Type of wood for exterior window trim?

ChanticoAugust 2, 2005

Dear woodworking pros, any advice would be appreciated!

We are having new trim put on the exterior of our windows, and we're thinking of a natural honey-color wood.

What type of wood would you recommend?

What is the best sealer?

We live in the Rocky Mountains. It is very dry and we get snow and alot of intense sun...

Man thanks! Chantico

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Any wood bleaches when exposed to direct sunlight, with the exception of purpleheart---(which actually gets a deeper purple color in sunlight). Which means the wood needs protection.

You are in for a lot of maintenance doing that. As in sanding/recoating the finish every two years or so, depending on the finish and the sun.

Marine spar varnish is used by a lot of folks for exterior finishing as it does not dry as hard as other finishes, which allows it to expand and contract more without cracking/checking. Spar varnish also adds an amber tint. Adding UV inhibitors helps slow sun bleaching.

Using a #4 tint base---it is basically a paint that dries clear---is also an option.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2005 at 10:16AM
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Thanks for the tips HandyMac,I'll look into your recommendations. Chantico

    Bookmark   August 5, 2005 at 12:20PM
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UV fades purpleheart very badly to a nice brown color. Cherry darkens with exposure, walnut lightens.
Softwoods are typically used for exterior work. Cypress is a good choice, as is redwood.
Hardwoods tend to have more trouble holding a finish and have greater movement than the majority of softwoods. Even pine holds up well if protected with a finish.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2005 at 3:42PM
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I know this is reply after several years but maybe someone will find helpful. I have used West System 105 epoxy with appropriate hardener as a great barrier coating for wood. The wood must be coated on all sides especially the end grain. Do not leave any screw holes uncoated. This prevents moisture from entering the wood. They I apply a good grade of primer and paint. This is a lot of work but sometimes the newer materials like Azek just will not work.

You can leave the finish clear if you use 207 hardener and follow up with proper varnish. This holds up well and is used for boat decks worldwide.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:55AM
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