Cost and effort of staining windows

human_v09October 31, 2012


My first posting here, appreciate any advise.

We are rebuilding in the DC metro area (high labour costs) and are conflicted between choosing factory painted white windows versus stained windows. We love the stained look but factory stained windows are quite expensive and over our budget so we've considering buying them unfinished and having them stained by a local contractor.

My question is, how easy or difficult is it to stain windows and what should I estimate for time and materials? We have 46 casement windows, the smallest is 24 x 48 and the largest is 30 x 72, of which there are 20.

On a related note, do folks have any thoughts or comments on painting versus staining windows or the differences between factory finished windows versus field finished windows?

For what it's worth our window trim and crown molding will be white but we think that stained windows with white trim will aesthetically work.



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In my experience, a properly done stain job will be no less expensive than a factory finish, and can be more in many cases depending on how discerning you are about the final product. A furniture grade finish requires quite a bit of prep work and several coats of sealer, stain, finish, etc and can take hours per window. That said, the factory finishes are decent and good enough for most people. You can probably figure a range of anywhere between $100-$300 per window for staining depending on the size, configuration, and quality. Much lower than that could be sketchy.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Hmm, so in fact an approximate cost of $200 per window for factory staining is right in the middle there.

Apart from wanting to stain the windows something not available from the factory, would there be any reason to stain in the field?



    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 1:30PM
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A higher quality finish can be had by custom-staining. Again, that is not to say that the factory finishes are bad, as they are pretty good and satisfy 95% percent of clients, but they just are not as intensive as a high quality custom stain job.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2012 at 2:45PM
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