Treat/deal with unfinished wood in bay window with water stains?

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I am concerned about how this wood in my bay window is looking due to getting wet from watered plants over the years. Would treating the wood address the problem and if so recs on how to do that. Any suggestions on other ways to use the window too like making it into a seating area and if so suggestions on how?

q treat deal with unfinished wood in bay window with water stains

Bay window

q treat deal with unfinished wood in bay window with water stains

Water stains - found all over the wood

  10 answers
  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Jun 12, 2020

    Water would certainly damage the wood. You could strip it, sand it and restain it, and seal it with a clear polyurethane. If you water plants there again, it can damage the wood again. Changing this into a window seat would certainly be an option.

  • It depends on how far the water penetrated into the wood fibers. You will probably have to sand it to see of the water stains come out. To turn it into a seating area, you will need to buy foam and cut it to fit. Then you will need to cover the foam with fabric. Add some pillows and you will have a nice seating area.

  • Flipturn Flipturn on Jun 12, 2020

    What are the dimensions of the area?


    If you want to keep having plants here, my suggestion would be to purchase a ready-made piece of laminate countertop, have it cut to fit the area, then put it overtop of the wood. It's easy to clean and always waterproof.


    If you have your heart set on it continuing to look like wood, you can order a custom piece of laminate in 'wood look alike', (examples below) however the cost would be considerably more than purchasing an already-made piece.

  • Joy Elizabeth Joy Elizabeth on Jun 13, 2020

    I have a couple of stains like that on my bay window too from plants! To remove them you would need to sand and then fiinish with a stain and polyurethane.

    To create a seating area, simply make a cushion with foam cut to fit your window, and cover with a fabric of your choice! There are lots of tutorials on making bench cushions! :)

  • William William on Jun 13, 2020

    Sand the wood with 150 grit sand paper. You can stain it if you choose. Then three coats of a water based polyurethane. Dries clear and doesn't yellow. It appears to be deep enough for a window seat so all you would is to make a cushion for it.


    https://www.hometalk.com/36996416/no-sewing-tufted-cushion-for-under-50


    https://www.hometalk.com/30691434/porch-swing-update-upholsterd-seat


    https://www.hometalk.com/6132794/blanket-chest-no-sew-cushion-topper


    https://www.hometalk.com/39023819/refinishing-a-bench-and-how-to-make-a-no-sew-tufted-cushion

  • Beth Beth on Jun 13, 2020

    You may also want to try larger saucers under your plants or moving them when you water. Even if you stain or paint the wood, water can penetrate it and cause problems in the future.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Jun 15, 2020

    Lightly sand the wood and then either paint or seal. If you want to go with sealing, I would use 3 coats of polyurethane. Scuff between coats with steel wool and wipe with denatured alcohol. If paint, consider enamel paint for a more durable finish.

  • Margie Hood Margie Hood on Jun 15, 2020

    All these are good answers!!definitely sand it then seal it with what you prefer! You could even paint it after that or even paper it with some lovely floral paper to accent the plants..that's what I would do, because they have the stick and peel..love it or leave it!!!😂

  • Dee Dee on Jun 15, 2020

    What I have done on all my window sills is I tiled them. You can get tiles from Home Depot, Lowes, Floor and Decor or even Habitat for Humanity. They are not expensive. I placed them close together and just glued them on the window sills and then grouted. In fact I am about to do my living room window over because I want wood look tiles. It is easy and no more worries about wood stains from plants etc.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 06, 2021

    Hello Mel,

    If you still want to use it for plants, you could let it dry out and then Prime Undercoat and then top coat with Gloss Paint. You could stain it a dark colour so the stains would not be noticeable, and then seal with a Polyurethane varnish.

    If you want it for a window seat. follow the above instructions and add a slab cushion on top for comfort. Enjoy!