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How to choose interior wood window sill material?

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Forum topic by ShopSmellsLikeSkunk posted 06-13-2021 04:29 PM 653 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ShopSmellsLikeSkunk

7 posts in 50 days


06-13-2021 04:29 PM

Topic tags/keywords: species wood window sill finish

I have 500 apartment units with interior window sills that are made out of chipboard with a thin prefinished veneer over the top, they are about 10 years old and are peeling like crazy and can’t be resanded and refinished as they are chipboard. What would some of you recommend to replace them with? I want something quick we are not going for a heirloom piece here just need something that holds up decent and isn’t expensive. My local store has pre-sanded good quality pine for cheap but many other options on species I just don’t know my species well at all. I know pine and aspen kinda dent pretty easy but would this matter if there is polyurethane on top?

I was thinking using a danish oil with built in cherry colored stain so I can finish in a single step. Would this hold up decently to UVs coming through glass? The old window sills definitely have UV damage as well as condensation damage.

Let me know your thoughts, thanks!


18 replies so far

View controlfreak's profile

controlfreak

2511 posts in 764 days


#1 posted 06-13-2021 08:35 PM

Not talking about a lot of wood per window so I am thinking pine or poplar. Need to figure out how much water is going to get on it. If the windows sweat a lot or have window AC units you may be revisiting this again soon if not kept sealed up well.

View ibewjon's profile

ibewjon

2535 posts in 3956 days


#2 posted 06-13-2021 08:40 PM

If white would work, how about solid plastic ?

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ibewjon

2535 posts in 3956 days


#3 posted 06-13-2021 08:40 PM

If white would work, how about solid plastic ?

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ShopSmellsLikeSkunk

7 posts in 50 days


#4 posted 06-13-2021 09:11 PM

They need to be stained wood not painted/plastic

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ibewjon

2535 posts in 3956 days


#5 posted 06-13-2021 10:15 PM

Maybe it is available in brown. You said for apartments, so I didn’t know if it was for beauty or durability. The plastic won’t need paint.

View HowardAppel's profile

HowardAppel

110 posts in 4197 days


#6 posted 06-13-2021 11:28 PM

You can get solid plastic/shaped PVC in different shapes, colors, looks like stained and sizes.

View Eric's profile

Eric

1695 posts in 1036 days


#7 posted 06-14-2021 12:47 AM

If you are going with stained wood, you best bet is with poplar. It will be more durable than the pine. Your box stores carry a pine stool for the windows, if you have a way to mill the poplar to the stool profile, or if you have a local mill they may have the needed knifes but you would have to pay a set up fee.

Or maybe just use a flat board and use an apron piece under it.

Of course it would also depend on what the existing windows are trimmed with.

-- Eric, building the dream

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CWWoodworking

2041 posts in 1342 days


#8 posted 06-14-2021 01:06 AM

If your staining use something harder than pine/poplar. Those will scratch/dent extremely easy.

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ShopSmellsLikeSkunk

7 posts in 50 days


#9 posted 06-14-2021 01:08 AM

The profile is extremely easy it’s basically just a 1×8 with two triangles cutoff on each side. Poplar sounds good as long the green or purple grain tones don’t show through the stain too much or maybe I can just select pieces that don’t have much of it. I never worked with poplar so im not sure how much those colors come through. Man I hate this prefinished stuff, all my baseboards are peeling off too but atleast they’re prefinished poplar so I can kinda touch them up with stain.

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CWWoodworking

2041 posts in 1342 days


#10 posted 06-14-2021 01:21 AM

In my area, red oak can be had for almost the same price as poplar. It takes stain well and would be much more durable.

Poplar is tricky staining. Some spots soak up stain like crazy. The purple ones especially.

8” wide might get costly using solid wood. Have you considered plywood/edge banding?

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ShopSmellsLikeSkunk

7 posts in 50 days


#11 posted 06-14-2021 01:26 AM

I have considered plywood and edge banding but It would probably get a little too labor intensive, trying to refine the process as much as possible.

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ShopSmellsLikeSkunk

7 posts in 50 days


#12 posted 06-14-2021 01:37 AM

1×8x6’ For the following

Red oak is $42
Quality Pine is $8
Select pine is $18
Red Cedar is $19
Maple is $40 (Doesn’t list if its hard or soft maple)
Light Red Philippine Mahogany species is $19
Poplar is $22
Aspen is $17

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CWWoodworking

2041 posts in 1342 days


#13 posted 06-14-2021 01:51 AM

You need a better supplier.

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ShopSmellsLikeSkunk

7 posts in 50 days


#14 posted 06-14-2021 01:52 AM

This is from a big box store, I’ll see what my prices are for a local millwork place.

View Robert's profile

Robert

4641 posts in 2643 days


#15 posted 06-14-2021 09:35 AM

You definitely need to check a commercial supplier.

Poplar would be the economical choice, the issue is whether you can pick though and select non- colored boards.

Soft maple is,a other choice, not sure about staining.

IMO pine is acceptabke my supplier carries Radiata pine, which is the same stuff you dee in Home Depot, but 1/3 the price. Never tried to stain it, but it does have extremely consistent color and grain, no knots,

That a whooooole lotta work!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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