Q: We purchased a foreclosure to remodel, and most of the windows seem to be painted shut. What’s the easiest way to break the paint seal without damaging the wood of the window sashes?
A: There is a hand tool called a sash knife that is designed specifically for this type of job. The blade is offset from the handle to flush-cut the joint between the sash and the frame to penetrate dried paint. In a pinch, you might also try using a thin hack-saw blade, because the blade will bend. Very shallow paint lines can be cut with a utility knife, but because it won’t flex or cut flush, a razor blade can’t cut deeply dried paint without cutting into the frame or sash.