Painting windows: the lip balm trick


The trim is finally being painted! While the baseboards were already a bright (albeit scuffed) white, the window sills were a creamy off-white (and don’t let the fancy light before picture deceive you, the sills were covered with suspicious, smudgy paw prints). We’re painting everything Valspar’s Ultra White, and the subtle change is really making a big difference in the room. Also, while I usually love the look of eggshell, I’m hoping that choosing a semi-gloss finish will help with the upkeep.


I was really worried about accidentally painting the old windows shut, so I did some research to see if there were any tips to keep that from happening. Generally, stick with common sense: thin coats with extra care around the moving parts and change the window position as soon as they’re dry to the touch.

I also came across this brilliant, brilliant tip from In My Own Style: a thin coat of lip balm along the edge of the window pane will make it much easier to clean any stray paint off the glass. I had a tube in my pocket and was itching to get started, so I gave it a try.

I smeared a line of lip balm along the frame.


And smudged it in with my finger.


Did it work? It was amazing! I was pretty impressed. I took a video to show you how easily it wiped off when the paint dried:


Highly, highly recommended. Full disclosure, I used a Whole Food’s brand lip balm (which, admittedly, is a little embarrassing. I’m not that frivolous with my little luxuries, but at $1.99 a tube, it is cheaper than a roll of painter’s tape!). I’m sure any brand would work. The ingredients are coconut oil, beeswax, extra virgin olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, hemp seed oil, mixed Tocopherols. I’m guessing that even straight-up coconut or olive oil would work well, too, but I really loved the built-in applicator of the tube.

For the baseboards, I tried to be very careful and used a good stiff, angled brush. To protect the floor, I used a wide scraper and the last little bit of painter’s tape I had to make a reusable edger, which worked pretty well! I had a couple little spots to wipe up, but overall, it went much faster than taping all the edges. As always, Abel-the-dog was totally helpful.


We’re going to paint the ceiling Ultra White next, but leave the beams for the time being. I have dreams of stripping them down to the original wood, but that’s a project for the hot mid-summer when the paint practically peels itself off the walls.



  1. Genius! I wish I would’ve known that lip balm trick when I refinished our foyer cabinets… FYI: Paint is a beast to remove from plexi-glass. I’ll definitely be trying that next time. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  2. […] Painting Windows: The Lip Balm Trick [The Projectory via In My Own Style] […]

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