How To Refinish Wooden Window Sashes
Wooden windows are susceptible to water damage if they are not properly cared for. Despite this, wood is a great material for residential windows. It has great insulating capabilities and can be painted any color. Of course, if you have wooden windows, you will need to commit to frequent maintenance, particular in keeping the frames waterproof. This article explains how to refinish and waterproof wooden window sashes with basic tools.
Preparing the Wood
Wooden window sashes need to be restained to maintain the waterproof surface. However, this does not mean you can just stain right over the existing surface. The key is to even out the smoothness of the surface by sanding it. Most people think that sanding is meant to make the surface smoother. In fact, the sanding will slightly scuff up the surface, making it more accepting of the stain. The stain will stick much better if you use a fine grit sandpaper before painting. Sand with light pressure and don't try to sand off all of the old paint unless you are trying to completely change the color of your windows. For instance, if you are staining your windows are darker color, you don't need to sand off the old stain.
How to Stain
Before you start staining your sashes, you need to do some taping. Tape off the glass panes to reduce the mess. If your windows have caulk between panes and sash, you should tape it off as well. The caulk will absorb the stain differently and the end result will be a caulk line that does not match.
When applying stain to a hardwood surface you can use a lint-free rag instead of a paint brush. Since stain is so watery, the job is much messier if you try to use a traditional brush. Using a rag is easy—just dip it directly into the can of stain and rub it onto the sash. You will then need to wipe away the excess stain with a rag that is a little drier.
Staining will almost certainly require several coats. Between each coat you need to smooth out the stain after it dries. Use steel wool to buff away any stain granules or rough spots. This is just a light buffing, so don't rub too hard. You should also lightly go over the stain after the final coat for a smooth finish. This will leave your windows with a stylish and waterproof finish.
For assistance, talk to a general contractor like Battistelli, Glenn LLC.