Best Woods for Exterior Window Trim

A window with trim.

When choosing a type of wood for your exterior window trim, it is important to keep several factors in mind. Although aesthetics will always be a consideration no matter where your windows are located, function must also be taken into consideration when working with window trim outdoors. By keeping the following factors in mind, you will be well on your way to selecting the best wood for your individual purposes.

Be Wary of The Elements

One thing to keep in mind when working with exterior window trim is that any wood you will use will become bleached over time due to sunlight and the elements. The one exception to this rule is the purpleheart because it will become darker under certain weather conditions.

In order to protect your wood from the elements, and to minimize the effects of bleaching, you want to apply a sealant or varnish to the wood. One good option is marine spar varnish, which is a softer varnish that will expand and contract well with changing weather conditions.

Hard vs. Softwoods

Softwoods are usually favored for exterior wood trim, with cyprus and redwood being popular choices. Hardwoods are typically more prone to slipping out of place and do not take finishes nearly as well as softwoods. Even pine, though a relatively inexpensive and not particularly attractive wood, will hold up well outside if sealed with a proper varnish.