Painting your Residential Cabin with Oil-based Paint

When decorating a log house people often focus on painting the interior walls to make the home warmer or to match the overall decorating style of the house, however, attention should also be paid to the exterior walls. This essential area of maintenance needs to combine with what you want to achieve within the interior´s décor.

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Painting the exterior

More to the point, the exterior of your residential cabin is the first thing that people will see. Therefore, painting the exterior walls is a quick way to transform the appearance of your home, with the added bonus that you can give your home a new look and refresh it simply by adding a coat of paint.

Additionally, the exterior of your residential cabin is exposed to the elements, so over time the exterior colour starts to fade and lose its shine. Repainting the exterior walls has both decorative and protective purposes since paint lends a protective coat against harsh external elements. For instance, exposure to the sun leads to colour fading over time and rain exposure may mean the paint starts to peel.

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Right type of paints

Consequently, choosing the right type of paint that best suits the climatic conditions of your area is essential. Remember that paint can last around ten years if properly applied. The durability of the paint will depend on a number of variables: the paint quality, relevant climate, wood type, surface preparation, and proper paint application (usually a primer and two top coats are applied).

There are water-based treatments that can be applied directly to the wood without the need for a primer. There are also solvent-base treatments that provide further protection and finally there are oil-based treatments and paints. Oil-based paints or stains provide a higher protection than water-based ones. Oil paints will give your residential cabin a renovated look, while protecting it against UV-ray damage, repelling water and preserving the wood from fungi. There are oil-based paints for the exterior and interior, with the primary difference being that exterior paints contain additives. These additives provide UV protection to prevent fading, and they also prevent fungi, mildew or mould growth.

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Although oil-based paints can be more tedious to apply than water-based, they work better on smooth and hard surfaces and they are also better when it comes to covering surface imperfections. The final result will be a better-looking finish.

A new look for the residential cabin

So, if you want to give your residential cabin a new look, oil-based products are your best choice. Nevertheless, there are a few things you should take care of before getting started. Remember that log homes are not the best surfaces for paint adhesion, therefore, adequate surface preparation of the logs is crucial. If the log’s surface is not properly prepped, no log paint or stain will perform adequately nor will it last as much as it should. The surface needs to be prepared to accept the paint or it will end up peeling off. Additionally, the log surfaces usually have a lot of fissures and cracks, so you will have to make sure they are fully covered with the paint.

Cleaning the logs is the first step and a crucial one to maintain the durability and appearance of the finish. Exteriors are exposed not only to climate elements, they are also a settling base for pollen, dust and other contaminating agents which provide conditions for fungal growth. A pressure washer is the best and fastest cleaning procedure; alternatively you could use a broom. Don’t forget to start washing from the bottom up and to rinse from the top down. If you use a pressure washer make sure to give the wood enough time to dry out totally before continuing with the next steps.

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The aplying of oil paints

It is important to note that when applying oil paints, the temperature should be over 40 °F and it is advised not to paint in the earliest or latest parts of the day. The presence of dew may cause adhesion problems, and the paint is unlikely to dry properly.

Once your log house exterior is clean and dry, you can proceed with applying the primer. Oil-based primers are ideal for working over degraded surfaces as they penetrate quickly and have high adhesive properties. They are also suitable for both cold and hot climates.

Choosing the colour of the residential cabin

Let’s turn to the exciting part of residential cabin painting: choosing the colour. You’ll probably want to reflect your style and personality, or you may wish to introduce a change and go for an entirely new style, possibly from a pale tone to a vivid colour. The best advice here is to take your time and think about it carefully. Remember that you will live with your choice of colour for years, so make sure you feel comfortable with it.

Also, when selecting the colour for your residential cabin’s wall be sure to plan it around the elements that you are not going to change. If you are not changing the roof, windows, pathways and driveways, you need to consider them when selecting the colour for your walls ‒ choose a colour that harmonizes with these elements.

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Many residential cabin owners find that natural colours are the warmest and best match with their home’s style, so you may want to keep your cabin as natural as possible ‒ some people opt to leave the logs untouched. However, you may want to consider that though naked logs look fantastic, the porous surface of virgin logs will be harder to clean, so you could apply a clear topcoat or a pigment similar to what you consider an ideal wood finish. Furthermore, coloured stain and paints have increased UV protection capabilities, so if you go for pigmented paint, your residential cabin will require less maintenance and it will last longer.

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Rushton Primary School
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Wey House School