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mattpdx 01-28-2011 05:30 PM

Finishing windows before they are installed or after?
So I got a bunch of Andersen windows I will be installing. They are gliding (sliding) windows with a real wood interior. I want to stain and finish them to match the trim that's going to go up around them (dark wood, craftsman style).

It looks like if I wait and finish them after being installed, it will be hard to get to all the edges of the wood parts. Even worse, stuff might drip down to the track area affecting performance.

I'm thinking if I lay them flat, and stain and finish them before installing them, it will be easier to get to all the parts and I won't have to worry about dripping so much. Also the way these are constructed, it's two sliding panes that will both move when unlocked, so I will be able to slide the back pane under the front pane, and reach both sides of it unobstructed.

Also the way these windows are constructed, the wood trim that's installed later will not really even touch any of the wood in the windows, there's a grey aluminum frame that runs around the outside edge. Not a big deal, I think it will look fine when installed, just saying the wood on the windows will not even really touch the trim, no reason to finish everything at once.

Thoughts on this? I can post some pictures if anyone is interested in seeing the details. Thanks!!

joecaption 01-29-2011 08:03 AM

Stain them first using a Gel stain not a liquid, far less messy.
Before I started I'd also get some Bristal finish to seal them. It's the best you can buy, 7 times more UV protection then Min-Wax marine spar and no sanding between coats. ANy marine supply store should have it. West Marine, Boat US ect.
Are you 100% sure this is real wood?

mattpdx 01-30-2011 11:13 AM

Sorry, I am talking about the INTERIOR wood on the windows, I don't need any heavy duty marine stuff. The exterior is a no-maintenance composite material.

Here are some pictures of the wood on the interior side, you can see the places where the wood touches the frame and each other, I'm thinking it will be easier to finish this stuff laying down flat, before I install it.

MSU Fan 01-31-2011 07:45 AM

Plus, since I don't have any idea what your time table is, you can chip away at the windows as you are able to, and then just install them when you are ready. Versus having them installed and then not done. Seems a better way to making sure the project gets finished on time.

mattpdx 02-01-2011 09:25 PM

Yeah there is no real timetable for installing them since I will be doing it all.

The only thing is, I have to figure out exactly what color stain I want to use etc, before I can get started.

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