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Types of Log Home Stains

Posted by Lee Denman on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 @ 22:03 PM

There are essentially two types of log home stains available on the market today:

Log home stain

What are the pros and cons of each of these types of log home finishes?

Type of Log Home Stain



Oil based (Alklyd) Log Home Stain

Widely Available, Wood grain visibility, UV Protection, Non Porous, Easy application

Trap Moisture, Brittle, Can't Breathe, Weather Quickly, Coat build-up over time, Blistering if moisture is present behind finish, High Maintenance

Latex based Solid Color Log Home Stain

Widely available, Breathable, Flexible, Durable, High UV Protection, Porous, Easy application, Low maintenance, Long life

Won't prevent decay if conditions are favorable, Short Shelf Life

Semitransparent Acrylic Latex based Log Home Stain

Widely available, Breathable, Flexible, Durable, High UV Protection, Wood grain visibility, Porous, Low maintenance, Long life

More difficult to apply than oil based stains and solid color stains, Short Shelf Life

Log Home Varnishes

Allows for natural look of logs, Widely available

High maintenance, prone to Cracking, Peeling and Blistering, Requires recoating every 1-2 years, Partial UV protection

Oil based Semitransparent Log Home Stains

Penetrates into wood, Wood grain visibility, Breathable, High UV protection

Perform best on roughsawn, weathered, or course textured wood, Compatibility issues with most log home sealants due to waxes found in most penetrating finishes, Doesn't have a furniture grade finish look (dull), must apply second coat before first coat dries in order for stain to penetrate wood


What types of log home stains work the best?

So we have all this helpful information on the types of log home stains but which log home stain is the best?

It is hard to say which one is the absolute best because there are many factors that ultimately decide how well or long a log home stain will perform. Some of these factors are:

  • What season the logs were cut (winter cut logs only)
  • Proper surface preparation
  • Environment surrounding building
  • Moisture content of logs

Of these factors none are more important than proper surface preparation of the logs Failed log home stainbefore applying a log home stain. If the surface of the logs have not been prepped properly none of these log home stains will perform as they state they will. This is why it is important to only hire a qualified log home restoration expert to work on your log home! They will have the knowledge and expertise to work with the products available in the log home market currently. This will ensure your investment is protected well into the future.

While we cant say which log home stain is the overall best, we can recommend which type of log home finishes we feel perform exceptionally well and keep maintenance costs down throughout the years. This only holds true if proper surface preparation is kept in mind before and during any finish or sealant application. In our opinion, film - forming, latex based waterborne log home finishes such as PermaChink are best bang for your buck!

While PermaChink finishes aren't the cheapest out there they seem to require the least amount of maintenance based on our 22+ years of experience restoring log homes and log cabins of all sizes and shapes. They also offer an unmatched 5 year warranty on their log home stains when applied properly and maintained accordingly.



Topics: log home stain, log cabin stain, log home finishes