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What Does Summer Heat Mean for Your Log Home Exterior Staining Project?

Some DIY homeowners assume that hot weather simply means that the log finish freshly applied on their log home will dry faster. While this is true, there are circumstances when stained log surfaces dry too quickly. Once the finish is on the wall, it does not really matter if it gets hit by direct sunlight a few hours later. It’s the surface temperature during the application process that’s critical.hotweather

How Hot is Too Hot to Stain My Log Home and Deck?

A general rule of thumb is that stain can be applied when the outside temperature is between 40°- 90°F. However, temperature for application is based on the surface temperature of the logs, not the temperature of the air. For instance, a wall in the sun can be 10-25 degrees hotter than the surrounding air.

Can I Stain My Log Home in Direct Sunlight?

It’s best to avoid staining in direct sunlight, especially during the hot summer months. The heat causes the stain to dry out too quickly which prevents it from brushing out properly, resulting in brush marks, lap marks, and inadequate adhesion.

What Part of the Day is Best for Applying Finish to My Log Walls?

For exterior log walls, start as early in the morning as possible, after any dew has evaporated. As the sun rises and areas of the house become shaded, work around the house staining the shaded areas as the sun moves East to West.

What Happens When You Apply Stain to the Log Surface Hotter than 90 F?

  1. Water-based stains cure by the proper evaporation of water, leaving behind the pigments and protective coating. When water evaporates too rapidly, the ingredients/pigments will not disperse evenly for best adhesion.
  2. Brush marks and lap marks may occur, resulting in an uneven look of the finish.
  3. Uneven thickness of the stain coat on the surface will result in blotchy appearance.

Will Humidity Affect the Drying Process of the Stain on the Logs?

The best drying will occur when the relative humidity is 40% to 70%. The ideal temperature for staining is 70 degrees with humidity around 50%. To eliminate dew and condensation on logs that can create uneven sheen, allow approximately 2 hours for the coating to dry before sunset.

PRO Tips for Applying Stain to Log Homes in Hot Weather:

  1. Work or move around the house to avoid the sun as much as possible. Work in the shade when possible.
  2. You must keep a “wet edge” at all times. This means a lot of stain on the tools and working fast to avoid lap marks. 
  3. Use heavy duty brushes that hold a lot of stain. Professionals typically use 4” high quality brushes. They are heavy and bulky when loaded with stain. Invest in quality brushes.
  4. Always “box” your stain and make sure it is completely mixed. Colors can slightly vary from one pail to the next. Use another bucket to mix gallons (like a 5 gallon bucket). Be mindful of the stain in your bucket and keep it closed when taking breaks. 
  5. Buy a laser temperature measurement tool and monitor surface temperatures throughout the job.
  6. Avoid staining when humidity is extremely high or right after a heavy rainstorm. Stop working if temperatures exceed the limits.
  7. If in need of a professional help, visit our Find A Contractor tool and choose log home contractors near you.
Last modified on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 16:02

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