Wood bay window HELP?

Dec 2, 2018
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New to this website and diy and need some advice.

My bay window suffered from condensation and over the years the paint started to bubble and peel as water would pool on the window sill and I want to sort it properly. Ive bought a dehumidifier and the window now doesn’t get any condensation on it. Ive stripped the many layers of white paint on it with the peel away 7 which was recommended to me and sanded it down and it now looks like this.

Now I’m not sure where to go next. I don’t want to paint the sill white again I just want it to look like wood. Probably a dark wood like the windows shown in the picture.

Do I need to sand it more, do I buy a wood stain and do a couple of layers? What wood stain is best for a bay window where there has been condensation problems? Do you have to put something on top of the wood stain to seal the wood? Sorry for all the questions I just want to do it right.




Nov 13, 2018
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Warrenton, North Carolina USA
Welcome Becky. Are you happy with the look of the wood as it is. I rather like the rustic look you have achieved but if it looks out of place or you don’t like it, change it now. If you like it, sand it until it is glass smooth. You have to get all of the loose paint off. Close your eyes and rub you hand over it. Keep sanding until you can’t feel any imperfections. Forget staining. That does nothing to save the wood. After you are done sanding go over it with a damp cloth to remove dust. Once it is dry apply a coat of polycrylic. It is very forgiving unlike other clear coats.

Maybe we can get @Retired to jump in. He is a finish expert and may have other solutions.


Jul 29, 2018
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Huddersfield. UK.
United Kingdom

Welcome to the forum Beckyg89. :)

Many thanks for your kind recommendation Silentrunning; I'm not a professional painter/decorater but I have tried many different types of finish over the years.

If you've already sanded and dusted it off then it's ready for the new finish of your choice; please ensure the timber is completely dry especially the bottom joint between glass and the frame; this joint tends to become saturated because obviously condensation floods it; is the joint sound or is the sealant rough; if its rough then rake out the top layer of old sealant but don't scratch or damage the glass; all it takes is to remove enough to allow the joint to be sealed again with a decent filler in order to bring it level ready to accept the new finish.

As Silentrunning says rub your open hand all over the surface and you'll quickly find rough patches or bumps but I think by your descroption it will already be smooth; Because it's already been painted I wouldn't bother with stain because I think you'll be disappointed; the stain will most likely dry looking patchy?

I can only recommend what I would do living here in the UK knowing our available products. I'd give the prepared surface a couple of coats of "Zinsser Cover Stain"


I appreciate you don't want to use white top coat and this Zinsser is white but once the Zinsser is applied and lightly sanded then you could apply the top coat colour of your choice; I would use oil based paint for top coats simply for durability and oil based paint is availble in just about any colour; it must be top quality oil based paint; I've had lots of success with Johnstones;


This won't look like stained and varnished timber but it would provide long term durability especially used indoors.

If you want to experiment and be brave then there are other options; I've never liked the stained varnish this tending to look patchy but I have gone the "Scumble & Varnish" route in our previous house and this did look like timber but I wouldn't recommend it for a novice. All kinds of decorative effects can be achieved with Scumble glaze; here's just one example to give you an idea; you could let your imagination run roit with different colours and patterns.

I hope this is useful and I wish you the best of luck.

Kind regards, Colin.

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