Home>Discussions>DOORS & WINDOWS>red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?
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1920Restoration
red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

Hi,

I'm replacing some dry rot around some window exterior of an older house (built 1920 in the bay area, near berkeley) and I have someone helping me out. They suggested that I use red oak for the trim. The sill is going to be red wood, but I was under the impression that red oak is primarily for interiors. I read that if you prime red oak it still has a higher chance of rotting faster than other woods. This is what the guy bought from the big orange box store:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-1-4-in-x-2-in-x-4-ft-Oak-Hobby-Board-224785/100031137

As you can see, this stuff is 1/4 thick and I'm worried it will warp once it starts to absorb water.

What do you guys think and what would you use, cedar?

Thank you.
steve

JLMCDANIEL
Re: red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

Redwood or cypress would be a better choice. Cedar is good but has a tendency to bleed.

Jack

HoustonRemodeler
Re: red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

Red oak will turn black when it gets wet

1920Restoration
Re: red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

Thanks for the replies. I'm guessing this red oak turns black if isn't primmed? Does red oak take paint well? I think I'll probably go redwood, but I'd like to let this guy know about the red oak since he said that's his go to choice for ext trim?

JLMCDANIEL
Re: red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

One of the best alternatives for painted trim would be Poplar. It is stable, takes paint well, and will last years if properly maintained. It is generally cheaper than the other choices.

Jack

Mastercarpentry
Re: red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

Oak is full of tannins which will bleed through paint- that makes it a bad choice for anything but a stained or natural finish which will need Poly, Varnish, or Lacquer on top of it. Make sure the finish is exterior grade for UV protection.

Phil

1920Restoration
Re: red oak for exterior window trim? bad idea?

I appreciate the replies/info, learning by trial and error.

thanks
-steve

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