Home>Discussions>EXTERIORS>How to finish exterior wood under window seat
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djbauda
How to finish exterior wood under window seat

Hello,
I recently bought a house and just noticed that the underside of the window seat is not finished. It looks like a regular sheet of plywood. Also, there is no flashing or caulk where the underside of the window seat meets the house. The exterior of the house is painted cedar shingle.

If anyone can help me out with what to do, I would appreciate it. Some questions:
1) Shouldn't this be finished?
2) I imagine that I would use a house wrap like Tyvek on the plywood.
3) What do I put over the Tyvek since no one will see this (i.e. on the underside of the window seat)? A sheet of aluminum?
4) How do I finish the right angle where the underside of the window seat (plywood) meets the house (cedar shingle)?

Thank you!

ordjen
Re: How to finish exterior wood under window seat

djbauda,

If this area is such that it never sees rain nor sunshine, I see no pressing need to finish it at all. Wood that never gets wet or is subjected to extreme humidity will never rot or delaminate, in the case of plywood. But if you want to prime and paint it, feel free to.

Tyvex is a rain screen that is used under verticle siding to help shed water which might find its way behind the siding and to help against air infiltration. It would have no function under your window seat.

Since this area does not see water, one of the prime reasons for caulk is removed. Caulk might, however, aid in stopping air infiltration into the cavity under the seat. These kind of structures tend to be kind of cold if not properly mounted and insulated. Caulk might also plug up cracks where insects could enter.

dj1
Re: How to finish exterior wood under window seat

I agree with ordjen, still if it was my house I think I would have finished it anyway, if only for the aesthetic look. At least prime and paint it.

djbauda
Re: How to finish exterior wood under window seat

Thanks for the help. I'll caulk against the house and any other gaps I see to make sure there is a proper seal. I'll probably prime and paint the plywood as well.

dj1
Re: How to finish exterior wood under window seat

Please send photos after you finish.

ericburns4
Re: How to finish exterior wood under window seat

I think a semi-transparent stain to protect the wood would be a good idea. This will keep it from rotting or cracking over time and ensure that you don't need to replace it shortly down the road!

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