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If you’ve got wooden window frames, you’ll sympathise with me when you notice peeling paint. Its that time when you will spend hours with sandpaper, putty and paint making those windows look as good as new. You will need to climb up ladders and apply many layers to get that professional finish to make your neighbours jealous. Let’s be honest. It’s a pain in the bum. Sunlight, rain and the wind will attack your windows. What you want to do is to repaint them yourself in the knowledge that the finish will last sufficiently long enough that you won’t have to go through the bother for another 3/4/5 years. This is where Ronseal’s 5 year Woodstain comes in. The brochure says its been independently certified to last a full 5 years by something called the ‘British Board of Agrement’. Yep that last word is french sounding and suspicious. But a guarantee is worth pursuing. Convinced by this stuff, I went out and bought a can or 2. The woodstain comes in 8 colours ranging from mahogany through to rosewood, and including teak, dark oak, and redwood. The finished product dries to a pleasant satin finish. I went for a dark stain – Rosewood. Tins vary in price from about £5 for a smallish one up to £9 for a bigger one. Before painting, the affected areas need to be sanded down and cracks filled with wood polyfilla. At this point I found the first problem. The woodstain is literally a stain and not a paint. Light coloured bare wood or polyfilla will show through the woodstain unless you go for slapping on numerous layers. Although the tin mentions you don’t have to use a primer, the downside is that you have to use many coats instead. The stain is quite runny and you need to make sure that you don’t slap it on unless you want it dripping onto your patio/lawn or whatever. It also has a tendency to become sticky when drying. If you can do, leave any windows
being painted open as long as possible. If you don’t you will find that a tap with a mallet is required on the frames to open them the next morning! On the positive side, the satin finish is very pleasing on the eye. To get a good overall finish, 3-5 coats are needed. I would go for the latter where doorsteps are involved. Like many modern paints, the woodstain-coated brushes can be washed out under the tap. This is more than can be said for getting it off hands. It’s a pig to remove. So much so that I took to wearing latex gloves to protect my ‘fairy like hands’! I can’t tell whether it’s going to stand up to its guarantee – only time will tell. But on balance, I’ve been impressed so far. Further details can be found at the Ronseal website which is: www.ronseal.co.uk
Ronseal 5 year woodstain is an excellent product to use. Its made for exterior use and water-based. That means that its more environmentally friendly than standard oil based varnishes and its easy to remove from brushes and hands. This product comes in a choice of wood shades. I used a pine effect on my front door. (The mahogany shade is very dark; I have seen this being used.) The underlying wooden surface must be clean, sound and very smooth, or you won't get a good result. This applies to all varnishes though, not just Ronseal. I found that I needed three coats on primed wood although I think the directions on the tin suggest two. This is an excellent product and its easy to use. The finish on my door has lasted three years now and there is no sign of cracking or peeling. (Its supposed to last for five years.) The only thing I didn't like about this was the horrible smell!
I have been a big fan of Cuprinol woodstains, both interior and exterior versions, for many years. I have used them extensively and never had any trouble or disappointments with them. When we moved to our new house I needed to renovate the windows, they already being stained but looking a little shabby. I decided to strip them back to the wood and begin again. Looking at the various stains available I was just about to choose Cuprinol again when I spotted the Ronseal stains. They advertised a 5 year lifespan and also emphasised that they were water-based. Being concerned about the environment and realising that water-based preparations are more environmentally friendly than oil-based ones, I decided to change brands. Big mistake. I have had nothing but problems with this stain. It barely survived the first year before starting to crack and peel. I have had to redo the sill three times. That was three years ago. I am now faced with stripping the lot off and starting yet again. Guess what I'll be using this time!