How Do I (Video): Dark Paint Internal Timber Window Frames

Something a little different today in that my How To is mostly watching as opposed to reading and digesting. Sometimes it’s just easier to watch and take something in if you haven’t done it before, as opposed to reading a set of instructions. Maybe someone should set up a purpose designed video channel or something 😉

I deliberated long and hard over whether to paint the internal window frames at Moregeous Mansions light or dark. It’s bang on trend to go moody with trendsetter Abigail Ahern kicking it all off quite a few years ago and now every interiors expert and their dog giving advice on ‘being brave’ and going to the dark side. Some are just getting round to grey or navy wall makeovers, some did that a while back and now have grown paint balls of steel and are even rollering their ceilings. The super savvy are even painting their skirtings and door frames the same colour as the walls and ceilings which feels very 2017, but is actually very 1817.

Here at home I want a mixture of those styles. In some rooms there are white skirtings, in some dark. One ceiling is grey with grey cornice. Black panelling is a go-go. To the upstairs bedrooms there’s a definite light and airy vibe so the internal window frames are All White but downstairs, with anthracite bi-folds and a cosier feel, I quite fancy a strong vibe. It’s a house with big windows, so it can take it but there’s something else you may not have considered.

Imagine looking through a window at a view. Not an all-glass, picture window but a normal window with a top or side opener and maybe a vertical dividing bar. When those bars are painted white internally, and you look out through them, they almost disappear. Hence, when you have a great view, white painted frames are a Helpful Thing.

But when an internal wooden window frame is painted dark grey or black, the view ceases to become the focal point. You still ‘see’ it, and get the same amount of light, and to all intents and purposes the view remains the same, but somehow it fades a little into the distance. So in cities or towns or through windows with crappy views, dark paint assists in the frame becoming part of the story, rather than just narrating the buildings outside.

The dark frames become deliberate, as though framing a view but also somehow making it recede slightly, tricking the eye into seeing them before it registers what it’s seeing outside. Thus I chose dark frames for the oriel window in the video, but also for our large living room bay windows and the extension windows upstairs – two bedrooms and a bathroom. Especially on the first floor, I wanted the buildings opposite to fade away rather than be the focus. No reveals of the latter until the rooms are finished – soz 🙂 – but the living room part way thru’s are below.

That’s enough of me blathering on about the whys and wherefores of dark frames, I hope that helps you decide on your dark V light dilemma. Did I make the right choice? Let me know in the comments!

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