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What is best stain for exterior of log home?

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Picking the right stain is definitely not the easiest thing and site preparation is probably the most important, no matter what you put down. I originally had Sansin, water-based, stain on my logs and was also told by the log builder/supplier that a darker stain will last longer than a light stain...does anyone know about that?

Now, my logs are looking bleak on the South facing side and I'm sanding down to the wood and using Natural Natural an oil based product by Sikkens. I've used Sikkens on my wood deck of the non-log home and am very pleased with its performance...we'll see how well it does with the logs.
Douglas, Hi I'm CJ from Va. Our log delivery is scheduled for May 2009. We have seen one log home stained with Sansin. The owners used 2 coats, as the first coat they felt was not dark enough. Choosing the right type of stain is very difficult. We will do the staining ourselves. Kinda scary I think. Don't want to make any mistakes. What was your biggest complaint about the Sansin? Can you please help me out? Thanks. CJ from Va.
CJ - Choosing a stain doesn't have to be scary! Email me at for a copy of a booklet we have called "Keeping the Dream Alive". It's a good educational piece that goes through the steps of finishing a log home from beginning to end, including giving you some tips on what type (not brand) of stain to use. I think part of the scariness is just not knowing how to go about it all. Hopefully, this document will arm you with some good knowledge and help you feel more comfortable with the whole process. And, of course, feel free to email me with any questions, as well. My opinions will be somewhat biased, as I work for Sashco and know we make great products. However, my main goal is to help log home owners like you get the information and answers they need to make informed decisions and get the job done right the first time.

I'm sure you'll do great!
cj call me at 800-548-3554 and I will send out samples of our stain so you can see
what it looks like on your wood,every wood takes stain different.our stains are waterbase
that allow the moisture to get out of the wood after they are applied,also makes your log home look natural.Also our 1st seminar is March 14th from 9 to 4 and lunch will be
provided.This seminar will teach you how to stain and prep your log home for stains
and finishes everything to need to know from start to finish.You will also do some hands
on with our finishes and sealents and blast media.
I would like to get a copy of Mr. Tadysak's "How to do" list. Email to Thanks
I stained and added the top coat to our new Katahdin Cedar Log Home this fall. After speaking with several log home owners, I chose to use Ultra 2 & Lifeline Advance Topcoat (satin finish) by Permachink. Permachink is waterbased, therefore a green product.

The other product that I considered was Sikkens oil based stain and top coat. Both Permachink & Sikkens have the initial 3 times around the house. With the Permachink you apply the top coat a 2nd time - 1 time around the house within 18-24 months later.
With Sikkens in 36 months after the initial application, 3 times around the house for a total of 6 times around the house.

Therefore the Permachink in a five year period is less labor & costs less overall.

I had never used a paint sprayer before, so I practiced on our log shed first. After I finished staining the first wall (8x14), I had the spray adjusted while my other half was busy back brushing. Completing the house went quickly with the aid of the paint sprayer.

The top coat looks milky when being applied, but drys nicely. Clean up at the end of each day was a breeze. I went over to the closest neighbors and used their hose. We applied the stain prior to the windows being installed. The spray machine never clogged during the several weeks it took to complete the project.

I also used the log end seal by Permachink. The labor was the most difficult part of the process. You have to sand the log ends before staining. The log end seal looks and smells like elmers glue when applying, it dries clear.

You are in Ohio....correct? There are pros and cons to all of them at some point. I have been restoring log homes for some time and every application and area is different. Texas is brutal on all stains, especially in the areas that get all the elements in a day (dew in the morning and high dry heat the rest of the day....and the suns rays).
Most all of the basic oil stains (Wood Guard, TWP, Cabot, etc) last about the same time approx. 2 years on a non porch side. Wood Guard seems to get chalky if you do not coat it often here. I don't know how it does in the Buckeye State. Cabot makes an Austrailian Timber Oil I have heard great reports on but have not seen it in action yet. Sikkens is considered the Porche of the semi oil stains. Very glossy. I have used quite a bit of it, but if not taken care of will be murder to get off. Sashco and Perma-Chink very comparable. Perma-Chink does have a professional stain you cannot see on the web that has double pigment and holds up well, but very hard to apply because of overlaps.
I would never use a lindseed only stain, although it preserves the logs pretty good, it is a sticky mess. it will attract anything and everything to your home as far as dust,dirt, mold, etc.
I still believe oil is the best for a base and then a latex similar to the same thinking of painting, but if you do not take care of the clear coat, again, you will be stripping it off.
If you like a duller finish, go with oil. If you like gloss, go with the Sashco/Perm-Chiink/Sikkens.
Money wise, the oil usually only requires one coat and is very reasonable, but needs applied sooner then the waterborne stains. The waterbournes require 2 to 3 coats and are more expensive. I do prefer Perma-Chink over Sashco though.
This will make the waterborne companies upset a little, although the oil stains require a more frequent applying, I have seen quite a bit less rot on homes using the oils. It could be my imagination.
And...whoever you chose to stain it.......always insist on brushing, not airless.
If I can help, let me know.
Best regards,
Good breakdown. I don't have any experience with log homes but I have used the marine version of Sikens on teak trim and decks for 20 years in fresh and salt water. It is great stuff as teak is a very hard wood that fights penetration and wants to reject coatings. The Sikens is tenacious and does not yellow or get dark when water gets behind it. After 10 years I sanded down the decks to raw wood and started again. I use the satin version not the high gloss one. You can touch it up by simply using a scuff pad and putting down a new coat. It blends in very nicely. There may be others that are just as good but as you said it is the Porche especially in the marine market. Remember that we are talking nasty conditions down here. As has been said elsewhere, the preparation is the critical step. The wood must be clean and dry.

Joe, Sarasota
more then clean and dry it must be free of mildew, mold, fungus and protected against insects. Consider TimBor or Borada-D, ( Borax salt ) to protect the wood before staining. Its safe and very effective. Do not let it get rained on after appling before staining. It needs to dry before staining.
We are building our first log home this spring in central PA. We have read various reviews on Sikkens, Perma-chink, etc... Bottom line, I want to speand time on the lake, not staining the house every two-three years. Any recommendations from your experience? I was hoping to use a Natual Oak finish that would last 5 years.

There is a product called Lifeline Ultra 2 with a 5 year warrenty.This is the top of the line
stain that applied to directions will last 5 years or longer,maintance coats would be appling
a clear top coat to prolong the life of the stain.Also this product is a waterbase product.
if you need a sample for testing call 800-548-3554and get some samples.I would always
test a sample of product before applying it to your log home.


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