DIY tips for wooden windows and doors

03 Dec 2012

With the summer sun making an appearance across the country, these simple maintenance tips from Stephen White of Call-out Crew, will make sure that your wooden window frames and doors are protected and last for years.

Stephen White of Call-out Crew demonstrates maintanence tips for exterior wooden features at the DIY workshop held in Mfuleni.

At the recent DIY workshop held in Mfuleni, 16 Habitat for Humanity beneficiaries learnt how to maintain these exterior wooden features. The workshop was presented by Call-out Crew as part of Property24’s Clicks for Bricks initiative (visit www.clicksforbricks.com to help change the life of another deserving beneficiary).

If wooden doors and window frames are not cared for, they can be damaged by rain and sun, causing discolouration as well as warping, or door panels separating. Replacing these items can become costly, but here is what the workshop participants learnt to ensure these features last longer and maintain their colour and beautiful appearance.

It is a good idea to note which side of your home is north facing, as the wooden features on these walls may need more frequent maintenance. All wooden window frames and doors, however, should receive maintenance once a year by sanding and varnishing.

Sanding down the wood first, prepares it for the coat of varnish and removes any old or flaking varnish or dirt. Before buying sandpaper, it’s important to note that it comes in different levels of grit or roughness, with the lower the number, the rougher the sandpaper.

  • Start sanding with a lower number sandpaper (80) to remove the old layer of varnish and the outer layer of wood which may have been damaged by the sun. 
  • Progress to a mid-level sandpaper (150), removing any rough edges left behind.
  • Finally, use a fine sandpaper (220) to leave the wood smooth to the touch.
  • Give the wood a new coat of varnish, making sure to use exterior varnish since interior varnish will not offer the wood sufficient protection from water and sun.

 Some tips from the wise:

  • If the wood is in very good condition before you start, you may only need to use fine sandpaper. However, Stephen warned that if the wood needs more of a makeover, starting with very fine sandpaper will turn the task into a time-consuming workout as it will take longer to get the damaged layer of wood and varnish off.
  • If you are varnishing a new piece of wood, mix varnish with some mineral turpentine and give the wood one coat of this mixture before giving it the normal pure varnish coat. This will help the wood absorb the varnish, giving it better sun and rain protection for longer.

View photos from the first Property24 DIY workshop.

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