Mixing Window Finishes For a Barely-There Look
The new design rules are that there are no rules, even when it comes to painting your window sash and frame in contrasting colors.
Whether you’re going through the window replacement process, remodeling your home or building anew, there are endless options when it comes to how to paint, stain or finish the items in your home. Though you might assume that a monochromatic scheme is the accepted practice for windows and window trim, experimenting with starker contrasts might open up new possibilities.
With the resurgence of industrial-chic aesthetic and black steel factory windows, many are seeking thin, clean lines and the contrast of darker window sashes to frame their view. At the same time, white walls are also gaining popularity to create a sense of simplicity and space.
To maximize views and make a statement with barely-there window sashes, homeowners and designers are turning to a mixed finish paint job to create a classic trompe d’oeil, or trick of the eye, that makes the sash the star and helps the rest of your window fade into the backdrop.
“Black interior window finish is a current spin on a classic look, both contemporary and traditional,” says designer Barbara Bradlee. “Black interiors replicate the feel of a European metal window, and casement windows with horizontal black ‘grids’ feel sleek and stream lined.”
The mixed finish look can be achieved by using a dark paint or stain on the window sash, while the surrounding framing is painted to match the walls around it.
What exactly is a sash? The easiest way to think about a window sash is that it’s the part of the window that houses the glass, and it’s also the part of the window that moves with the glass if the window opens and closes. The casing is the stationary trim that frames the window opening to provide a finished look.
Designer Mary Douglas Drysdale sees the use of contrast as a bold design choice that can help individualize your space. “Color and pattern enliven and actually allow you to see space and its details in new ways,” she says. “This renewed interest in contrast reflects a more daring idea about design.”
Creating contrast with white casing and black sash is something that can be applied using paint after your windows are already installed. Alternately, new Marvin windows and doors can have a mixed finish applied in the factory to avoid at-home painting.
For tips on painting existing windows to achieve the mixed finish look, our friends at This Old House offer a few tips.