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When Is It Time to Re-Stain Your Log Home?

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:

Annual Inspection

An annual inspection and exterior wash are an easy way to stay on top of your home’s maintenance needs. Sometimes a stain may look faded when, in fact, its appearance is just dulled by layers of dust, dirt and pollen. A simple wash will brighten everything up and return your home to its sparkling beauty. Ideally, this annual cleaning and inspection is done in late spring, after pollen season. A product like Log Wash from Perma-Chink Systems, Inc., which is environmentally friendly and is formulated with low pH, cleans the wood and preps it for a new coat of stain or topcoat if one is needed.

Water Test

Washing your home is also the perfect opportunity to do a water test, which tells you if you need to reapply a topcoat or the stain. When you wash your home, if you see water sheeting over the logs and being repelled, it’s a sign that the finish is working. If you’re unsure, perform a spot test by using a spray bottle to spritz a small section of the dry log with water. If the water soaks in, it’s an indicator that you need to re-apply the finish. If it beads up, your finish is working and you’re in good shape.


Fading Beauty

Stains add color and dimension to logs, enhancing a home’s aesthetic. However, they play another critical role. A log home’s stain, whether oil or film-forming, is responsible for protecting the wood. So, when the looks begin to fade, that means the protection is too. Keep an eye out for areas where your wall color is beginning to fade, indicating it’s time for reapplication.

Tape Test

What if you purchased an older log home and don’t know what was applied prior to your arrival? Conduct a tape test! Simply take a short strip of high-adhesive masking tape and place it on the exterior wall, making sure the tape has good adhesion, then pull it off. If you see 50% or more pigment or stain color on the tape, that’s an indicator that not only do you need to re-stain the exterior, but you need to strip it down to bare wood. If you apply a new stain on top of a product that is peeling or flaking off, the new product isn't going to stick.


Re-Application Made Easy

Once you’ve assessed your home and decided it’s time to reapply, Perma-Chink’s products not only prevent fading but also make application easier in the future. Unlike most film finishes, Perma-Chink’s system is a two-step process that involves a stain, such as LIFELINE™ Exterior, Ultra-2, or Ultra-7, Accents, then a finish. The extra step of adding a topcoat finish may seem like more work at first, but it saves you maintenance headaches down the road. That’s because with the LIFELINE brand, the stain protects the wood and the topcoat protects the stain, therefore extending the life of the stain.

Because the topcoat protects the stain, it may be years before you find that the stain needs to be re-applied. With conventional film-forming products or an oil-based stain, the stain will likely need to be re-applied every 2-3 years depending on the sun exposure.

Alternatively, if your log home has been repeatedly treated with an oil-based stain, it might be a good candidate for Log & Timber Defense. This product is a stain and sealant in one. It’s not film-forming and performs more like an oil by penetrating the wood.


Looks and Longevity

Knowing how to take care of your log home and choosing products that make maintenance easy will help ensure the beauty and durability of your log home for years to come. With Perma-Chink Systems, you get peace of mind, gorgeous looks, and a minimal maintenance routine that will give your home the longevity you desire. Order your stains today at or call us at 1-800-548-3554. 

Last modified on Tuesday, 04 June 2024 20:49