How To Make Changes To Your Existing Kitchen Windows

Written by bprescottFebruary 27, 2012
A kitchen window with a decorative valance

Sprucing up the windows you have

Even if you can’t afford to include new windows in your kitchen remodel, rejuvenate your existing windows to let in more light and do away with the old, worn look. Now’s the time to sand and re-stain the wood frame and mull centers (the wood strips separating windows) so that your old windows don’t stick out like sore thumbs.

Sanding, staining, and painting

Most window interiors require a light sanding to remove old varnish and to even out the color of the wood. Kitchen windows often have black streaks and stains from mildew. You need to remove or lighten the mildew color with a wood-bleach solution, which you can find in the paint department of home centers and hardware stores. Just follow the directions on the container. Then, stain and varnish the wood to bring the appearance back to life.

Treating windows to new treatments

Adding a splash of color or changing the appearance of a window area can be accomplished by choosing the right window treatment. Select drapes and curtains that let natural light shine in- big and puffy treatments only block out natural light.

  • Shades: Don’t think of shades as the old, white rollup type that your grandmother (and maybe your mother, too) used on every window. Shades come in different colors and different shapes of shading material (when viewing their profile) and they can really spruce up a window while providing privacy and light control. You’ll also find shades that are insulated to help control drafts and heat-loss around the window area. This feature is especially nice if you have a table or dining area located directly below the window.

Most paint and wallpaper stores, as well as home centers, have a wide selection of shade designs to choose from. What makes them really adaptable is that you order-to-size to fit your window. Shades can be mounted either on the inside edge of the window frame or on the face of the window trim, depending on your window’s design.

  • Blinds: Pull-up blinds are still popular because they provide the traditional look and feel of blinds but with colors and sizes that work for today’s windows. Mini-blinds are especially popular. Their narrow slats are not intrusive looking, yet they function well at letting in and keeping out sunlight whenever you want. Blinds are available in dozens of colors, so you can match or accent your kitchen’s color scheme. And blinds are also affordable. They come in sizes that fit today’s most common window widths, and they’re also available in custom-made sizes if you can’t find a pre-cut size to fit your windows. Blinds, like shades, are available at wallpaper stores, home centers, and most window stores.
  • Shutters: Want to give your kitchen the charm and feel of a country house or a cozy café? A pair of shutters on each window can help. Their moveable slats, their hinged center joints, and the fact they’re wood add charm and warmth to any kitchen design. Shutters come in set widths, but you should be able to find a width or combination of widths to fit any size window.

Most interior shutters are wood, so you have the option of leaving them natural and only applying a couple of coats of varnish to seal them, staining the wood to match the kitchen’s trim, or painting them to add color.

  • Drapes and valances: A colorful fabric valance or a set of thin, colorful drapes around a kitchen window can add that finishing touch on a kitchen remodel that takes it from ordinary to extraordinary.

A valance will work over almost any window in a kitchen and is a beautiful way to add color and texture to a small area or to help break up an otherwise flat, dull wall surface. Drapes work well around windows that are over tables or around eating areas. However, I don’t recommend hanging drapes around windows that are near the sink and countertop because both surfaces make your drapes an easy target for splashes and spills.


From ‘Bathroom Remodeling For Dummies’
Copyright © 2003 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.



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