Over the years we have discovered many things about cleaning wood. First thing we learned is "common" cleaners like chlorine bleach should never be used to clean your wood. We have also discovered that a number of wood and deck cleaners available at paint and hardware stores, home improvement centers, and Do-It-Yourself outlets contain components that can interfere with the proper performance of water-based finish systems.

Since a true wood cleaner was hard to come by, we developed Log Wash to be the ultimate log home cleaner. Log Wash is the ONLY cleaning product we recommend for use with our finishes. We have tested our cleaning products with our finish systems and have confidence that when properly used and applied, their use will result in the best possible appearance and performance of a Lifeline™ finish.

Log Wash is one of only a handful of cleaning products on the market that has a slightly acidic pH similar to that of wood. Much of our technical literature refer to pH as it relates to its impact on bare wood and finished surfaces. PH is a measure of alkalinity and acidity on a scale of 1 to 14, where 7 represents neutrality and numbers below 7 indicate acidic solutions. On the pH scale, each unit of change represents a tenfold change in acidity or alkalinity. Following is a representation of the pH scale with the pH of some common substances.

In the 1800s, building techniques were quite different than today’s standards. Homes have withstood the test of time, but despite the best efforts of the craftsmen centuries before and homeowners since, some homes reflect a troubled past.

Log homes that survived decades of storms, floods, and fire deserve to be restored, if nothing more than to be a historical reminder of the frontier life.

With that in mind, let us take you through a restoration of this 140-year-old home using today’s best wood restoration products.

Log Homes not only have the unique characteristic of logs and big timbers being design features, but most have handrails, decks or porches, and fencing to complete the homestead. Our friends over at Home Improvement and Repairs covered caring for outdoor wood, highlighting Deck Defense in a fence-staining project.

The exposed outdoor wood around log homes can face the most severe abuse. Decks are walked on and have furniture dragged across the surface, not to mention food and drink spills. Depending on location, decks and handrails have days or months of rain and snow exposure. A great fence stands strong against wind, being a racetrack for squirrels and chipmunks, and provides a backstop for soccer balls and baseballs. 

Color is a marvelous tool when it comes to finishing your log home, especially when picking the best log home finish for your home.

Log & Timber Home Living recently covered a luxury Montana home that was transformed solely by changing the colors of the home. The transformation is incredible, and it is hard to believe it is the same log home. These pictures are a sample of the before and after shots of the home, illustrating the change in color and decor.

Before After

Choosing the right colors can give your log and timber home a warm, traditional feel that brings about feelings of the frontier, surrounded by nature. Or, choosing the right colors can create a modern, welcoming log and timber home that mixes the classic log home with today’s design influence.

By Jared Turner

We often get asked this very question. To help answer this we must look to our experience both past and present. For 40 years now Perma-Chink Systems® has been working to develop products that meet both the demands of Nature and our Customers. The result of this experience has been a wide range of products that help solve specific needs. Our wood finishes can be split into four main categories: exterior film forming, exterior penetrating, interior film forming and specialty. Let us take a closer look at these products and discover what makes each one unique.


Calling our pigmented finishes “stains” can be a bit confusing, but we understand how finishes can be called a stain. The term “stain” implies that the wood fibers are stained with the colorants contained in the products. However, in the case of film-forming water-based finishes, like our Lifeline family of finishes, the wood fibers are not impregnated with the colorants. Our Lifeline finishes behave more like latex paints than penetrating oil-based stains. Yet we can refer to our finishes as stains or varnish since that is what the market is used to.


When I was growing up, I was fascinated with forts. I would often get together with friends from the neighborhood, and we would combine our resources and construct some rather elaborate fortresses. To test our handiwork we would end our session with a great battle to decide whose fort was superior. Fast forward nearly forty years and I am still helping design forts! At Perma-Chink Systems the forts we are building are designed to protect your home against the forces of nature such as sunlight, wind, rain, dust, insects and microorganisms. Let us take a closer look at what our fort looks like.


Why do my choices regarding surface prep, stain, and color matter?

When it comes to choosing a finish system for your log home exterior there are many factors to consider and depending on what choices you make it will have a significant impact on the longevity of the finish system. For example, some of these choices include surface preparation, type of stain, and color choice. Let us take a closer look at each one of these factors and discover how they each contribute to a systems performance.

Wood Renew™ - To pre-wet or not to pre-wet?

Fairly often we get questions about Wood Renew™ with reference to whether or not to wet the surface before application. First, I would refer to the label directions as to use and application. There is no mention of the need to wet the surface prior to application. However, there is mention of proper pre-mixing and allowing a bit of “dwell” time prior to application. This dwell time allows the thickeners to activate and aid in helping it to stay on the wall so it can do its work for better results.

Spring Cleaning! Steps to Prolong the Life of Your Log Home

Every Spring life begins anew. Flowers bloom, trees blossom, and the grass grows thick and green. And somehow we've decided the springtime is the perfect time to clean! Log homes have their own cycles of maintenance, slightly different than a stick-built home. We have found that in the springtime, it's an excellent time to get things ready for the summer and shake off the wet fall and winter. 

We will walk you through our recommended process for making sure your home keeps looking great for a long time. From cleaning, to inspection, to evaluating your log home's finish, we'll prepare you with a system that's easy to follow.

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Project Spotlight

  • Do you have an old stain that doesn't really show the warmth and beauty your home deserves? Ready to restore it to its natural look? It's easy to start by stripping old finishes using StripIt or S-100. Check Out This Video...

    Project Spotlight