Reasons to love factory finished timber windows
Since our company was founded 15 years ago, we have always used Sikkens range of paint finishes for our timber windows. Aside from its reliability, there are many benefits of factory finished timber windows, which we’ll cover in this blog.
Want to know more? Get in touch with Andrew Jaynes for a quote.
What is factory finishing?
Traditionally, timber windows would leave a joiners shop ‘in the white’ (with no paint), or with a primer coat with the painting to be carried out in-situ once the windows are installed. Factory finishing is where the whole painting process is carried out in the factory environment and the windows arrive on-site fully decorated with no further painting needed.
What are the benefits?
The main function of a paint finish is to protect the timber from becoming wet because constantly wet wood provides the perfect conditions for rot to take hold. Among the most susceptible areas in timber windows and doors, are the undersides of bottom rails, where the end-grain of the wood sucks water up like a straw. Water often remains held here long after it has stopped raining.
These areas are difficult to reach by brush and are usually overlooked during in-situ brush painting. To make matters worse, the porous nature of timber end-grain requires more paint coverage here than any other area.
In contrast, factory finishing is spray-applied to the windows before they are glazed, which means it thoroughly and evenly covers every surface of the windows and provides far more reliable protection in the long term.
Another factor with in-situ painting is that unless it happens immediately after installation, there is a risk of rain saturating the timber before the paint is applied. This means that when it does get painted, moisture can get trapped within the window. Factory finishing guarantees the dry conditions needed for paint application.
Modern paints need to cure as well as dry. Drying is simply the evaporation of the liquid from the paint, whereas curing is the molecular coalescence that achieves a long-lasting protective and flexible barrier. The unpredictable nature of in-situ painting means that cold, wet and damp conditions cause problems with paint curing that can permanently affect its performance and lead to premature paint failure.
Factory finished windows mean that there is no painting to be done at the time of installation. Thanks to the flexibility and breathability, the finish is highly durable and will need no further maintenance for up to 10 years. Even then, the maintenance recoating is trouble-free, simply requiring a wash down with a wet cloth before applying a maintenance coat on top of the existing finish.
We offer up to a 10-year guarantee on our factory paint finish.
The finishes are highly flexible, which is vital in allowing the timber underneath to move slightly. Older traditional oil-based paints often become brittle with age causing cracking which allows moisture to enter the timber. The finish is also microporous, meaning that whilst it will prevent liquid water from penetrating, it will allow moisture in the timber to pass out as vapour.
Many older and lower grade paints are completely impermeable, meaning that they don’t breathe. While this might appear to be desirable in preventing the ingress of moisture into the timber, the actual performance in the longer term can be detrimental.
No matter what paint is used and how carefully applied, at some point down the line, moisture will find its way into the timber. This does not present a problem as long as the moisture can escape again usually through evaporation. However, if the wood is coated with a non-breathable paint, this is very effective at trapping moisture permanently in the wood which can lead to accelerated decay.
It’s not uncommon to encounter windows where the paint appears sound on the surface, only to find that underneath, the wood is completely rotted.
We use the Sikkens range of paint coatings. Founded in 1770 they are recognised market leaders in high- performance coatings.
The Sikkens paint products we use can be colour matched with any other paint supplier, such as Farrow & Ball, Dulux etc. This way you get the best of both worlds: the colour you’ve fallen in love with coupled with the best performance. Want something more obscure? Or simply want to match something completely random? Bring us a swatch and we can usually match it.
Want to have a different colour inside and out? No problem.
Being water-based, Sikkens timber paints and wood stains are more environmentally friendly than other kinds of paint. Sikkens is free of lead and other metals and has lower Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) levels which mean lower environmental emissions, both during manufacture and application.
The finish is outstanding. We apply the paint with an HVLP airless spray system for an even finish, but the paint is naturally self-levelling and provides a mark-free and professional finish, that cannot be matched by brush decoration.
Summary: the benefits of factory finished timber windows
More convenient, stunning appearance, and guaranteed to last. Unless your idea of fun is hours of painstaking work with a paintbrush dodging the great British weather, then the benefits are obvious.