How can I raise double hung windows in an older home that are stuck shut?

Hi Kathy,

If your window has been painted shut, start by unlocking it, then carefully cut through the paint layer where the window stop meets the sash using the corner of a putty knife or a utility knife. Bump the top frame of the sash with your hand or a rubber mallet to loosen it, then try raising the window.

If that doesn’t do it, go outside and insert a flat pry bar between the sill and sash on one side of the frame. Pry upward a little to loosen it, then repeat on the other side of the frame, working each side until it raises. Once you have it open, spray a little lubricant or rub paraffin in the track on each side of the frame.

If the windows are still difficult to open and close, you may need to remove the window stop in the room and slightly increase the gap between the window stop and sash, or take out the sash and plane off the side edges until it slides easily.

Good luck with your project,


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Danny Lipford

Danny Lipford


Danny Lipford is a home improvement expert and television personality who started his remodeling business, Lipford Construction, at the age of 21 in Mobile, Alabama. He gained national recognition as the host of the nationally syndicated television show, Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford, which started as a small cable show in Mobile. Danny's expertise in home improvement has also led him to be a contributor to popular magazines and websites and the go-to source for advice on everything related to the home. He has made over 200 national television appearances and served as the home improvement expert for CBS's The Early Show and The Weather Channel for over a decade. Danny is also the founder of 3 Echoes Content Studio,, and Checking In With Chelsea, a décor and lifestyle blog.

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