to avoid scratching, staining or etching window glass, it's important to take the proper preventative steps to protect glass before painting around glass. for starters have your painter cover all glass surface's that may be damaged with a protective plastic layer.
but, if it is too late and you're left with paint on your glass, have him remove the paint - it's usually part of a standard painting contract so, make sure you're covered.
unfortunately, if you're like most of us and you don't discover the paint until long after the painter has left, i suggest the following course of action.
tip: it is important to understand that you must not use a razor blade on dry glass to remove paint or other over-spray!!! - this will scratch the surface and you'll either have to:
a) live with the mistake - free but, painful
b) have the scratched glass professionally buffed - somewhat costly
c) replace the glass completely - extremely costly
d) take the proper steps to ensure you take the paint off the glass without marring it's finish.
and, the best answer is...
"d" yeah! hurray! yippee!
step 1: apply a professional window cleaning solution to wet window surface area.
use a bucket of water with approximately the same ratio of dishwashing soap as you would to prepare a sink for dish washing. this is going to create a slippery surface and will help prevent scratches. use sorbo glide, a friction reducer, to your solution or simply add more dish washing soap to your water to increase slipperiness if needed.
tip: before scraping entire glass surface, i would recommend scraping in an inconspicuous place to sample how the glass is reacting to the scraper's blade.
tip: use your ears. generally, if your razor is dull or the blade is marred, rusted or damaged, you may hear a coarser, grittier sound as the razor cuts across the glass's surface. stop immediately, and check for damage to the glass and look for imperfections in the razor's blade. if your blade appears in perfect condition, make sure to read this next hot tip...
tip: if you have mirrored or tinted glass make sure the mirroring or tinting is not on the side the paint or overspray is on. usually, glass is tinted on one side only so, take a close look at your glass before you scrape.
if you scrape"coated" glass you run the risk of permanently damaging the surface! have you ever scratched your sun glasses and noticed everything you see looks normal except were the scratch lies - it appears brighter than normal? that's what may happen if you use a razor blade on this type of glass so, proceed with caution.
so... you've wet the glass with your soapy solution, scraped glass with razor in an inconspicuous area to test, made sure your razor's blade is fresh or new and are not attempting to scrape tinted or mirrored glass or glass, you can proceed to...
step 2: scrape glass surface with a professional grade window scraper to remove paint.
scrap window's glass perimeter first by angling razor 45° away from window's framing - this will help prevent blade catching and scratching frame and caulking, and prevent breaking the blade. once perimeter is scraped, use overlapping horizontal or vertical strokes with razor to remove the glass's body of painted surface. horizontal stroke work well with windows that are wider than they are tall and vise-versa for vertical strokes.
tip: always lift blade between strokes to prevent scratching; scratching can occur will dragging blade across glass on an unnecessaryback stroke.
step 3: after surface area is completely free of paint, reapply glass cleaning solution and squeegee off to dry glass. repeat steps 1 through 3 on all windows effected and you'll be back to the crystal clear viewing you desire for your home or business.
if you'd like more information on how to restore glass by using professional window cleaning techniques to remove paint, caulking, decals, stickers, hardwater spots, oxidization and more.
to learn how i can help you start a successful window cleaning service, or expand your existing window washing business.
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