Beware of “Patch & Paint”

It won’t last. Beware of a “patch and paint” job your timber windows.

Recently we assessed the windows at a walk-up strata building in Bondi and we were surprised at what we found lurking below the paint!

It seems that a standard way to repair older wooden windows, whether they be in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart or Perth, is to patch over the imperfections with some builders’ bog (pink body filler) and slap on several layers of paint. It’s amazing that this practice is allowed to continue – but it does.

Above are bodged repairs using builder bog in joints and to fill rail rot – these will fail.

This practice is commonly referred to as a “patch and paint” job. It’s affordable at the time but it delays the true costs, it wastes resources, increases landfill, and unnecessarily trashes heritage windows.

The problem with this approach is that builders bog cracks and separates from the wood and paint, because it moves at a different rate to the wood in the heat and cold, and when it rains water infiltrates the repair. This just starts off the cycle of rot again.

Learn more from this video:

Above is a sash joint & rail rebuilt with bog. It just absorbed water and fell to pieces.

Newely finished “patch and paint” work can present as clean, smooth and without issue, but there is bound to be trouble below the surface. It’s always best to ask the contractor how they intend to make repairs and what materials they will use. If they mention the word “bog” or “builders filler” exercise a healthy degree of caution. You may well be returning back to the window repairs sooner than you think.

How to fix wood rot in an old timber window is an article where we previously outlined the details of these types of bad repairs and what can happen. Guess what? This lousy standard of work is common and is still happening!

So next time you need work on your windows keep in mind that some practices, while economically attractive, turn out to be a false economy. “Patch and paint” repairs are a cheap way out for wooden windows. Patch and paint hides the real issue(s), it delays the inevitability of proper repairs being required and may unfortunately result in the total removal and waste of beautiful old windows and loss of irreplaceable rare wood.

At Sealasash when we deliver our core service of draught sealing we will always make the windows work properly and if repairs are required we use quality materials such as rot treatment, flexible window epoxy and seasoned matched wood. We don’t use bog!

If you would like to talk to a timber window expert who understands all your options, and who will listen to your priorities, then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Looking for double glazing for your sash windows or wooden windows?

Sealasash can double glaze your old timber, wooden and sash windows with new high-performance glass.  We also upgrade windows to include draught and acoustic seals that further improve the comfort and energy efficiency of your windows. 

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Vacuum Insulated Double Glazing

Our ultra-high performance double glazing fits perfectly within your existing timber work, eliminating any bulky or expensive modifications.


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With our draught and acoustic seals you’ll achieve amazing new comfort levels by reducing infiltration of outside air, noise and dust without the annoying rattles.

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Using traditional craftsmanship and modern materials, we’ll restore your windows and make them better than new.  This includes high-performance double glazing and draught seals that will dramatically improve the comfort and energy efficiency of old timber, wooden and sash windows.