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How Often Should You Stain Your Log Cabin

log home experts

To keep your log cabin lasting a long time, maintenance is very important. While log cabins are likely to last a very long time, maintenance can extend the life of your log cabin. 

Finishing or staining the exterior logs is one of the most vital parts of log cabin maintenance. But the concern is, how often should you do that?

Here’s the answer—make sure to stain your log cabin or house every 3 to 7 years (3-4 years being the average). It also depends on the kind of stain you use and how much your log cabin is exposed to wind, sun, hail, sun, and harsh weather.  It is likely that anything past 7 years will more than likely require stripping.

Here we will go into detail on how often to stain your log cabin or home. 

How Often Do You Need to Stain Your Log Cabin?

Like we said earlier, the answer is every 3 to 7 years (3-4 years being the average we see most often). But let’s get a little more particular about it. 

The first time you stain the raw wood on your cabin, you shouldn’t wait too long to get it protected. Monitor the stain closely and around the 2 year mark you could reapply another 2 coats of stain for optimal protection, always check on the brand of stain you use and what is recommended by the manufacturer. 

However, re-staining time-frames are determined by the stain you apply. Latex stains are every bit as good , if not better than oil stains. Almost all good products for log homes are now latex. Oil based stains are not healthy for the logs since due to their chemical make up they trap moisture in the wood, where latex stains allow it to escape. You can choose from three types of stains: water-based, oil-based, and emulsion that is a mixture of water and oil. (We Recommend Water / Latex Based Stains.)

Water-based (or latex) stains for log cabins are likely to last 3-4 years. Oil-based stains are likely to last about the same.

But this isn’t the only factor determining the life of your stain. The quality of the stain also comes into play. Some stains can last longer, thanks to their higher quality. Having said that, if you buy a store brand log cabin stain from a big-box store, it might not last as long compared to those of leading brands no matter what the stain has its base. Most of the oil based stains are made with plant oil like linseed oil and cause black mildew to form on the logs over time. 

Other factors will play an important role too. The amount of rain, wind, snow, and hail that your cabin experiences affects the longevity of the stain. If your log cabin is located in an area facing south and is really exposed, then your cabin is going to face the sun and this will wear down your stain faster. It will reduce the life of your stain. The humidity of an area will also come into play. 

Determining the exact life of the stain is not easy. There are just too many factors that will affect that. So the general rule here is 3-4 years for water-based (latex) stains.

Here is a Simple Test You Can Do See If Your Log Cabin Needs Stain

Spray a few areas of the exterior of your log using a hose or a spray bottle. If the water beads up, it means that your stain is still in the top shape. But if it starts absorbing into the log, it’s time to re-stain your cabin. 

What You Should Use to Stain a Log Cabin?

Make sure to choose a high quality stain that’s made for log cabins.

The best way to pick a good stain for your cabin would be to ask your log contractor or we recommend calling Timeless Wood Care Products at 800-564-2987. They can help you choose the stain that can work. 

Whatever you prefer, make sure to choose a stain that is ideal for exterior wood products. Choose the one that specifically mentions logs, log cabins, or log homes. 

The Bottom Line:

We hope this guide will help you determine the right time frame to stain your log cabin as well as choose the right one. If things are still not clear, you can ask your log contractor or local hardware shop. But be sure to choose the right high quality stain for your log house.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below!

I hope this was helpful. Browse some of our log home staining questions from log home owners like you.

Question 1 | Question 2 | Question 3

See you Soon,

the log doctor

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