is for one gallon) LINK

Alternative Option: Benjamin Moore Alternative ($70 p/ gallon)

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Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze Spray Paint$6A great option for painting locks, hinges, door handles, etc. I could only find a link for a six pack but you can also find them at the hardware store for about $5-6. LINK
Clear Coat Lacquer$6A good option for when you already have a nice patina on your hardware, and just want to seal it to keep the look.LINK
Metal Aging Solution$12It can be fun to age your hardware with a solution like this. It can give everything a nice look, as demonstrated in my videos.LINK

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

N100 Mask (Disposable)$13N100 Masks are designed for removing lead paint. The design of the mask provides a 99% removal of particles and is the highest NIOSH rated disposable respirator. LINK

Alternative Option: Reusable Lead Safe Mask ($25)

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Protective Suit$10If you feel you need a protective suit for any lead dust or asbestos, I like Tyvek.LINK
Lead Testing Kit$11Use this kit to test for lead.LINK
Cen-Tec Systems Hose with Power Tool Adapter$33This is so awesome to see for sale! Essentially, this is a shop vac hose that fits directly to your power tools. For example, not only can you can fit it directly to your vacuum scraper of course but you can also attach your shop vac to your orbital sander and other power tools. That means when you are sanding the window sash or frame, you have the full power of your HEPA shop vac sucking away any dust, making your work environment safer. Highly recommend!LINK

Metal Casement Windows Equipment

Sarco Glaze - Dual Glaze Version $45Sarco's Dual Glaze version is made for steel windows. Also, it comes in black! So if you're going to have black windows, go with the black version.LINK
Wire Wheel$20Wirewheels help remove rust in hard to reach corners on old steel casement windows.LINK
Work Gloves$16Get some cheap work gloves so when you are using a wire wheel you don't accidentally cut your hand. The link is for five pairs, but you can probably find them for a couple of dollars at any hardware store too.LINK
Gloss Black Spray Paint$5
A great spray paint for spraying steel casement windows. This product has smooth application with added rust protection. I use gloss black.LINK
Rustoleum Rusty Metal Primer
$10This is a great primer to use on steel casement windows to prevent and care for rust. Do your best to clean off the old rust, then use this product as the primer to further inhibit it's future spread. The link is not very good. You can find it much cheaper at the hardware store, for probably $10 for a quart, which is often all you need.

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Alternative Option: Spray Paint Version ($7)

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Cold Chisel$9A great tool to chisel out old glaze and glass.LINK
Steel Casement Window Crank - "right hand" version$16This is a crank that will work for most older steel casement windows. This is the "right handed" version. Just look at your crank and see if it matches the picture in the attached link. If it doesn't match, get the "left hand" crank below.LINK
Steel Casement Window Crank "left hand" version$16The "left handed" version of the crank above. Just look at your crank and see if it matches the picture and choose either the left hand crank or the right hand crank.LINK
Steel Casement Window Lock$8A good replacement lock that will fit most steel casement windows.LINK

Weather Stripping Equipment

See the Extra Resources Page for more information on weatherstripping your windows.

Spring BronzeFor historic wood windows. You can contact Killian Hardware for help on which type to choose.LINK
Modern Seal Foam Weatherstripping for Steel Casement Windows. 1/2 Inch W x 1/8 Inch Thick You can add a strip of this weather stripping to just add an extra seal for gaps. If your clearance is already very tight you can try the 1/16th thickness, or if you have a bit of a gap, you can try the 1/8th thickness. These are easy to stick on. See the Extra Resources Page, Modern Weatherstripping for Steel Windows for more information.LINK