Thermo pane windows with mahogany trim

Here is a gallery of images showing an effective upgrade to a contemporary home here in Connecticut. Asked to replace a portion of the single-pane windows at this residence, I began with measurements and a custom order at a local glass company. The new windows would be 1″ thick with clear low “e” tempered glass, bronze insert, gas-filled insulated panels.

An exciting phase of this job was to install new interior trim on the lower windows. The previous homeowner had installed mahogany trim around all the windows leaving 1″ for a future window upgrade but he skipped wrapping the lower windows.

The task of precisely matching the color was a challenge and the results were beyond my expectations. My freshly planed Philippine mahogany was quite pinkish but the existing wood is quite yellow. After an extensive array of samples, we hoped to ensure the new work would age similar to the existing by bleaching the new mahogany before finishing it with a transparent stain rather than use a semi-solid stain to cover the pink.

I was told the previous contractor used Sikkens Cetol 1 “Natural” but learned during my research that Cetol 1 and 23 are not approved for interior use because of high VOC’s believed to cause cancer. I called Sikkens and discussed my options using their 2008 product line. Sikkens now makes a Cetol “Log D├ęcor” for interior applications that comes in several colors including the “Natural Light” color I needed. Nobody stocks this product! I found that of five local distributors not one had any idea how to correctly apply the Sikkens products they sell. (One distributor told me Cetol is a single-coat process, then handed me the product data sheet saying maybe I should read about it first. When I opened the brochure it’s right there in bold print: Application Procedure: 7 steps, 3 coats.) hmmm…

My finish process consisted of first bleaching all the wood with two-part “Klean-strip Wood Bleach”, then applying 3 coats of the new Cetol in Natural Light, then a top-coat of “Sikkens Cetol BL Interior Clear” to achieve a low-lustre sheen.

When installed the new and existing interior trim pieces were indistinguishable from one another. (see photos)

A new exterior stop was fashioned from clear cedar to hold the large panels in place requiring many passes through the shaper. The clear cedar was more expensive than mahogany. At the start of this project, I planted ten saplings behind my house in a caged started box.

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