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Pretreating weathered logs with penetrating product before stain?

I have used Permachink Ultra 2 and Lifeline Advance stain to finish my red pine home, which I recently bought.  However, the side that gets the most sun and rain is fairly weathered.  I can sand it down and then apply the stain but I wonder if would make sense to pre-treat the logs with a penetrating stain, perhaps something like what would be used on a deck.  The logs have very small checks in them and it is hard to imagine that the moisture will not get in there.   It seems that the Ultra 2 stain is not particularily penetrating.  Any recommendations?  Will the Permachink Shellguard RTU serve this purpose?

On another note, has anyone had experience with Permachink Mbalm and EWood to treat punky wood?  Does it work?  Tips?


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Steve -

I doubt that will work. Why? Most deep penetrating stains, like deck stains, contain oils that are not compatible with water-based systems. They won't stick to each other. So I hate to tell you, but what you propose most likely won't work, nor would it solve your problem.

It IS true that lighter colors of stain take more care, and the sun sides of the home will deteriorate faster than the others. You might consider switching to a darker color over time if you're using a lighter color now. Give a call to Permachink to get their application instructions for their stains. Usually, if you apply the stain via sprayer very heavily and back brush it, you'll get all those tiny cracks (we call them "micro checks") filled with enough stain that they'll be sufficiently protected from moisture infiltration. Then be sure to follow with the clear top coat to give you added water protection. keeping up on the clear top coat - re-coating where needed, when needed, is usually the key. Talk to Permachink about their recommendations on maintenance and timing of it.

One thing that is certain: you want to stick with a stain that is film-forming to one extent or another. Most quality, designed-for-log homes stains form a film but allow the logs to breathe, as well. But that film is where you get the majority of your UV protection so you want it there.

I don't have any experience with Mbalm or EWood so will leave that to others.

Hope that helps some! -- Charis w/ Sashco -- --
Thanks for the advice Charis. Your help is much appreciated! -Steve
I would definately have to agree with Charis on this one. And most film forming finishes do penetrate to a small extent and they do posses the ability to fill in many of the small cracks and fissures. The difference between a penetrating oil-based stain and a film forming water-based stain is the oil simply penetrates in the top layer of wood carrying the pigments along with it. And as Charis has already stated, the film forming finishes allow the logs to breathe.

On a different note, Shell-Guard RTU is a borate treatment. It fully absorbs into the wood and it will not serve as a penetrant for the stain. However, it may be something worth your while to treat those soft areas. It's sole purpose is to help prevent wood decay and wood destroying insect infestations.

May I also suggest looking into the source of your soft areas. Is it a structural issue that is causing those soft spots? Is your home properly covered by the eaves and overhangs? Determining what the actual cause of the decay will in turn get you one step closer to solving the problem for good.

As far as M-Balm and E-Wood goes, this will could be something worth your while once you have determined the source, and have removed the soft, comprimised wood. M-Balm is a 2 part liquid epoxy that forms a hard, water-resistant mass. Once the M-Balm has dried completely you can now use the E-Wood, which is a 2 part wood epoxy putty. It can also be textured, shaped, sanded and stained as well.
I have attached a technical tip for you to review in your spare time.

Now that we have over-loaded you with information I am hopes that you are not confused by all this. Any other questions do not hesitate to contact me or any one of our Customer Service Representatives.

Cathy (800) 433-8781
Many good points Cathy. Thanks! -Steve


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