Log home maintenance includes periodic re-staining of the exterior logs. Protecting the logs from the elements is the best prevention against potential costly repairs. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional do the work, re-staining your log home is the key factor in keeping your logs in good condition. Most semi-transparent stains need to be recoated about every 3-5 years, depending on the specifics of your site and the design of your home. Here are some common questions asked about refinishing log homes:
How do I know when it is time for routine log home refinishing? If the stain is looking chalky, the logs are looking dry or the stain is beginning to peal, you need to investigate having your logs refinished. You can also spray an area using a household spray bottle and see if the water beads up. If it does not bead water — you need to refinish your logs. The upward facing parts of the logs are most apt to breakdown, largely due to the UV from the sun breaking down the finish.
Can only the sides that are fading be stained? Yes you can as long as you do the correct preparation of cleaning the logs. The West and South sides of a log home tend to fade first. In some cases, we do recommend re-staining these areas in-between re-coats on the other sides of the house. The only draw back to this approach is that the newly finished sides do appear slightly “cleaner” for a time because of the fresh coat of stain that was applied in contrast to the sides that were not refinished.
Can I refinish my log home myself? Yes. Re-staining is not a complicated process. We recommend cleaning your logs with a mixture of TSP (tri-sodium phosphate), a stiff brush and water. A garden hose is good enough to thoroughly rinse off the TSP. We do NOT recommend the use of power washers. If there are small areas where the stain is pealing, you need to prep these areas to get rid of this pealing stain. Sanding with an orbital sander is usually the most efficient way to do this.
After the logs have a chance to dry, the stain is applied using either an airless sprayer or a brush. Either way it is applied, it needs to be “back brushed” very well. Back brushing is going over each newly stained area with a brush working in the stain to get it to soak further into the logs.
How do I know if my logs need blasting? If your stain is pealing over large areas of the logs, then you may want to consider having the logs blasted to prepare them for staining. This process is not recommended for homeowners to do themselves because of the heavy equipment that is necessary and the special training needed to remove stain by this process. Log home refinishing – on a timely basis – is your assurance that your investment is protected.
Here are some relevant links to our website: