It is a well known fact that in order to keep your log home looking great and protected from extreme atmospheric conditions and UV rays, providing a few coats of a great quality exterior stain is important. Stains not only provide a polished and rich look the specially prepared formulas can actually provide a layer of protection for wood to fight extreme exposure to UV light and a number of harmful weather conditions like high winds and rain. Some stains are specially formulated to prevent mildew and repel insects. (More log home products can found here)
You will be surprised to know that now you get a huge choice of log home stains. Gone are the days when brown was the only choice you had for wood stains. Manufacturers now provide a huge array of colors, from forest green to ocean blue and even light orange. Still, these shades are inspired by Mother Nature. Today, you not only get a variety in terms of color but the stains available today are more safe, green, less toxic and also more protective and longer lasting. But, the most important question is still same- which one is right for your log home?
There are no hard and fast rules, because every stain has its own pros and cons. So, you should make a choice depending on the atmospheric conditions, pest problem in your locality and after considering number of such factors. However, if we talk in very general terms then stains are available in three formulations: water-based, oil-based and emulsions that mix the two. Oil-based formulas are no longer used because equally effective, less harmful options are now available in the market. But for re-staining old log home, oil-based formulas are recommended, especially if you have no idea about the formula which was used originally.
Log home stains for interior and exterior:
The key difference between interior and exterior stains is the quantity of additives in the formulation. As, exterior walls of the log house are more exposed to the damaging elements, constituents are usually added for UV protection and to prevent fading. Some stains also fight the growth of mildew, mold and fungi. Usually interior walls do not need such additives. Stains without additives are more safe and more pocket friendly. So, again you should base your decision on your needs and requirements.
Décor and look of the log home:
This is a really interesting part, because choosing an actual color for your log home can be really fun. Usually individuals chose colors that reflect their refined taste and personality. But, experts recommend choosing staining colors that you can enjoy for years to come. Remember, repainting stained log walls is not as easy as changing colors of a drywall or changing wallpaper. Log home owners prefer gray color for their log house, as gray color gives a weathered look. Golden shades are also popular amongst log home owners. Almost a decade ago, usually home owners selected just two stains: a dark shade for the exterior and a light color for the interior. But now the huge availability of shades lets home owners experiment with colors and give their log home a great and different look. Also, just like your traditional house, you can use more than one color to paint the walls of your log house.
Interior décor needs:
When it comes to choosing a stain for interior of your log home, then you should opt for a neutral hue, as it will give you decorating flexibility. However, you can try adding an accent color to lay an emphasis on particular design details. Like you can stain the upright support moss green, to show off your amazing ceilings. Or to make your kitchen look extraordinary you can stain one wall in the shade of red. Stain built-in shelves with a light blue shade to add depth in them. Depending on your vision and interior décor requirements, you can choose the most apt color. It is completely up to you that what look you wish to achieve. Remember to test the stain first, to ensure that it is the exact shade that you want for your log home. Also, this might sound surprising but the stain applied with a sprayer looks different than stain applied using a brush.
Keep the natural look of the log home intact:
If you wish to keep the rustic look of your log home intact, then consider using shades of wood. Usually, individuals think it is a waste of time and money to apply the same color of paint of the walls of the log home. But, plain log walls are more porous and difficult to clean as compared to the logs with a glossy finish. The aging process and exposure to the elements can change the log’s color to become slightly more gray or yellow. If you don’t want to settle for that, that consider a pigment matching to your natural wood finish. In addition, using a colored stain can provide more UV protection, thus pigmented color log walls generally need less maintenance.
Regular wood cleaning is important for long life of your wood stain. Cleaning also prevents mildew growth and keeps the dirt and dust from forming a thick layer on your log home. Just, clean down interior walls using a wet cloth to keep your logs in great shape. Always remember that regular is a lot easier and reasonable than a lot of maintenance. For exterior cleaning, use a power washer or a hose. Pay more attention to the upper half of the logs, as these areas collect more dust inside the house, as well as upper half of the logs is more exposed to the elements on the exterior. There is no hard and fast rule that when you should consider re-staining your log home. The time period could range from 3 years to 15 years or more, it depends on the atmospheric conditions that your log house is exposed to and the usage.