Staining Pine Windows. Critique my plan.

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Old 08-26-06, 09:12 AM
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Staining Pine Windows. Critique my plan.

I have $5000 worth of Pella windows sitting in my garage. They are going to be installed next week by an installer. They are aluminum clad on the exterior, but unfinished Pine on the interior. I will do the staining myself to save money.

I have done extensive research and think i have the right plan. But I have spent a lot of money here and don't want to mess it up. Here is my plan, please critique or offer better suggestions.

1. Lightly sand windows with 200 or lighter weight paper.

2. Apply wood conditioner so pine will take stain evenly. Product says to stain window within a couple hours of applying conditioner.

3. Apply stain with quality brush and or rag. Let sit awhile until desired color achieved. Wipe off excess. Let dry.

4. Lightly sand with 200 weight paper again.

5. Reapply stain, if so desired.

6. Repeat sanding for each additional stain coat.

7. Apply a polyurethane finish with a quality brush.

8. Let dry and use 0000 steel wool between coats. Applying multiple coats until satisfied with the look.

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Does this sound ok?
 
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Old 08-26-06, 10:28 AM
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I stain and finish Pella windows frequently at work. Here's a few tips I could share.

Sanding prior to staining is usually not necessary- Pella does a pretty good job of prepping their wood. If you did choose so sand, I'd recommend you use 220 grit. Particularly, you might want to pay special attention to the edge of the interior storm sash, which always seems to be the roughest piece of wood on the entire window, and as a result sometimes stains up darker than surrounding wood. Also, ease the corner of the window jamb where it will meet the casing so that you don't have a sharp edge there. When you apply the wood conditioner (which I highly recommend) I only leave it penetrate for 15 minutes max before applying the stain. You hardly have to wipe off the excess because it penetrates so well. I don't trust leaving it for an hour or two, no matter what the directions say- it all depends on drying conditions.

Flood the wood with the conditioner. You can't apply too much. When it comes to staining, use the stain sparingly- especially at inside corners and the corners of the interior storm sashes. You don't want a lot of stain in those areas because it can wick up the endgrain and make the wood too dark in those areas. Depending on what kind of stain you are using, you need to wipe it off before it starts getting tacky. Usually, once you apply the stain, letting it soak doesn't do much to deepen the color. If you wait too long to wipe it off, or if you stain up too much stuff and get behind, you can have a sticky mess. So I prefer to stain and once finished brushing a sash, wipe it dry.

You don't ever sand after staining.

I use a sanding sealer before poly, but that's up to you- and up to the directions with your poly. I apply 1 coat of sealer, and up to 3 coats of poly.

I disassemble the windows completely, mask off the parts that can't be removed, mask off the edge of the glass, and since I spray my poly, I use roll-on booth coat to protect and mask the glass. Helps to keep stuff clean.
 
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Old 08-26-06, 04:40 PM
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1 coat of stain is almost always sufficent. Some polys are not compatible with sanding sealers. I prefer using sanding sealer for the 1st coat as it dries quicker and sands easier than poly. I usually use varnish for the top coats but poly has a harder and more durable finish.
 
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Old 08-26-06, 06:24 PM
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One other thing I forgot to mention... when you see dark smudge marks on the wood (like dirty fingerprints) it is a lot easier to wipe them clean with a cloth and denatured alcohol than it is to sand them off.
 
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Old 08-26-06, 09:12 PM
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XSleeper:

You are referring to BEFORE staining, correct? Also, i forgot to mention that all of the windows are casement, any specific directions for these since you are so familiar, Xsleeper?? Thanks.
 

Last edited by DIYaddict; 08-31-06 at 08:05 AM. Reason: removed quote as it's unnecessary
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Old 08-27-06, 10:08 AM
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Yes, before staining.

I'm most familiar with the Architect/Designer Series Casements that have an interior storm sash (and optional slimshades inside the storm panel). I remove the sashes from the frames, remove the hinges from the sashes, remove the lock keepers, remove the snubbers (from the middle of the hinge side), and remove the miniblind handle. On the jamb of the window, the lock mechanism can be removed by inserting a flat screwdriver into the back side (there's a slot behind the weatherstrip), wiggling a bit and the lock will pull straight out.

I use triangle shaped corner masking and blue painters' tape to mask the edges of the glass. I then roll on some Sherwin Williams booth coat (a removable latex-plastic masking) and allow it to dry. We used to use paper to mask off the glass but it takes too much time and tape. I don't bother masking off the black weatherstrip around the sash... but I do mask off the weatherstrip and frame on all sides of the jamb.

As mentioned before, just be careful not to brush too much stain into the corners of the sash and jamb, where the stain will wick up the end grain. The wood on the storm sash will be particularly rough, so be sure to sand that prior to staining, and then again after using your sanding sealer. (if you aren't using sanding sealer, you might want to thin your first coat of poly down with 25% thinner which will make it a bit easier to sand that first coat.) After each coat, you will likely want to give everything a light sanding with 220 grit. Also, 3M makes some Sandblaster sanding sponges that come in handy for doing the curved surfaces. You'd want the 180 grit ones for between coats.

I make plywood triangles and screw them to the bottom of the jambs so that they stand up on their own (and won't tip over). The sashes I lay flat on long planks that rest on sawhorses. Of course I have plenty of room in our warehouse to spread all this stuff out... but it's nice to lay the sashes flat so that you don't get any runs.

Do NOT open the storm panels and attempt to stain anything inside. Basically, you only need to stain whatever is exposed when the window is cranked open. I remove the hardware so that when everything is put back together, everything is clean. Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that the 2 storm sash clips (the ones that slide up and down) are not removable... but you can put a thin strip of masking tape over the top of the clip- cut the tape just a bit bigger than the head of the clip so it can fold over each side a little. Then as you stain and varnish, you have to move the clips as you brush around them- slide them to one side then varnish and slide them to the other side and varnish.
 
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Old 08-30-06, 06:55 PM
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I have another question...Since these are casement windows, i will need to stain the part of the window that is against the seal when it is closed, therefore i would think i need to open the casement windows while i stain, correct?

If so, how long do i need to leave them open before i can safely close them?
 
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Old 08-31-06, 06:19 AM
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What I do is completely remove the sashes from the frames. (described in the post above) This enables you to easily work on each sash while it's laying down. You can easily get all 4 sides of it, and you don't miss any spots on the masterframe of the window that way. You also won't get stain and finish all over your hardware, which is important, because if you get finish in the track that the windows slide in, it won't make them very easy to crank open and closed!

Doing this before they are installed is ideal.

If your question is only regarding how long to leave the windows open, I would suggest 24 hours before recoating with your poly.
 
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Old 08-31-06, 08:00 AM
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How do you remove the sashes from a casement window?
 
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Old 08-31-06, 11:39 AM
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Pella has 2 styles of hardware, depending on which casement you have. One is for egress windows, the other is their standard hardware for non-egress applications.

Assuming that you have the non-egress hardware, all you need to do is crank the window open 90 degrees, then remove the screws on the hinge that go into the sash. You also remove the one screw that holds the top hardware to the masterframe. Once the hinge hardware is disconnected, you slide the entire sash toward the latch side of the opening. There are black plastic guides that slide in grooves (top and bottom), and you slide the window toward the latch side until those black plastic guides come out of their track. There is a screw at the end of each track that you will have to remove to get the sashes out of the track. (Reinstalling the sash will be just the opposite.)

Obviously, I leave everything disassembled until everything is stained AND finished, and it has had a little time to cure.
 
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