Refinishing interior wood windowsill?

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Old 03-25-16, 11:30 AM
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Refinishing interior wood windowsill?

The PO apparently left cigarettes burning on the kitchen windowsill and there are a couple very dark, very noticeable scorch marks on the wood. That, combined with a general crappy look of the finish due to occasional rain or sink water splashing, leads to me wanting to refinish this piece.

My first thought was to use a dremel with with a sanding drum to remove the scorch marks followed by a finishing sand over the entire surface. I tried this on a less-severely damaged sill upstairs and it worked OK but the scorch marks were relatively shallow. For the kitchen sill I would probably have to sand down 3/16" or more to remove all signs of the burned wood so it would be pretty noticeable repair.

Second thought was to remove the window moldings, remove the side window frame, remove the casement assemblies and then remove the sill. Reassemble in reverse, but flip the windowsill piece upside down. Besides this being a huge pain in the rear I am not 100% confident that I can reassemble everything and have it look as tight as it does now.

Third thought was to buy a PSA veneer and slap that on the existing sill. This would be the quickest and easiest method but I don't have any idea what wood the sill is made from. It is very straight-grained so I assume a QC or rift cut but can only guess at the species - maybe white oak or ash? I am going to have enough trouble stain-matching the other pieces without worrying about starting with a difference type of wood.

Any thoughts on these three methods or perhaps some other options I haven't considered?
 
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Old 03-25-16, 11:50 AM
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Welcome to the forums!

If you just aggressively sand the burn marks you'll have dips in the wood that will likely show
Ideally you'd sand the entire stool down the same amount, restain and poly.
Pics would give us a better idea of what you are dealing with - http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...your-post.html
 
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Old 03-25-16, 12:45 PM
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Window stools (the "sill" is the angled part under the window sashes) are not reversible, so that option is out. I agree with mark about the dips. Best plan is to remove and belt sand it evenly before refinishing. Only other idea is to sand it in place, but use a multitool like the Fein Multimeter (or similar) which has a triangular sanding pad. You would need to be careful not to booger up the vertical trim if you went that route.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 12:53 PM
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Thanks for the replies. This is the situation:

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Old 03-25-16, 12:58 PM
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That piece may be reversible... it is not a true stool profile (which is one directional), rather, its an extension jamb. The trick might be separating it from the window itself. A closeup of the corner casing might help.

Removing the casing (and maybe cutting out a little drywall) to examine the back side of the jamb would be your first step. Some factory applied extension jambs are grooved on the back side, also making them non-reversible. When removing the casing, pry carefully, and be especially careful at the corners since the miters are often cross nailed together... it splits easily.

The jamb itself just looks like #1 pine/fir.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 01:06 PM
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That burn looks kind of deep, I don't know how successful sanding it out will be. I agree with removing it and either trying to use the reverse side or install a new one.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 01:14 PM
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I think there would be quite a bit of window disassembly necessary to get to the point where I could remove the stool.

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No love for the veneer idea?
 
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Old 03-25-16, 01:24 PM
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Nope, not with that round over on the front corner. Removing the bottom piece of casing would take a few seconds. Then cut the drywall back so that it is flush with the bottom of your rough opening. (Usually 1/2" or so.) Pull out any fiberglass insulation that's under the jamb. Assuming the back side of the jamb looks usable. .. keep going. Look for any shims under the jamb. Cut through them and any nails with a sawzall and fine tooth metal cutting blade (or straight hacksaw if you don't have a sawzall). Pull out the shims. Then take a scrap block of wood and a hammer and tap down on the top front edge of the jamb near the corners. See if the bottom jamb has been stapled to the side jambs. Carefully slice those staples if the jamb won't come down off of them. As you tip the front edge of the jamb down, the back side will begin to open up where it meets the window and you will be able to see if there are any additional fasteners. Most commonly there were straight nails sticking out, and you can just pull the jamb straight off of them. Hope they didn't glue it.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 01:45 PM
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Sounds pretty easy when you write it up that way. Wondering how I would reattach that piece afterwards though. No room to swing a hammer or even get a gun in there so I assume glue?
 
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Old 03-25-16, 01:50 PM
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You can use a kreg pocket jig, making those angled pocket holes on the bottom back part of the jamb, and then use a long #2 square drive bit and about six 1 1/4" long pocket screws. Another reason why you would need to cut the drywall down to the framing... to make room for the pocket screws. After it's in, just put a few shims on the ends under it to wedge it up tight to the side jambs. You can shim in the middle too if you want and nail it to the rough opening at your shim locations if it doesn't want to lay straight. Then don't forget to reinsulate before you put the casing back on. Use a little wood glue on the miters.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 02:14 PM
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Be sure to wipe up ALL excess glue as any glue residue will prevent the wood from taking stain.
 
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Old 03-25-16, 02:18 PM
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I wouldn't use any glue on the jamb... just the casing miters, which are prefinished. I'd also stain and finish the jamb before putting it back on.
 
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