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What Do I Use on the Interior of My Logs and Timbers?

What Do I Use on the Interior of My Logs and Timbers?

The inside 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. In this way, you will achieve an interior that is visually pleasing and performs well for years.

Two Traits

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

1. Surprising amount of surface area. Interior walls and ceilings dramatically increase the amount of surface area that requires treatment - there is about twice as much stainable interior surface versus the exterior. You’ll be looking at your stain choice years to come throughout your entire home. Choose wisely the color and stain product.

2. Choices, choices, and more choices. During a new build, homeowners are faced with hundreds of decision points along the way. It’s common for homeowners to ask the general contractor (GC) for advice, which is typically the "safe," neutral off-white color. A GC wants to stay on schedule, but selecting your interior stain takes a little time. You can’t undo stain without a lot of added expense and time removing the old finish and applying the new finish.

What’s Your Color?

To make the best choice for your log home’s interior stain, think about how you spend time inside your home and the feeling you want to create. Does the space have abundant, natural light? Do you prefer cozy, dark walls and a lighter ceiling or a bright, fresh feeling with lighter walls? Another consideration is that wood absorbs light, so a darker stain may translate into a much darker room than you anticipated.

Then there is the tint base. Do you prefer browns, reds, grays, or a bleached look? Like many things, wood stain decisions can follow design trends, or stay within classic choices. Explore your options and be sure to choose a tint that will look beautiful to you over time. You can always darken a lighter stain, but not the reverse.

Perma-Chink Systems' Family of Colors

To order FREE color samples visit, our store here.

Distinct Needs

Not all interior wood is the same. Logs and heavy timbers are not like the wood of cabinets, moldings, and furniture. These smaller wood products are usually sprayed with nitrocellulose lacquer for protection, giving them a hard, shiny finish. Larger timbers and logs are more dynamic than cabinets, tables, and trim. If you try and put a similar lacquer on your interior log walls, the finish will crack and peel as these larger pieces of wood naturally contract and expand.

Some homeowners wonder if they can go "au natural" with their interior wood, avoiding the protection an interior finish provides. While interior logs may not be subjected to the same elements as their external counterparts, they will absorb cooking oils and odors, collect dust, handprints, and water stains if not protected. There’s another reason to finish them: Have you ever run your hand across rough-cut wood? It feels mildly like sandpaper. All those little crags and jags on the surface need to be covered in a light film; one that’s strong enough to be wiped down and protect the wood while remaining flexible enough to not crack as the log expands, shifts, and contracts over time.

Choose a stain that’s designed for its job. Exterior stains contain higher levels of biocides and preservatives that you don’t need or want inside your home, especially where you’re eating and sleeping. This is also why you want to avoid an oil-based stain. Oil-based products have high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are extremely unhealthy in enclosed spaces. 

Smart & Attractive

Start with a stain that gives you the aesthetic and exact level of transparency you desire. Here at Perma-Chink Systems, we recommend using one of our Lifeline Interior stains, which come in a wide array of tones, including clear. After staining, add one or two clear coats of interior finish; Lifeline Acrylic or Sure Shine, a water-based poly finish. Both add just enough film to protect your logs and minimize scratchiness so they can be easily wiped and cleaned. Lifeline Acrylic and Sure Shine come in gloss or satin.

These stains also contain the right amount of UV protection to avoid “picture framing.” Picture framing is the shadowy discoloration that remains on the wall when you move a bookshelf or a picture. Your stains should not dictate how you can decorate your home, if you're trying to cover outlines of wall hangings. Perma-Chink interior stains and finishes will ensure that the inside of your log home is just as breathtaking and gorgeous as the outside.

To order color samples, visit our store here.

Last modified on Friday, 16 February 2024 17:14