Interior Finish for Replacement Windows
May 20, 2005 9:00 AM   Subscribe

Looking for input on finishing new interior replacement windows.

We're getting new replacement windows that are unfinished pine on the inside. I'll be staining to match the exisiting trim and then sealing with some type of varnish. I have two (potentially mutually exclusive) main concerns:

Safety: With a toddler around, I want to make sure I'm using as safe and as environmentally sound products as possible. I checked several manufacturer websites, and while I found info on low VOC paints, I didn't find much on stains or varnish. Performance: I assumed I'd be sealing with a water-based poly, but googling has revealed some information that poly is not good for windows given UV breakdown, and some sources recommend spar varnish (which of course requires spirits to thin/clean and is apparently a bit soft for something that gets used like a window).

Safety will trump performance, but I don't want a solution that requires too much maintenance. I'd love to hear from anyone with recent experience
posted by jalexei to Home & Garden (1 answer total)
It's generally not the stain that you have to be concerned about for VOC emissions, since it's trapped beneath the varnish.

There are some low VOC varnishes -- hydrocote has one, but you might also look at some of the epoxy products available. Since they cure chemically, as opposed to by evaporation, you would get zero VOC and they're generally very, very robust. The only drawback is that they can be a little tricky to work with, but some practice would see you clear for that.

I haven't used any of the above, but it seems a good direction for further investigation.
posted by 5MeoCMP at 10:09 AM on May 20, 2005

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