3 Dos and Don’ts for Decorating Your Windows

The last few months of the year include one holiday after another. From Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas, Hanukah, Boxing Day, and New Year’s, each celebration presents an exciting opportunity to decorate your home and show your enthusiasm for the season. But as you put up lights, candles, wreaths, paper cutouts, and any other assortment of crafts, exercise a little restraint with your windows. Though the glass may seem like an inviting canvas for your creativity, remember that some decorations may cause lasting damage to the panes or frame. If you want to decorate your windows this year, keep the following dos and don’ts in mind.

1. Don’t Nail Into the Window Frame

The window frame may seem like the perfect supportive surface for your hangings. A small screw, staple, or nail shouldn’t cause too much visible damage, and you can always fill in the hole with putty or spackle later. However, many window manufacturers use the window frame to keep springs in balance. If you drill or nail into the frame, you may disrupt the window’s operation and void your warranty. Do Use Suction Cups or Fishing Line If you want to hang a wreath, bow, or garland in your window, consider suction cup holders that stick directly to the glass. Simply clean the glass, peel away any protective plastic, and apply the hanger to your window. For a more discreet decoration, you can nail into the wall or ceiling above your window frame and wrap fishing line around the nail down to your wreath. The fishing line will look almost invisible, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning away suction cup residue from the glass later in the season.

2. Don’t Place Lit Candles on the Sash

A burning candle in the window has long been a tradition among various religions and holiday participants. A flickering flame could give a spooky glow to your home during Halloween, or it could give a cheery warmth during winter celebrations. But live flames and wax candles pose a risk to your windows (as well as the rest of your home). If left untended, the flame and heat could melt the vinyl frame or sash. The soot from the candle could leave dark, streaky deposits on the glass. And the wax could drip onto the sash and frame, sealing your window shut.

Do Use Battery-Operated or Plug-in Lights

While live flames look cozy, you may want to save the lit candles for birthday cakes. To achieve the same visually warming effect, opt for battery-operated candles. These plastic candles mimic the flickering light of a real candle but without risk to the frame or glass. Better still, you can reuse these electronic candles for each holiday, year after year. To take your holiday decoration a step further, frame windows with strings of lights that plug into your nearby outlet.

3. Don’t Spray or Paint the Glass

If you like to create fun, colorful scenes in your window, paint seems like a fun way to liven up the glass. With a few brush strokes, you can have a spooky scarecrow, a friendly turkey, or a jolly Santa Claus on your window that your neighbors can’t help but admire. But paint often proves difficult to remove, especially if you use the wrong materials. Any paint other than tempera may require extensive scraping, scrubbing, and washing once the season has ended. In some cases, the paint may permanently stain the glass Furthermore, if paints drip onto the frame, they may dry and stick in place, sealing the window shut

Do Use Static Cling Stickers

If you want to create exciting seasonal scenes, invest in window stickers that rely on static to cling to the windows rather than adhesives. You can find stickers in an assortment of sizes, shapes, and images, and you never have to worry about scraping or scratching your window to remove residue.

Did You Go Overboard With the Decorations?

If you follow these dos and don’ts while decorating, you won’t have to worry about damaging your windows or voiding the warranty. However, some decorations may still cause damage if you don’t exercise care. Should you accidentally crack, warp, or break your windows during the holidays, talk to a contractor about replacing and installing new windows in your home.