Staining windows questions


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Old 12-06-06, 02:03 PM
B
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Staining windows questions

Hi,

I am replacing windows in my house (vinyl) with some Andersen wood framed ones (series 400). These windows are pine, unstained. My floors are stained oak and I'd like to trim out the windows in oak (red) as well). I have a couple of questions:

1. Since the frames of the windows are pine and the trim oak, if I use the same stain for both of them will this look awkward? I know I won't get the same grain effect but as long as the color matches, I'll be happy.

2. Would you stain the trim before it is put up (probably easier) or stain the trim and windows once everything was in place?

Thanks!
Bob
 
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Old 12-06-06, 03:04 PM
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By the way, I like your choice in windows. Sorry, any given stain on oak will never match pine, sometimes close but never a match. Different type of wood, different grain, never happen. There are ways to match the color, but it takes some fiddlin/foolin, on some sample pieces.

Yes, staining, even finishing the trim before installing makes a lot of sense. Andersen even leaves the trim removable so you can do just that.
 
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Old 12-06-06, 03:23 PM
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Take a small piece of pine and a small piece of oak to the paint store and test which stains will give you the closest match. Each wood species will take stain differently. Too, as they age, they will acquire a different patina, due to sunlight, heat, etc. Thus, even if you come up with a close match in stains, they will never look exactly alike. It is likely no one will notice but you. Too, window treatments will likely cover the windows.
 
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Old 12-06-06, 05:20 PM
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It will likely take 2 different stains to get the pine and oak the approximate same color. If you decide to use a wood conditioner on the pine it will also affect the stain color. Personally I wouldn't bother with conditioner for just the window sash.

It is always best to stain and seal all the trim before installation. The last coat should be applied after installation so all the puttied nail holes [and any cracks] will also have a coat of varnish/poly.
 
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Old 12-06-06, 05:29 PM
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I have to second what Marksr said about needing 2 different stains, and what he mentioned about not using the wood conditioner, especially if you are going to be trying to match a dark color. I've stained a lot of windows, and it's impossible to stain pine dark enough if you use a wood conditioner. Maybe I need to learn some new tricks- lol.

We prestain and prefinish both the windows and the trim prior to installation.
 
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Old 12-07-06, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for the suggestions guys - I went to my local BM paint store and they tried a match. We'll see how it turns out!

I have another question - not so much stain related but it could have implications. Since several of you are window guys, I thought I'd ask here. My house is over 50 years old - the old windows were a pain & ugly so I'll be working through the house & replacing them as I go. This was the first one I did - we'll see how it turns out but I'm sure it will be much better. What I did was to plumb and level the window with the interior frame flush with the interior wall. If all goes well I may do this with the other windows or maybe I'll use extension jambs, etc. However I wanted to have my sill trim tight against the bottom of the window frame if possible so I used that as a reference point when plumbing & shimming.

The problem is the wall is not plumb. At the top of the window, the window frame is maybe 1/4" proud, in the middle of the window the wall is a bit proud, etc. It is a plaster wall so it is probably no surprise that things are off. So I'm wonder what you guys would recommend I do to get a nice looking trim around the window without gaps. I'll probably try knocking down some of the plaster where it sticks out, however I have to be careful to blend in the sourrounding plaster. But even if I do this, there's probably going to be some gaps between the trim and the window frame. Would you recommend using a wood filler there? In the past I haven't had a lot of success staining filler, but I don't do that much staining so perhaps it will work out. And assuming that I stain & coat the trim before installation, would it make sense to install the trim first, do any filling as necessary and then stain the windows so I'm staining the window frames and filler at the same time?

For the part of the window frame that is proud, I suppose I could use a plane the knock some down - is that recommended? Or I could use sandpaper. As you can tell, I'm no pro - just a jack knife carpenter . Perhaps this is all moot - even in new construction I imagine things are never plumb & perfect - probably why I should use paint instead of stain to easier hide the imperfections. But I like a stained oak look - it is going to be a craftsman style trim so butt joints & build up. Maybe I shouldn't futz so much - I'll probably be the only one who sees the imperfections.

Thanks again!
Bob
 
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Old 12-07-06, 09:42 AM
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Plaster walls are always a problem because of the uneven wall thickness. Here is what sometimes works: Lay your window trim (casing) on the wall exactly where it will be once it is nailed on. Take a pencil and scribe a line on the outside edge of the casing. Then simply grind down the plaster in those areas where the plaster is too thick. You're basically tapering the plaster from the outside edge of the casing to the point where it is flush with the window jamb. And, you have the option of tapering it (as mentioned) or actually recessing the trim into the plaster if you need it to be perfectly flat, as is sometimes the case with the craftsman style. In that case, you'd actually be making a deeper cut along your pencil line wherever the plaster is too thick. Once the casing is on, the outside edge of the casing would appear recessed in the areas where the plaster is too thick, but would appear normal when looking at the rest of the window trim. And if you are only grinding down 1/4" here and there, that will be prefectly acceptable. (a 4 1/2" angle grinder and cheap-o diamond wheel will make quick work of it, but will make a lot of dust! So put up some plastic curtains and dropcloths)

Everything you grind off will be hidden behind the trim, so as long as you don't go beyond that pencil line you'll be okay. Once you're done, the casing will lay flat on the areas where the plaster is fine, and will also lay flat in the areas you ground down. The edge of the casing can then have a fine bead of latex caulking run down it, which will cover any gaps and give you a nice line to cut in new wall paint against the trim.

You definately would not want to use filler, its the worst pain to match.
 
 

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