From surface preparations to stain type and color, they all play an important role in the look, protection and longevity of your logs. Just 10 years ago, log home finishing system choices were limited, however that is no longer the case. From our friends at Perma-Chink Systems, below is a summary of their explanation on why each of these factors matter.

Often overlooked, surface preparation forms the foundation for a successful finish system.
Does the surface of the wood have mold, dirt, discoloration, existing finishes, metal contaminants or greyed weathering? If surface preparation is skipped or done improperly prior to an application of stain, it will impact the appearance and longevity of the final system. Some of the likely outcomes such as peeling and early discoloration and unhappy homeowners are the usual result.

Two broad categories for stain type are oil and water-based stains. What distinguishes these two types from each other? The advantages of oils are ease of application, extended drying time and initial high gloss appearance. The disadvantages of oil types are, more hazardous to work with due to dangerous flammable solvents as a primary ingredient, the gloss appearance dulls relativity quickly with exposure and due to its high solid content is less breathable and can chip and peel more easily than a water-based stain. Clean up of oils requires dangerous paint thinner solvents and is arguably more difficult. All our water-based stains are non-hazardous and easy soap and water cleanup as well as breathable making them less susceptible to peeling and chipping.

Finally, color strongly influences the performance of any finish system. Stains are designed to be semi- transparent. This allows the observer to more easily see the unique features of the wood such as grain and texture. However, by their very nature transparent type finishes do not offer the kind of protection afforded opaque systems such as paint. In many of exterior stain formulations Transparent Oxide type pigments are used. These pigment types still allow light to pass through so that you can see the grain while at the same time providing a high level of protection from the sun. In addition, its recommended to avoid using organic type colorants that are not as colorfast as oxide-based colorants. In general, the darker tone colors will provide more protection and longevity for your home while lighter honey tone colors offer reduced protection. Some additional choices such as how many coats of stain, topcoat or no topcoat and surface porosity are also important factors. In general, two coats of stain are better than one. It helps to even the color out and provides increased protection of the wood. Having a clear topcoat is also a great benefit. This helps keep the system sealed, dirt pickup is greatly reduced, performance of the system is increased, and it provides a great look to the final product.

Increased wood surface porosity is also important and to achieve best results, it’s recommended to sand your wood with 60 grit sandpaper. This allows for improved mechanical adhesion of the stain with the wood fibers and increases overall performance of the system as well as color uniformity. The overall color development will be much darker than on un-sanded wood. Nevertheless, the protection of the wood surface is increased substantially. Staining on smooth/un-sanded wood can look splotchy due to the reduced porosity and unevenness of the wood. As a result, not much stain goes on the wall and the performance is reduced accordingly.

The experts at 888-Log-Guys are experienced in the necessary log preparations as well as understanding the variants that can affect the final result of your stain.