I have 2 oak and 2 maple windows I just installed (Andersen
Woodwrights) and I do not plan to stain them at all, I just want to
protect them like they are. Andersen says the glass coatings are
easily damaged by scraping or harsh chemicals. I was thinking the
right way to do this job is to remove all of the panes and give 4-6
coats of poly. Aside from this being a lot of work, and having no
windows installed in my house for these several days, I'm pretty sure
some of that poly would end up on the glass possibly damaging the
coatings. So I've been thinking of just a single layer of wax over the
raw wood and repeating every year or so. Is this a reasonable plan?
Typically a varnish is not a harsh chemical. They are more concerned with
what you clean the windows with rather than what you protect the windows
with. Mask off the glass with painters tape and masking paper.
Was is not going to protect the wood at all, one rain may wash it all away.
I think two to three coats of poly will do the job. Mask off the glass and
go for it. If you want to really get down to a super finish, read the new
issue of Wood magazine on how to do it. IMO, wax in not enough protection
on a window.
FWIW, my house has poly on the windows and they are still in great shape
after 28 years.
The wax alone will do almost nothing to protext your investment. Poly
is not an ideal choice either because most varieties do not provide
any UV protection. Maybe you could get away with it if they were
behind storm windows that were nover opened.
Unless the glass is unusally easy to remove & replace, I would just
mask if necessssary, and use spar varnish or some other product that
resists sunlight. I used Minwax "Clear Shield" to finish a wooden
bench I made a few years ago, and it has held up well, though it only
receives direct sunlight a few hours a day and is partially shielded
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