Unstained replaced logs

Maintaining Log Stains

Is the stain on your log home peeling, darkened, or fading?

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Log homes require routine maintenance of the exterior stain/finish. Once the stain starts to deteriorate, it’s time to determine the right course of action to make sure that the logs are protected from the elements.

Staining your log home on a regular basis is important to keep your logs protected and to make sure your log home looks it’s best for years to come. Though it may not be noticeable, logs do get dirty and can develop mildew if not properly maintained.

For the most part, stain maintenance entails cleaning the logs and applying a new coat of stain.

Stain applied to logs serves two different purposes:

To maintain a good stain on your logs, most homes need to be re-stained about every three to five years.

Problems with dark and flaking stain

Darkened and flaking stain and log paint can come in many forms. See many examples in this gallery.

Solving stain problems

Paying attention to the condition of your log home stain is one key to good maintenance! Overlooking this can lead to log home repair vs. routine maintenance.

To maintain a stain on a log home, follow these steps:

Depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to blast off your current finish and start over. For more information on blasting, click here.

Edmunds & Company provides a full range of services related to finish that is failing. Whether your log home needs re-staining or more in-depth refinishing services, we can restore the beauty of your investment – your home.

More Stain Problems: Finish Build-Up

Even when finish is faithfully applied according to the manufacturer’s instructions, problems can still arise. Moisture begins to build up behind the finish and may cause the log to rot. Too much finish can form an impermeable layer on the surface of the log, making it difficult for the logs to wick out the moisture.

The problem with finish build-up

Log homes and cabins require routine maintenance, which includes re-staining. Over time, layers of stain can build up, causing the logs to rot. It is not always obvious to the eye, but a trained professional can spot rot even from a distance.

Sometimes we see buildings with this type of finish build up when they are less than ten years old. In the case of newer homes like these, the logs have a relatively high moisture content to begin with (new logs are often green), which is compounded when a “film building” finish is applied. Problems can arise after even the second or third coat of this type of finish. Our experience has shown that many of these buildings start off with a finish that is breathable enough, but once the second or third coat is applied, the finish becomes too thick (buildup) and forms a barrier to the log breathing.

Solving finish build-up problems

It is very common during the lifespan of a log home or cabin to have the old finish removed and a new one applied. The technology for what constitutes a quality stain continues to improve and what was once considered to be the best no longer works well. Sometimes the best course of action is to start over with fresh wood.

If the finish has built up to the point that rot has taken hold, you should do several things::

  1. Repair any damage that has occurred, i.e. log replacement, if necessary.
  2. Address the buildup of finish on the logs. Most times this means getting rid of the current finish through blasting.
  3. Apply a borate treatment to help protect the logs from future rot.
  4. Apply a quality log home stain.

What is the difference between re-staining and refinishing? Click here to find out more.