6 Things You Need to Know Before Staining Your Wood Windows

6 Things You Need to Know Before Staining Your Wood Windows

Authentic wooden window and door frames are classic, elegant, and timeless. It's a material that many have attempted to replicate, but there is nothing as genuine as the natural wood feel. Some have even said that there is a wood grain for every mood as every wood type comes with a unique depth of color. 

As glorious and hardy as this material choice is, wooden windows need maintenance. Staining your wood windows is a good practice to protect them from damage and intensify the wood's color and markings. 

Things You Need to Know Before Staining Your Wood Windows

Before you grab the sprayer or paintbrushes, have a look at some of these popular Q&As to prepare you for your window maintenance project. 

Click the links below to skip ahead:

  1. Do All Windows Need to be Stained?
  2. When do Wood Windows Need to Be Stained?
  3. How Do You Choose the Right Window Stain?
  4. What Causes Black Stains on Wood Windows?
  5. Common Problems with Staining Wood
  6. What are the Best Window Stain Products?

1. Do All Windows Need to be Stained?

Only natural wood windows need staining. Vinyl, Fibrex, aluminum, and other window types are not porous like wood, and the stain will not penetrate the surface.

2. When do Wood Windows Need to Be Stained?

New wood windows need to be stained as soon as possible, some warranties require it. Should you choose to cut some costs by buying unfinished windows and staining them yourself, it's essential to be prepared for the DIY efforts as soon as possible or hire a contractor to take care of it. Ideally, you should stain your windows within thirty days of installation before dust or moisture settle in. 

Your windows will also need to be re-stained every few years or when you notice that the stain begins to wear down. Window exteriors that are exposed to weather and harsh sun may need attention sooner than the interior. 

3. How Do You Choose the Right Window Stain?

So many options and not sure which one to pick? Here are some tips for choosing the right window stain:

  • Please speak to the window manufacturer for their recommendation of stain for the unfinished product. 
  • Practice on a natural wood sample piece to see if the stain is right. This will also help you assess the number of coats the wood needs to get the desired look. 
  • Don't compromise on quality! 
  • Choose a medium or heavy body stain.
  • Shop for the wood stain at a full-service paint and stain dealer so that you can get the proper supplies and advice.
  • Ask a paint expert for compatible pre-stain wood conditioner, stain, and exterior-grade finishing coats.

4. What Causes Black Stains on Wood Windows?

Dark or black stains on the wood are usually caused by water, mold, or mildew. If caught early enough, you can clean mildew stains. Only varnish wood once you've dealt with damp exposure; otherwise, the black marks will be seen under the stain treatment. 

5. Common Problems with Staining Wood

Troubleshooting↗ isn't something you want to be researching the minute you put your tools down. Here are two issues to look out for and how to avoid them.

  • Uneven stain absorption - By using a good-quality pre-stain wood conditioner, you can reduce the possibility of an uneven finish.
  • Drips and streaks in wood - You can work back a stain using a mineral spirit or stain thinner.

6. What are the Best Window Stain Products?

Window stain products are either oil-based, acrylic, or gel↗. Oil and gel tend to be preferable for frames, but you need to paint your window frames carefully to avoid uneven staining. Water-based stains won't sink into the wood as much and may be easier to apply, as well as quick to dry. Visit your local Sherman Williams for more recommendations.

Some highly rated top brands:

  • Minwax Wood Finish Penetrating Stain
  • Varathane Wood Stains
  • Ready Seal Exterior Wood Stain
  • SamaN Water-based Wood Stains
  • DEFY Wood Stains

Staining Wood Windows - DIY or Expert Job?

Paint and color trends change with the weather, but giving your wooden windows a stain can refresh your home interior. Reviving wood tones and grain textures with a good quality stain can make you fall in love with the wooden window frames. Holding back on trending colors and instead staining wood frames will also bode well for your home value. 

While staining wood windows is something you can do (with some research and know-how), many manufacturers give you the option of buying windows already stained. Factory-finished stain options can be chosen from some standard samples, or the color can be customized. For touch-ups, contact your window manufacturer for advice on stain colors and products. 

Here at Brennan Corp, we have a range of trusted window brands that offer beautiful wooden window styles in various interior wood options, as well as stain and paint options. We're here to answer further questions you may have on window installation, maintenance, or replacements.


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