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The key indicators that your logs need a little R & R (repair and refinish)


It’s difficult to ignore a log home; they possess a personality that always turns heads. Such natural good looks are part of their allure, but the attention they command extends to more than admiration. Log homes need regular maintenance to protect their beauty, performance and longevity. Fortunately, a few simple indicators will tell you exactly what your home needs (and when!). Here’s how to assess your logs’ status:

What Makes A Topcoat Different?

There is a common thought out there that believe topcoats are just the regular finish without color added. However, our topcoats are completely different than our finishes because they do different things. 

Lifeline Acrylic Gloss and Satin (G/S) and Sure Shine™ Gloss and Satin are totally different formulations than Lifeline Interior or any other finish. Lifeline Interior, Lifeline Accents, and Prelude™ contain a polymer system that offer some distinct adhesion advantages when applied to bare wood. Topcoats are designed to envelope those finishes, protecting the color and wood from environmental damage and everyday living.

logwashLog Wash is The Easy-to-Use Cleaner for Interior and Exterior Surfaces

The initial reason we developed Log Wash™ was for cleaning finished log home exterior surfaces. We found that all of the products typically recommended for general maintenance cleaning like Spic & Span, Mr. Clean or even mild dishwashing soaps softened finished surfaces during the cleaning process. This resulted in potential finish damage, especially if a pressure washer or a brush was used. It turned out that the one thing these cleaners all had in common was their high pH. When we tried the Log Wash formulation we found that it hardened the surface of our finish system and no damage occurred to the finish - even with vigorous scrubbing. It was only later that we discovered the benefits of using Log Wash on bare wood.

The inside of a home is where you do most of your living. As such, it’s important to take time to select the right interior stains and finishes for your log and timber home. You will achieve an interior that is visually pleasing and performs well for years when a proper stain is chosen.


Two Traits

When it comes to interior finishes, there are two phenomena that homeowners tend to overlook.

What’s the Difference Between Caulking and Log Chinking?

High-quality sealants help older cabins last for generations and give newer ones the rustic good looks many desire. Our sealants provide protection that will let them carry their historic styles far into the future. But when it comes to the language surrounding the sealant between logs, many people call chinking “log caulk.” Log caulk and log chinking are often used interchangeably, but these sealants are completely different. In fact, you should never, ever caulk a log home.


Guest post by Seth Murphy,

A home is more than just a shelter; it serves as our intimate sanctuary. The atmosphere within its walls profoundly influences our emotions, efficiency, and overall well-being. Central to cultivating a calm home atmosphere is the principle of tidiness.

Through consistent cleanliness and organization, we carve out a peaceful niche that rejuvenates our soul. By embracing straightforward daily practices, our living spaces can evolve into serene havens. In this article, which is shared courtesy of Perma-Chink Systems, we will explore straightforward routines that offer both a structured environment and mental clarity.

In loving memory of our late president Rich Dunstan.

In The Beginning

In 1980 my neighbor told me about building a log home in Eastern Washington. He said that he loved the home and the lifestyle but was disappointed wind constantly blew and cold, harsh winters meant there was no real effective way to seal the gaps between the logs. The house leaked air and heat and wind-driven rain came right through the walls.

He tried various caulking materials with little success. Caulking around a bathtub or sink was significantly different from ‘caulking’ literally miles of seams between logs in a log house.  After a number of conversations and experiments, we discovered there was no readily available product that could seal the gaps, look like authentic chinking, and last more than a few months.

After months of trial and error it became apparent that if we were going to design a material that would be acceptable to our criteria, we would have to design it ourselves.

The product we were designing was to be a replacement for what was known in the Log Home Industry as “chinking” – the sealant that historically provided the seal between the logs.  A chink is a gap – as in Biblical Times, “A chink in his armor’. Therefore, chinking is a material to fill a gap. Throughout the centuries of constructing dwellings out of logs, numerous methods were used to seal in between them. Early builders used pretty much anything they could get their hands on to seal the gaps – mud, straw and mud, cow manure, or mixtures of cement and mortar.

This Michigan log home was completed by the homeowners over 2 years in 2016-2017. Red pine logs were regionally sourced from Wisconsin and northern Michigan. The homeowners peeled, sanded, stained, and sealed the log home themselves, making this home a beautiful labor of love.

The exterior is finished with Lifeline Ultra-2 Sequoia with Advance Gloss, and log gaps sealed with Perma-Chink Stone. Interior logs and beams were finished with Lifeline Ultra-2 Dark Natural and Advance Gloss topcoat for the rest. Gaps were filled with Energy Seal - Dark Natural for interior, Dark Walnut for exterior gaps.

"Using your products was so effortless with easy application, no odor, and easy clean up. We have recommended Perma-Chink to others who have log homes in the area." - Roger & Diane G.



How do I know what color PCS stain will be on my house?

Transparent stains develop color differently, depending primarily upon the wood species, the surface preparation, the application method and the kind of light illuminating it. Even photos can be edited in a way that alters the true color.

The only way you will really know how the stain will look is to try it on your wood. We will provide complimentary samples of Lifeline for you to try on your own wood before purchasing the product.

Not just Beautiful, but also Durable!

In addition to building a strong home, you want to build a beautiful home, too, which is why the finished appearance of your logs is so important. No doubt that high-quality finishes will save you time and money in the long run. Longer lasting PCS finishes equates to less labor expense over the life of the finish.

Q: How do I know what color the stain will be on my house?

A: Transparent stains develop color differently, depending primarily upon the wood species, the surface preparation, the application method and the kind of light illuminating it. Even photos can be edited in a way that alters the true color. The only way you will really know how the stain will look is to try it on your wood. We provide complimentary samples of LIFELINE for you to try on your own wood before purchasing product.


Q: Where do I use LIFELINE Acrylic clear finish on log homes?

A: Acrylic Gloss or Satin is an interior furniture-grade finish. Use it on log walls, ceilings, or any other vertical wood surface. Unlike the solvent-based finishes, it will never yellow and has no fumes. You can apply the clear finish by multiple methods - spray it, brush it, or wipe it on with a rag. It is available in Gloss or Satin sheen. 


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