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What is best stain for exterior of log home?

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My cabin builder is using Messmers Timberflex Alaskan Log Home Formula. It is a three step process, but looks great and should last for 10-years.
I sent this company an e-mail asking a few questions about their stain and 3rd clear coat. The stain portion is an oil based stain they advertise having lots of solids ( protects UV rays better then few solids ). I will wait on their reply about the 3rd and final clear coat. Any coating that coats the log surface that does not allow the logs to breathe can trap moisture. The initial look is great but in time if its trapping moisture and subsequant coats also trap moisture this will be a long term serious concern. Also, what happens when you are ready to restain ? Do you now need to strip the clear coat off before applying the 2nd generation of stain. Their instructions say about 3 years before restaining, perhaps longer if not exposed to the direct sun/eliments. When I get an answer back from them I will forward same to you for your review. Perhaps the 3rd final clear coat is also a stain and not a varnish or coating substance. Their response should answer this question.
Wes, I e-mailed Messmers with several detailed questions. I would be happy to share their informative answers with you and others. provide me your e-mail address and I will forward their responses. messmers acknowledges that the clear coat applications can result in trapping mositure. They have a product called UV-Plus which is a semi transparent oil based stain for exterior. It contains linseed oil and they choose not to reveal the % in the stain. Some report that higher levels of linseed oil in stains darken with age ( yet used for years as a wood perservative ). Check with U.S. Forest Products Lab regarding their observations of exterior stains higher in Linseed oils. You may want to contact Gemini Coatings and ask for their tech support people and ask them as well about stains with higher percentages of linseed oil.
Geat discussions - lots to consider. Solomon wrote centuries ago, " In the multitude of counselors there is accomplishment ( wisdom)". Proverbs 15:22
Wes, my e-mail address is
Please provide any info you can on Messmers, and also any other products you have found that are good versus those that are not good for log homes. Thanks.
How long have you been using the Messmers Timberflex Alaskan Home Formula, and is it any different from their other formulas? I've never heard of a stain lasting 10 years! Tell me more about how it was determined that it would last 10 years.
I have spent years in Log Home Finishes industry, and in my experience I have found Sashco Transformation Stain to hold up as long if not longer than the competition if you like a glossy finish.
If you are going for a matte finish, High Sierra is another great product also by Sashco, or Liifeline by Perma-Chink. This is not to say these products are the "best", I will leave those discussions for people way smarter than me, but these products have held up very well for my customers over the years.
I used Sashco Capture/Cascade on the exterior of my douglas fir home. easy to apply and worked well so far. getting some sun damage so we have "touched up" areas of damage twice in 5 years. seems to lose its ability to bead water after 2-3 years so I have reapplied the clear coat twice now. really spifs up the house with a new coat of clear and doesn't affect the color, which is nice. Had front gates made of douglas fir that are in full weather, had a product from the factory that was worthless (won't mention the name) and since found Sashco's Transformation oil stain that works fantastic. really good semi-transparent stain that has held up 4 years now on my fully exposed gates. We hit it with a new coat once a year and it doesn't peel or chip. hope this helps.....also found that an Osborne buffing brush is a great way to prep your logs for staining. really buffs the log to a nice finish.
I like the Timber Pro UV all natural stain. We have used this product with amazing results for the past 4 years. They ship on time, have incredible product, colors and customer service. Try calling Sherry at 1-877-666-4244. We used the stains on log homes and i used it on the cedar shake on my own home. I am more than happy with the color and the results. You can check them out at

I feel that Ultra 2 stain from permachink is one of the best waterbase stains out there,you apply 2 coats
of stain follow with one coat of top coat will give you a 3 year warrenty,and if you apply another
top coat within the 3 years you can extend your warrenty for another 2 years.easy to apply and easy
maintance.The top coats come in satin or gloss,so homeowner said that by appling the gloss topcoat
it will tend to keep the carpenter bees away because they do not like the shine.
Hundreds of satisfied customers can't be wrong, Greg!

Ultra-2 is a great product, just remember that your log preparation is the key to any log stain longevity. Inadequate prep will cut the life in half or even more.

The 3 most important facts about any stain survival:

1. Start with bare wood. If it has an existing finish remove it.
2. Make sure the surface is prepped with an Osbourne brush or sanded (40-60 grit)
3. Surface pH around 6.5 - 7.5. You can buy test strips at a pool supply store. LogWash is an excellent product for neutralizing the wood surface.

Those would be my recommendations. I'm sure others may add to that, but this is a summary.
Hi Ray Mazza,

All stains are good if it is specifically made for a log home. I recommend a semi-transparent stain made for log homes so that it will breath with the log home.
Of course the darker pigmented stains will give you a little bit more longevity however any stain out there will only last between 3 to 5 years depending on where you get hit with the UV.

I found out that it is not what stain you want, it all boils down to what color.

Make sure you purchased a stain that is going to breath with the wood.

I am just trying to help!



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