The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

I need to strip Sikkens Cetol Stain off one side of my house. It was last applied about 6 years ago. I have been letting it weather intentionally hoping, it would come off easier. The person who applied it originally did a poor job removing the previous stain by pressure washing. There are many spots where you can tell the old stain was left on, and severe felting in some spots which the stain has adhered to and dried very hard on.

I have tested pressure washing in a small area, using a sodium hydroxide based stripper, which only worked on small areas that were already flaking off. I realize that media blasting would do the job, but am trying to avoid this. I have sanded it in small sections using an orbital sander with 80 grit paper, and some spots with the osborn brush, and have gotten decent results, but it is very time consuming. 

I am wondering if anyone knows of or has had any luck with a chemical stripper/pressure washing film forming stains such as Sikkens. If I decide to do it the old fashioned way (sanding) is there a better tool or sanding disk to use rather than sand paper discs/osborn brushing to remove the finish,  or something made for a round surface?

After stripping the wood I plan on using a log wash/cleaner,  penetreat or timbor borate, then letting it dry, then applying two coats of weatherseal, apache brown.

Views: 4305

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

We've tested our fair share of chemical strippers around here and found methylene chloride to work the best. It's very toxic, so must be handled carefully. It usually has to be followed by neutralization with another product, power washing, and hand sanding to remove fuzzing. In our tests, it was just as time-consuming as just doing the plain ol' hand sanding. As that's the case, you might just consider doing the hand sanding. Have you used a variable speed grinder yet, or only the orbital? You might find the work goes a bit faster with the different equipment. We like the Makita 9565CV. We tested about 50 different variable speed grinders and that one did the best job holding it's speed even with lots of pressure, and without burning out the motor.

--- Charis w/ Sashco - - 

Thanks for the reply Charis. I do have a grinder I could use, but I was unsure what type of disc would work best with one. The variable speed buffer I use with the osborne brush works good, but is not aggressive enought to remove the finish efficiently. The orbital sander works ok, but on the part of the log that is the most curved its kind of tough to get it off just right.  

I did read about the methylene chloride, but it sounded like pretty nasty stuff. When you mention a neutralizer after using it, are you referring to an oxalic acid type brightener?

Osborn brushes - the 4 or 5" cup silica carbide cup brush - work well on round logs.

Here is a great article on different types of strippers, their pros & cons, and what to use to neutralize them.

Yes, Meth Choride is nasty stuff. It must be used very carefully, plants must be protected...really, a last resort, in my opinion. Works like a charm, though.

Hope that helps some. 

-- Charis

Don't be afraid of the work the results are well worth it. Keep on sanding.


Here's what you need, Star10 Chemical stripper.  Ive used this to remove Sikkens Cetol on a few occasions.  You should hire a professional pressure washing company to do this work for you or at least someone who has done it before, before you do it to your own log home that has previously had failed attempts at finishing as you describe.  Sanding to remove Sikkens is insane.  Sanding after blasting or pressure washing is recommended.  Star10 is not that toxic, you'll live.  You may still need to blast some areas but this should get most of the Sikkens off:

Thomas Elliott

I like the star10 too.

Hi Mike I have just gone through this. I would stay away from the chemicals they leave a strong smell behind. Gave me and the wife headaches for days. I seen a post recently about pressure washing. It seemed to go through the house and leave water stains. I tried the blasting route and left me with lots fuzzy wood and ruined the grain. I went went with a sanding company it's was around the same price and looks much better than blasting.

I was able to remove the sikkens with the sodium hydroxide stripper, after letting it sit for 45 minutes and keeping it moist. I must not have waited long enough the first time and the wood was slightly wet prior to application, whereas this time it was dry.

I am no trying to figure out which borate to use. I would like to know the big difference between timbor vs. bora care or penetrate besides cost. Do the more expensive borates really perform that much better than something like timbor?

Here are the two types: water-carried and glycol-carried. No difference in penetration or protection between the two (at least, not according to a chemist with the company who mines the stuff - see this article), so we always recommend you go with the water-carried product, which usually comes in powder form, since it's cheaper.

FYI: TimBor and PeneTreat are the same product, different packaging. :-)

Hope that helps.

--- Charis w/ Sashco - -

I had the same problem on my log home with the Sikkens product.  The company that did the work said the horrible results were because my logs had sun damage.  Can you tell me what your final solution was?  And did you find a good tool for removing the finish?20190821_165050.jpg

To remove sikkens I used HD-80 a sodium hydroxide remover made by Woodrich. They also sell a neutralizer. Some spots required sanding because I had to get aggressive with the pressure washer. This is the only off the shelf product that worked. Russel at woodrich is helpful as well. I ended up adding 1 cup of rv antifreeze to make it work even better.


© 2020   Created by Neighborhood Host.   Powered by

Guide to Log Homes | Advertise | Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service