Sandblasting or cob blasting off deteriorated finishes vs. power washing

Sandblasting or cob blasting has a number of advantages over power washing. The process of removing a finish from the logs is – simply put – a matter of throwing something at the building at a certain velocity (or pressure) that is sufficient enough to take off the finish, while causing as little trauma as possible to the logs.

Blasting is a dry process

When dry, the surface of the finished logs is somewhat brittle. When the dry logs are hit with the sand or cob media, the brittle finish is quickly and efficiently removed leaving the logs relatively smooth.

Finish being sandblasted off of a wood home.

Sandblasting off deteriorated finish allows the owner to change the color of the stain, which can really give the home an “updated” look.

Wood that looks fuzzy due to damaged wood grain from power washing.

This is an example of the “fuzz effect” where the grain of the wood is raised due to power washing. This results in the need for lots of sanding.

A log home that has been cob blasted.

Cob blasting efficiently and cleanly removes the existing finish.

A log home that looks good due to sandblasting.

Logs can look great after being professionally sandblasted or cob blasted. Note to self: Stay away from the power washer!


Blasting takes off old finishes and can lighten the color of the logs.

Power washing is a wet process

Power washing relies on water as the “media” to remove the finish instead of sand or cob. As water is applied to wood, it expands and more importantly – it softens the fibers of the wood. These soft fibers are then exposed to 1800 to 3000 psi of water. This process can cause the fibers to break length-wise and can result in what is referred to as the “fuzz effect”.

This basically looks like the log home or cabin has a grown ½” long hairs. Introducing more moisture to the wood is exactly the opposite of what log homes need because water is the enemy of a log building.

Another disadvantage of power washing is that water under high-pressure water can make its way into parts of the log building that have never seen moisture before. This can cause a number of additional problems including:

  • The feces from rodents (bats, mice or rats) gets washed out onto the surface of the logs and can cause staining
  • The insulation between the logs can get wet and cause mold and mildew to form
  • The subsequent quick-drying of the outer log surface can cause additional checking (cracking) to occur in the logs, which can lead to further problems such as rot

While it is almost impossible to keep a log home free from any leaking inside to some degree during either power washing or blasting, the problem with power washing is again, the use of water. Not only are you wetting the logs but also if water makes its way inside, it can stain or ruin interior finishes, floors and home furnishings.

A floor stained by water that leaked through the logs of a wood home as a result of power washing.

In this example, water leaked inside the building and caused major staining of the interior logs.

The sandblasting or cob blasting material may come through the walls to some degree, but at least the dust is dry. Sometimes if there is a significant amount of dust coming into the home, we will drape the interior walls with plastic, allowing the dust to fall to the floor as it comes inside. This makes it easier to clean up with a vacuum or a broom.

For more information on sandblasting or cob blasting your log home, click here.

Edmunds & Company has a trained, professional crew for blasting off old stain or paint.

Contact us to inquire about having your log home or cabin sand or cob blasted or call us at 715-373-5744.