Water stained wood windows, clean and protectFebruary 1, 2008
Q: We have interior wood window frames that have been left unfinished. Condensation from the windows has stained the wood and we now want to finish the frames. Is there a way to remove the stains in order to finish the wood and keep the light color and what finish do you recommend we use?
A: Wood window frames and sash that are going to be left for a clear finish should always have a clear sealer applied immediately after installation to eliminate potential water staining.
Homes constructed in the colder months of the year will invariably have high moisture content inside the home because of drywall or plaster curing. Windows being the coldest spot will attract the warm moist air causing condensation, therefore exhaust fans in all areas (bathroom, laundry & kitchen) must be used to reduce the relative humidity and minimize high moisture content. Most major builders will use high efficient dehumidifiers to reduce the moisture within the home during the initial finish period of construction.
To remove the water stains on natural wood, mix equal parts of white vinegar and warm water. To begin, sand the stained area with 120-grit sand paper. Next, scrub the area with the mixed solution and small stiff bristle brush then blot dry with a towel. Continue this process until all visible stains have been removed. Rinse well with clear water and dry with a hair dryer until clear surface is obtained. Use clear solvent based urethane for finish, such as Flecto Varathane #90, 91 or professional grade, apply two coats using a polyester or bristle brush and lightly sand between coats.
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