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What is best stain for exterior of log home?

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I work for the Continental Products Co. We make a wood stain product called WeatherSeal.

Go to the link below and you will see an independent outdoor test of numerous wood stains conducted by Hochstetler Milling, a log home manufacturer located in Loudonville, Ohio.

It will open your eyes to the performance reality of many popular log home stains being sold to the Industry

I took the photos and unfortunately I used my tablet to photograph which is not the best camera. ( I plan on returning to Hochstetler and photograph the weathered wood stains with a better camera.)  The photos vary to a degree because they were taken outdoors and the lighting conditions were constantly changing. Regardless it is self-explanatory. My suspicion with Transformation and their mildew problem is that it is a stain that is predominantly composed of linseed oil. I was recently at a structure that had Transformation on it and it was still tacky even though it was approximately one year since it had been applied. The tackiness may also have to do with plasticizers that may be incorporated in the formula.

FYI: Hochstetler is not, nor has been a customer of ours.  

Michael McArthur

The Continental Products Co.

Below is the working link to the outdoor weathering test:

Michael McArthur

Thank you for the link. Most the pictures except for the top two look really good even the Transformation. What should I be looking for in the photos?

Hi Art. Have you or any of your neighbors used the Stay Clean Mildewcide Additive to your stain before applying? I used the same stain on logs that had a ton of black mold on them previously. After cleaning and staining with this additive, no issues. Most stains will become susceptible to mold and mildew growth so using these additives are critical. :)

See photos of stain we, mostly Sashco products at:

or Facebook:

This is a topic that always gets a lot of different replies as there are many great stains. The answer will really depend on the age and style of cabin you have along with the end result that you are looking for. My cabin is in the North East with very hard winters so I was looking for longevity. 

My cabin was a 1940 log cabin that was very neglected over the years. It had black mold, and rot was starting to set in. I did LOTS of research and finally decided on Sashco's Transformation Log and Timber Red Tone Dark. I will let the before and after pics speak for themselves but I am extremely happy to say the least


Beautiful! Can't wait to get you your finalized story. :-) It's going to be awesome!

Thanks Charis! I cant wait to see it! 

Nicholas. Looks great! I'm currently using transformation, same shade. Contemplating mixing some dark tone brown, as ours is coming out a bit too red for our liking. I'd love to see some additional photos of your finished product if you have any available.
Sure, the shade definitely has a red tone to it especially when I take a pic of the cabin at night with the flash but when the sun hits the cabin it actually has a more brownish red look to it like in the 2nd picture that says "2nd coat". Here are some better pics of how it looks under normal light.

I have been getting frustrated trying to find a stain after years of failed products.  Our home was built in Central Minnesota in 2002 and we applied Sashco Capture/Cascade, which failed horribly within a year.  Several 2nd floor logs rotted almost near through with nothing more than a slight dark spot on the exterior.  When I sanded down to bare wood (because mildew grew between the stain and topcoat) the 1" spot turned into a 3 foot hole of internal rot.  SE corner, 12 ft off the wasn't a water issue in the respect that we were accused of. ANYWAY, Sashco accepted some of the blame and sent us replacement stain.  Three years out of that one, with the last year being the one we threw our hands up.  Tried Weatherseal on one side, ordered a color I thought I loved but when I put it on the wall, it looked super orange.  It continued to get even more orange as time went on so I ordered a different color, tested it and liked it.  Same thing, turned way more orange than I cared for.  I would have to say, it held up great and it hasn't been touched since applied.  I found out I had cancer and it took me away from saving my house.  Three years later, I am clean but the house looks like hell.  I have started looking again for stains, but the ones that perform well don't have the color I want.  I don't like heavy red or orange tones, and some of the oil stains exaggerate the darkened or weathered areas that surface sanding cant remove.  I am also finding it hard to get samples of colors of stains as some manufacturers refer to dealers, but not all dealers send samples or have all the colors offered by the manufacturer.  I have sanded my entire house three times, and on the way to doing it again.  Seriously, which stain should I try?  After all the discussion on here, it's several years people still feel the same as they stated after all this time?  Very interested to hear your thoughts! 

Kristin, I live in a self built stack log home built 1979-80 from hand peeled, in and out, 6" thick, yellow pine. Over the years I've tried many things but never liked the expensive purpose formulas of many log finishes as not the natural look I go for. I can discuss the ones I've used much further if that will help? My most recent finish is Cabots Australian Timber Oil which we like a lot-been on almost 3 years now. In Ky we can use the "good stuff" as laws here don't force me into the "other compliant finishes". The location/state of the warehouse that ships the finish can matter too in that matter.

I have a plan to build another small, log guest home on our farm as soon as time allows me. It will be 6" thick and "D" logs of pine from my land-not hard pine. I'll be sawing on my Woodmizer mill.

Ebay sellers have some finishes that interest me-take a look there. I bought my Cabots from a local lumber yard that is a Do-it hdwe sourced from a TN warehouse on the Cabots and discounted. Lowe's also sells it and seasonal discounts plus I get a 10% veteran discount there but still cheaper from a local source.

I am a retired tech ed teacher and hands on gut but not a contractor. I am buying my log fasteners and log gaskes for my new log project from a dealer, in Knoxville, TN. They sell various materials for log homes, common in that area and ~ 175k above me. Google "Log home supplies, Knoxville,TN" will yield a few others. Prices vary a bunch on direct sales and Cor-ten has great prices!

The prep matters on a log re-finish like any finish application!!! Given you have had medical issues whats the condition to begin this? I can make suggestions to clean up your logs.


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