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How To Stain Wood Windows
Tips and guidance from the window experts at Pella.
Painting and staining trends come and go, but a stained wood window will always be a classic way to bring warmth and nature into any home. While you can order finished wood trim from Pella, you can stain a wood window at home by following the expert advice we're giving you here today.
Choosing a Wood Stain
Wood stain colors come in a variety of shades. Whereas paint adds color or contrast to a home, wood stain creates a smooth, satiny and natural look.
Interior Wood Stain Options
For interior wood stain, a white wood stain works beautifully when you are working with oak and can help you achieve the modern farmhouse look. Gray and black wood stain is a popular choice for contemporary homes. Lastly, brown wood stain works well for traditional interiors.
How to Stain Wood Windows
Staining wood windows doesn’t require expensive tools or extensive education. Read on for a step-by-step guide to achieve a flawless finish.
- Several rubbing cloths
- Vinegar-based cleaning solution
- Pre-stain wood conditioner
- Wood stain (your choice of color)
- Cotton rags
- Oil-based wood varnish for finishing
- Soft staining brush
- Dry brush
Step 1. Setup. Break-down the window into its primary components. This will vary based on the type of window you have, so you will need to refer to the product instructions. To avoid getting stain on the glass, be sure to use painter’s tape to keep clean lines. Remove hardware and any other detachable pieces that are on the surfaces you plan to stain.
Step 2. Prep. Prep the wood surfaces by lightly sanding with the grain of the wood. Use a 100-grit sanding sponge and work in the direction of the grain until imperfections and rough spots are gone. For tight spots, use a folded piece of sandpaper.
Step 3. Wash. Use a cloth and premixed vinegar-based cleaning solution to wash the glass, rubbing from several different directions. If streaks remain after rubbing, rinse with clean water.
Step 4. Masking. Mask off the glass and any other areas that need to be protected from the finish.
Step 5. Pre-stain. Use a good-quality pre-stain wood conditioner to reduce the possibility of a blotchy-looking or uneven finish. Ask your paint professional to recommend a pre-stain wood conditioner, stain and finish coat for windows and doors. Apply the pre-stain conditioner according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Step 6. Stain. Evenly apply your stain based on the stain manufacturer's recommendation. Multiple coats may be necessary to get your desired color. Using a liberal coat is a quick and effective way to saturate the wood with stain.
You can wipe off the excess with clean cotton rags and use a dry brush to clean stain from cracks and crevices.
Step 7. Finish. Finish by applying an appropriate amount of oil-based wood varnish b on the manufacturer's instructions. Multiple coats may be necessary to get your desired look and performance.
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