Removing Finishes With Chemical Strippers
If the existing stain is completely worn out, and needs to be removed, finish remover (chemical strippers) is an option. Finish removers do not dissolve finishes; they only soften them enough to allow the finish to be removed with pressure washing. Some finish removers are more environmentally-friendly than others. Never use finish removers containing potassium or sodium hydroxide as they disrupt the chemistry of the wood, leading to discolorations appearing under the finish. Before purchasing any finish remover, be sure to obtain a sample and test it on your existing finish to see how well it works. You can order your free samples online of StripIt or S-100 by clicking on the product name.
To see a video displaying how S-100 works, click here.
Removing Finishes By Sanding Logs
Sanding perhaps? The problem is trying to work with a flat belt on round logs, (with lots of corners and crevices), it is time consuming and a lot of work.
The use of sanding disks rather than sandpaper can save you both time and money, but you need to be careful not to create swirl marks in the wood. When sanding exterior surfaces, never use anything finer than 80 grit. You can order Sanding Disks and Osborn brushes here.
Removing Finishes by Using Media Blasting
Sandblasting is yet another alternative, but sand chews up the logs and you are left with a whole pile of it surrounding the house.
A faster and also environmentally-friendly method of removing old finishes from log homes is the Blaster-Buddy. Instead of sand, the blast media used to abrade the finish off the wood is recycled crushed glass. We prefer crushed glass since it is very efficient, relatively inexpensive, and does not impregnate the wood with organic material that can later mold. Also, it is lighter than sand so it removes the stain but doesn't harm the wood as much. With dry media, you don't run the risk of blowing water into your house. It will re-expose those beautiful logs in one day and affords minimal cleanup.
There Are Options To Make Your Project A Success
Restaining a log home can be a traumatic process if you're unaware of the best methods of finish removal, but it is a necessary evil. Do it right - do it as cleanly, efficiently, and easily as possible. You can rent the equipment and do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you. We usually advise do-it-yourself homeowners to use chemical finish removers along with pressure washing because the process can be easily accomplished by the average homeowner. And since it is less susceptible to surface damage, chemical finish removers result in a more attractive finished surface. And we all know the best result of a project is ensuring a proper foundation - or prep work - goes along way in making the job go smoothly.