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Important Factors to Consider While Choosing the Right Wood Stain

log stain

Natural wood is known for its unique beauty, and the right kind of stain will let it shine. Today, there are plenty of wood stains to choose from, meaning that the options have gone beyond those brown shades. You can choose a shade that can complement your style. 

But choosing the right stain can be overwhelming, thanks to the plenty of choices available. However, choosing the right stain shouldn’t be that intimidating if you ponder over the key points such as…

  • What color do you want?
  • Should I treat the log first?
  • Is this a maintenance coat? Or is this the first time the logs have been stained?

Based on these key points, here we will help you choose the right stain for your log homes. 

Consider Your Personal Preferences:

When choosing the colors for your log home, consider your personal preferences, homes you appreciate, and the curb appeal you would like to crate. 

Take photographs of the homes you admire. You can also take ideas from magazines or Pinterest boards. Show them to your log home professional. 

Dark or Light Shades: What to Use?

Generally, lighter stains create a bright and spacious feel. They can make your home look appealing and give it a more natural appearance. You can use them to make your rooms look larger and open. 

On the other hand, dark colors can unleash a more intimate, subtle curb appeal outside, while generating a cozy and warm feeling inside. 

The good thing is that you can use both shades of stain. Simply put, what mix and match? A two-tone look is in vogue with log homes as it creates a stylish and inviting space. 

Logs can be treated with a darker color while lighter one can work for rooflines and windows. The best appearance is the one you like best, so ditch the old school rules. 

Latex or Oil: What Kind of Stain is better?

When it comes to picking between oil-based stain and water-based latex stain, it all depends on what’s right for each home’s unique traits such as age, type, condition of the log, and environmental condition. 

Water-based stains are easy to clean using soap and water. But oils can be cleaned with a solvent-based cleaner. Water-based stains are likely to dry faster than their oil-based counterparts. Oil-based stains can lead to much richer colors than water-based, creating a natural look. Besides, it protects the wood and prevents it become stained with weathering. 

Check for Quality:

When picking a stain for your home, quality definitely stands out. All stains are not the same. Make sure that the stain you pick is meant for log homes. The right stain will complement your logs and let them breathe while still protecting them against aging and weatherly elements. Make sure that the stain also offers UV protection to your logs. 

The surface of the logs is required to be protected from sun rays. Avoid applying clear finishes alone as they offer less UV protection from the sun. 

And keep in mind that cheaper rates or nice advertising don’t speak of better quality. While good stains might be a little costlier, they will save you money in the long run as you don’t need to paint your log homes again and again. 

Applying Old Stain vs. New Stain:

A bare wood can absorbs stain evenly. If your log cabin already has an old stain layer, this older layer is likely to interact with a new stain, since it has gone deep into the logs.

If you are replacing the color of your log home and looking for a lighter shade, it might not even cover all areas of the old color. Therefore, you are required to remove the old stain first. Additional coats to cover the old stain might not work. 

Treating the Logs First:

Once you are done with logs cleaning, make sure to apply a borate treatment before you stain. It will protect your log home from insects, carpenter ants, dry wood termites, wood-decaying fungi, and beetles. 

Know How Often to Stain a Log Home:

While the visible signs of stain can prompt you to treat your logs again, there is no particular timetable for when to re-stain your logs. It can be anywhere between 3 years and 15 years for an indoor wall that is not exposed to the sunlight.

The golden rule says that you should stain your log cabin or house every 3 to 7 years.

But it also depends on the kind of stain you use and how much your log house is exposed to sun, wind, hail, and harsh weather. 

Water-based stains can last 3-5 years while oil-based stains can last 5-7 years. Emulsion-based stains are likely to last somewhere in between. 

If you are still not sure, here is a simple test to see if your log cabin should be stained. 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 fine.

But if it starts absorbing into the log, it’s time to re-stain your cabin. 

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