Finish hardwood window with wax only?


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?
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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.
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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.
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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 from rain.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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