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Windows and painting

Guidelines for contractors working with glass and paint at SA government schools and preschools.

Windows and glass

Size and placement

The maximum pane size for windows is 1200mm x 1200mm to reduce maintenance costs.

Window sills should be 1000mm above floor level to allow furniture and storage units to be located against the wall.

Any broken glass below 1000mm must be replaced with a solid panel.

Types of glass

Solar/safety film can be used on existing windows to provide sun shielding and protection against forced entry.

Glazing in new windows shall be minimum 6.3mm laminated safety glass and/or meet AS1288 glass in buildings – selection and installation specifications.

Mirror reflective film is not acceptable as it causes discomfort from reflected glare.

When a high level of security is required, polycarbonate sheets should be used as the preferred glazing material.

For further information, refer to the design standards (PDF 1.2MB).


Use paints from the Australian Paint Approval scheme (APAS) to ensure paints have low volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Light colours should be selected to increase natural light and to accommodate students with disabilities, who may be impacted by bright colours.

Recommended finishes


Concrete/cement render

Satin acrylic

Fibre cement wall cladding

Satin acrylic

Timber fascia, barges, rafters

Flat acrylic (a)

Steel beams, posts, handrails, balustrades, bag racks

System c and gloss enamel or galvanised finish (b)

Fibre cement soffits

Low sheen acrylic

Timber doors and frames

Full gloss enamel (c)

Timber window frames

Full gloss enamel: or gloss acrylic


Plaster and plasterboard walls

Satin acrylic

Plasterboard ceilings and bulkheads

Flat acrylic

Fibre cement toilet partitions

Factory polyurethane     

Timber doors and frames

Full gloss enamel (c)

Timber windows

Full gloss enamel

Timber sills, skirtings, and trim

Full gloss enamel or clear finish

Timber joinery

Full gloss enamel or clear finish or melamine surface

Steel columns and beams

Full gloss enamel (b)

For further information, refer to the design standards.

  1. External timber subject to weather is best protected with oil based pink primer and flat acrylic finish coats.
  2. For metal surfaces that take wear, galvanising is the preferred finish.  Metal surfaces to be painted should first be treated with system c protection and not galvanising.
  3. Full gloss enamel is the preferred finish to timber surfaces that receive any hand contact, internally and externally.

Asset Standards and Environmental Management

For enquiries regarding standards 

Phone: 8226 0091 

Email: education.standards [at] sa.gov.au  


For enquiries regarding sustainable infrastructure 

Phone: 8226 3497 

Email: education.environment [at] sa.gov.au