stain/varnish wooden windows

15 Dec 2008
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United Kingdom

My windows are wooden and the varnish is starting to peel. I assume it is varnish as wouldn't expect a stain to peel as my understanding is that a stain soaks into the substrate - correct me if I'm wrong.

I want to take advantage of the recent dry weather to strip the remaining varnish from the window and re-varnish/stain it.

The windows consist 4 rectangular panes of glass. There is no sign of any rot.

I have the following questions:

- What is the best way of completely stripping the current finish?

- I'm planning to use Ronseal 5 Year Woodstain once the surface is ready. Is this product as good as its name suggests? ( I intend to apply 3 coats with a light sand in between each coat)

I have attached a photo, any advice on acheiving the best results would be most welcome.

View media item 60363
Many thanks
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I would use a heat gun, if you haven't used one before then strip a inconspicuous area first just to get the hang of it.

Then give it all a thorough sand to get it smooth. Wipe down using white spirit.
Its a bit of a ball ache stripping the whole lot. The normal approach is to sand back to a sound surface, then as long as you go over with the same colour or darker you wont have any shade difficulties. If you do want to strip this range is often recommended

Paint strippers don't work so well these days after the reg changes.

Your right about the differences between stain and varnish but a stain doesn't penetrate far and will weather off. Although the weather isn't too bad at the moment you still have to be careful about the moisture content of the timber, its likely to be high at the moment which could cause problems as it lessens through the summer.
Most manufacturers claims about a products protection time can be taken with a pinch of salt. Personally i like the sikkens two coat systems, complicated to get your head round the labelling but a good range of products
heat guns are the most efficient way of stripping paint but your pushing your luck close to glass and in the event that you burn your house down (happens more often than you think) your insurance won't cover you.
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Agree with dcdec about Sikkens, the HLS and Filter seven are proven products. If you do use a heat gun, gently warm the glass with the gun first before you start stripping close to the glass, this will lessen the chances of the glass cracking.
I'm nervous about using the heat gun for fear of cracking the glass so I think I will sand back to a sound surface and then apply a watered down coat of Ronseal before following up with 2 full coats.

I've started sanding down the surface and I've noticed some cracks in the wood from weathering, relatively minor (you can see them in the picture).

View media item 60363
I was wondering what I could use to fill in these gaps before applying my 1st coat of watered down Ronseal?

I'm planning to get some Ronseal Multi Purpose Wood Filler - anyone used that previously?

Got a feeling i used the ronseal once and it was a bit of a job to rub down, could be wrong though. Problem with exterior filling is you want something that will flex with the wood, i doubt the ronseal will and the same problem occurs with two pack fillers. Ideally use something like timber build or the sikkens gupa, something that will at least flex a bit.

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