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Restore wooden window frames

It's that time of year when you need to look at maintaining wooden window frames. Once the rainy season is over and before summer temperatures start to soar, restore the beauty of wooden window frames.


I must be honest and say that I try to put off maintaining my wooden window frames as long as possible. Staying in a double-storey house is a hassle when you need to work at the top of a ladder. But there comes a time when you can no longer put this off, and to be honest, putting it off can lead to expensive repair problems.

You will know when wooden window frames need to be treated with sealer; they start to look dull and grubby. Leave them for too long when they reach this stage and you risk moisture being absorbed into the wood causing rot or swelling.

If you have followed my features for a while, you will know that I use the Woodoc range of sealers for all outdoor wood projects. What's nice about using this project is that, when it comes to restoring the wood frames all that is required is to rub them down with Woodoc steel wool.





GOOD TO KNOW: After rubbing down, use a dry paintbrush to clean the frames and remove all the dust and debris before applying sealer.

For exterior wood I always recommend that you use either Woodoc 50 [inland regions] or Woodoc 55 [coastal region]. Woodoc 50 or 55 is formulated to protect exterior wood against the elements and is the best product for exterior wooden window frames.

Follow the instructions on the tin for proper application. You need to apply 3 coats for maximum protection and be sure to open up windows and leave them open as much as possible until the sealer has completely dried.

You will need a small and medium synthetic paintbrush for application, as well as a rag for wiping away any mess. You would apply masking tape around the glass pane, but it's easier and faster to use a small brush around these areas and wipe away any slip ups with the cloth.

The reason for applying a total of three coats is that: 1) the first coat is absorbed deep into the cells of the wood, 2) the second coat sits below the surface and, 3) the final coat protects the top of the wood.

In my case I also noticed that cracks had started to appear along the bottom edge of the frame, between the frame and the concrete windowsill. This needs to be filled as soon as possible to not only prevent water gaining access and damaging the wood frame, but also causing the concrete sill to crack further.

For this I used Rust-Oleum Leak Seal, which is a sprayable rubber coating that is ideal for areas such as this where you need a flexible sealer. You need a flexible sealer because the wood frame expands and contracts, so there is always some movement. Rust-Oleum Leak Seal is available in clear, black, aluminium, white and brown and is available at your local Builders Warehouse. Follow the instructions on the can for proper application.

GOOD TO KNOW: Have a couple of long pieces of cardboard handy to place above and below where you will be spraying the Leak Seal, to protect from overspray. Any overspray can be wiped off quickly with a rag.

GOOD TO KNOW: While maintaining the wooden windows, I also notice that some of the wood strips that hold the glass pane firmly in place were broken. Here's an easy way to fix this problem.