People think window restoration is hard, but with a few inexpensive tools, just about anyone can get started on fixing their old wood windows.

That’s was preservation expert Steve Quillian, of Wood Window Makeover, said in this Window Hero Webinar here at Indow. Before the webinar started, he told us there’s a tendency among older craftsman to “keep their cards close to their vest” when it comes to restoration and preservation techniques. The new model, he said, should be all about, “Share, share, share. Put the power in the hands of young people…It’s important that we pass along traditions.”

That’s just what he did!

He started the webinar by walking the computer around to give viewers a tour of his workshop in Tampa, Florida, Wood Window Makeover.  He detailed the anatomy of an old growth wood window. He showed how to remove the sash. How to replace old frayed rope. How to tie it onto the sash weight – even what kind of knot to use!

“A figure 8 knot – it stands the test of time and won’t come undone,”he said. “Trust me, you want to use the figure 8.”

Then he explained – and we thought this was just a great detail to go over – how you can put plywood in your window opening while you’re restoring windows so you can keep out the rain and feel safe during the restoration process.  

His goal, he said, is to create an artisan army! There are just too many older structures that need restoration and preservation work. People need to feel empowered to tackle projects themselves. 

Tools You Need for Fixing Old Windows Yourself:

All the tools Steve talked about that you need to restore windows (including educational tools) are included below.

Old Windows Made Easy, by Scott Sidler

Dry lubricant

Carbite scraper



Samson Spot Cord #8

Paint scraper

Sanding block

Vice-clamp with duck bill

Window zipper

Flat bar

Utility knife

Restoring Old Windows Video Playlist

NOTE ON LEAD PAINT: To stay safe during home renovations, please refer to this excellent lead safety guide developed by the EPA.

Enjoy this type of content? At Indow, preserving historic windows is very important to us. We help architects across the country make original windows energy efficient with our inserts – read about it here.