pcs connections

dave aurbeck photo2Using reclaimed barn wood makes a great architectural statement as well as adding unique characteristics which are found on each indivdual piece of wood.

David Aurbeck, a dealer for Expedition Log Homes, used 200-year old reclaimed barn wood for the floor on one of his model homes. The result is stunning! David did this by using loft flooring he found in an old farm barn. He prepared the surface with Prelude wood primer, followed by two coats of Lifeline Interior stain in Walnut color. David carefully applied the stain by using felt/foam pads. Then he used a fence staining applicator to apply five coats of Sure Shine gloss clear top finish (he sanded after the first coat).

dave aurbeck photo3He also used Prelude wood primer and Acrylic Satin topcoat on the interior walls and knotty pine ceiling.

dave aurbeck photo1“I love your products and they work great in central Illinois” says David. “These pine handcrafted logs were prepped with Log Wash cleaner. I used Lifeline Ultra-2 Sequoia on the exterior. I applied two coats on all areas but 3 on the prow and side of the garage due to high sun exposure. I then applied one coat of gloss over everything. The second coat was then satin (a third coat of satin on sun areas). The combination gave it some depth without the glare”.

To see more pictures of this model home visit https://www.facebook.com/PerfectLogHomes

Over the past several years we have discovered many things about cleaning wood and existing finishes.

Dusty-copyFirst and foremost is that chlorine bleach is not a good product to use. In addition to its potential for damaging the finish and bare wood fibers, its use and misuse contributes to a number of problems including the loss of film adhesion, discolorations due to tannin extraction, and the formation of iron tannates, streaks, blotches and premature failures of the finish system. 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 interfere with the proper performance of our finish systems.

With this in mind we have decided that the ONLY cleaning products approved for use with our finishes are those products supplied or recommended by Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. We are not doing this to increase our sales of cleaning products. It is simply because 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 the final Lifeline™ finish. We cannot say the same about the use of other types and brands of wood cleaners and strongly discourage their use with any of our Lifeline stains.


ruhnu churchAccording to legend, developoment of human society began when a monkey used a wooden stick to reach for a fruit. Since then timber has been used for tools and building material for housing.

    • So far the oldest known timber construction is in Finland and is about 4000 years old.

    • The oldest log house construction has been found near Lake Ladoga, Russia and is assumed to be erected around 800 BC.

    • The Norwegian Borgundi Church dates back to 1200 AD.

    • The exportation of log products began in 1958.

    • 70% to 80% of the energy needed to produce timber products is gained from leftovers of the timber production cycle.

    • Log houses are resistant to earthquakes! They can slant, but not fall apart, therefore log houses can be fully restore.

Source: RPM Log Homes


ext28-copyThere often comes a time, usually over the course of many years of neglect, when you may choose to remove all existing finish and reapply a fresh coat. There are a few methods that can be used; either the dry media blasting process or pressure washing, which at times may need a chemical stripper first applied. Both have their advantages and both can provide stellar results. The variables that should be considered when deciding which process is best for you include:

  • Stain condition and how much of it needs to be removed,
  • Type and age of wood,
  • Accessibility to the walls,
  • Your budget or how much time you wish to invest if doing the project yourself and what your expectations in the finished look may be.

The process that is best for one house isn’t necessarily the best for another. Let’s take a look at two options below:


OPTION 1: Using a Chemical Finish Remover Step-by-Step

It is always best to use finish removers supplied or approved by Perma-Chink Systems. Never use finish removers containing potassium or sodium hydroxide. They disrupt the chemistry of the wood and can lead 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. Finish removers do not dissolve finishes; they only soften them enough to allow the finish to be removed with pressure washing.


Before you start have all of the tools that you will need at hand and be sure that they are clean and in good working order. These may include:

  • Paint brushes Paint scraper
  • Stiff nylon brush (never use a wire brush) Airless sprayer*
  • Wet and dry rags Water hose
  • Gas powered pressure washer with an output of 2 to 3 gallons per minute (gpm) Tarps
  • Recommended safety equipment such as eye protection and rubber gloves.



preparation step by step guideaBefore you start make sure to remove downspouts and cover or mask off any areas that you don't want to strip. Finish removers will soften both stains and paints. You may wish to protect window and door trim with plastic sheeting. If you do get some finish remover on an area that you don't want to strip, immediately wash it or wipe it off with a wet rag. If you have a deck or porch floor that you want to protect it's best to cover it with a tarp. Although neither S-100™ nor StripIt® is highly toxic to plant life it is best to either cover plants or wet them down prior to starting then rinse them off when stripping is complete.


Application and Removal

application and removal step by step guideaStep 1. Thoroughly read the label and be sure to wear the proper safety equipment and eye protection. Starting at the bottom of the wall apply the finish remover with a brush or airless sprayer according to the directions for use. Be sure to follow the directions pertaining to the application rate; if applied too thinly the finish remover may not work and you will have wasted your time and money. Be sure to give the product time to work. On hot dry days; work on small sections of a wall at a time so that it does not dry out.

Step 2. Allow the finish remover time to soften the finish. It may take 30 minutes or several hours depending on the existing finish, product and temperature. If you see that the S-100™ is beginning to dry, mist it with a light spray of water. For drying StripIt® apply another coat on top. In colder weather conditions it may take many times longer for the finish to soften than it does in warm or hot weather. On cool days you can apply the finish remover to the entire wall late in the afternoon or early evening and leave it on overnight. Neither S-100™ nor StripIt® will damage the wood or cured Perma-Chink sealant even with prolonged contact.



step three 2step three 1Step 3. Once the finish has softened use a pressure washer to remove the chemical stripper along with the finish. The use of a 15 degree fan tip works well. Start at the bottom of the wall and work up. You don't want to wash away the chemical stripper from those areas you are not ready to strip. Hold the pressure washer wand at a 30 to 45 degree angle from the wall (3A). The objective is to “peel” the softened finish off of the surface, not blast it off with a lot of water pressure (3B). This will help avoid gouging the surface and severe feathering. If there are some spots of remaining intact finish try scraping them off with a paint scraper or a stiff nylon brush before they dry.


Step 4. Once the entire wall is completed, begin the rinsing process starting at the top of the wall and work your way down. Rinsing off all remaining chemical residue and bits of loose finish is very important for the long term performance of the new LIFELINE™ finish system.


Step 5. If after rinsing there are still remnants of finish remaining on the wall, repeat the process until all of the existing finish is removed. It is not necessary to reapply the stripper to the entire wall. Only use it on those areas that need it.


Step 6. Once the entire wall is completely bare rinse the entire wall starting at the top and work your way down. Allow the wall to dry before making your final evaluation.


step sevenStep 7. If pressure washing the wall has feathered the surface you may wish to lightly sand it or use an Osborn™ Brush to remove the feathered wood fibers. Never use sandpaper or Osborn™ Brushes finer than 80 grit on exterior surfaces. Sanded or brushed surfaces MUST be washed with two cups per gallon Log Wash™ solution and the surface allowed to dry before the first coat of finish is applied.









OPTION 2: Media Blasting

How-to-Remove-Existing-Finishes-14-1Although we rent and sell the Blaster Buddy™ and furnish crushed recycled glass blasting media we usually advise do-it-yourself homeowners to use chemical finish removers along with pressure washing because the process can be easily accomplished by an average homeowner and since it is less susceptible to surface damage it results in a more attractive finished surface. However, when performed by an experienced professional, media blasting can effectively and efficiently remove the most stubborn existing finish. We do recommend that you first inspect a home that has been media blasted before making your final decision about which method of finish removal you want to use.


Media blasting consists of using corncob grit, walnut shells, glass beads, baking soda, dry ice or recycled crushed glass to abrade the finish off the wood. We prefer crushed glass since it is very efficient, relatively inexpensive and does not impregnate the wood with organic material that can later mold. Plus it is very safe for the environment.

Once a home has been media blasted there are two steps that are often overlooked but need to be followed:


Step 1. Blow off as much dust and debris as possible using compressed air.


Step 2. Wash the wall down two cups per gallon Log Wash™ solution no more than seven days prior to staining. It is not necessary to use a pressure washer, a garden hose will do. Clean from the bottom up and rinse from the top down. Rinse well and allow the wood to dry before applying a color coat or Prelude Clear Wood Primer. This removes all of the loose wood fibers and dust that may still be remaining on the surface and ensures better adhesion of the finish to the wood.



sandingSanding can effectively remove an existing finish but 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.

Water-based film forming finishes require some wood texture for good adhesion, especially on exterior surfaces. Osborn™ Buffing Brushes work great for removing raised wood fibers (feathers) that may have resulted from aggressive pressure washing but they are not suitable for removing finishes.






A sanded wall is not clean!
Always wash down sanded walls with two cups per gallon Log Wash™ solution no more than seven days prior to staining. It is not necessary to use a pressure washer, a garden hose will do. Clean from the bottom up and rinse from the top down. Rinse well and allow the wood to dry before applying the first coat of finish.

wood before buffing wood after buffing
Wood Before Buffing Wood After Buffing


The initial reason we developed Log Wash™ was as a mild cleaner for cleaning finished exterior surfaces. We found that all of the products typically recommended for general maintenance cleaning like Spic & Span, Mr. Clean or even mild dishwashing soaps softened finished surfaces during the cleaning process. This resulted in potential finish damage especially if a pressure washer or a brush was used. It turned out that the one thing these cleaners all had in common was their high pH. When we tried the Log Wash formulation we found that it hardened the surface of our finish system and no damage occurred to the finish even with vigorous scrubbing. It was only later that we discovered the benefits of using Log Wash on bare wood.

So what are some of the attributes that make Log Wash such a remarkable product for cleaning bare wood?

First and foremost is its pH. It is one of only a handful of cleaning products on the market that has a slightly acidic pH similar to that of wood. This means that when applied to wood it does not disrupt the wood’s chemistry thus avoiding many of the discolorations attributed to highly alkaline solutions like bleach or strong acids like oxalic acid. Another feature of Log Wash is that it’s easy to tell when it has been sufficiently rinsed off. While rinsing Log Wash it will foam as long as any residue remains on the wood. When the foaming stops it’s a good indication that the wall has been adequately rinsed.

One of the biggest surprises we encountered with the use of Log Wash on bare wood has been how well it removes some types of discolorations due to tannins or chemical imbalances. There have been several occasions when discolorations we thought would be difficult if not impossible to remove ended up being no problem at all with the application of a solution of two cups Log Wash per one gallon of water.


Since we started promoting the use of Log Wash for cleaning bare wood the number of compliments we receive from homeowners and applicators about its performance has increased. In addition, the use of Log Wash for maintenance cleaning has been proven to extend the life of the finish as well as keeping your home looking beautiful.

STOCK UP on Log Wash now you will be amazed with the results!

If you are finishing Western Red Cedar, Redwood, Walnut or Mahogany, use Cedar Wash™, a ready-to-use cleaner, instead of Log Wash for better surface preparation and finish longevity on these specific wood substrates. Read more about Cedar Wash™ here.

New Bare Wood or Restoration?

Have a log home that doesn't have a finish, either new construction or recently stripped? Read how Log Wash will prepare your bare log surfaces here


The authorities have spoken. Marsala, a gorgeous terracotta red shade, has been named the official color of the year by the biggest experts in the field - PANTONE®. The color authorities have been using Pantone® as an industry resource for decades. After announcing the color of the millennium in 1999 there was so much public interest that Pantone decided to name a color every year based on their extensive research.

photos of the marsala colorSo just how is the color chosen? “We have a committee at Pantone® and we’re all very well traveled, and we’re all invested in color and looking for clues that engage us,” says Leatrice Eisman, Executive Director of Pantone Color Institute. “If we’re seeing color in high fashion that’s where envelope is pushed first— before it goes more mass market.

Marsala Color Sample in HomeThe 2015 color of the year has wine and a very warm brown underneath, which gives the feeling of groundedness, strength, and confidence,” says Eisman. “It has a richness that lends sophistication. When you wear it is a self-fulfilling prophecy—you’ll find you get positive reactions from others and it builds up your confidence.” Eisman explains that we’ve seen glimpses of marsala in the late ‘60s into the ‘70s and a touch in the ‘80s, but it’s a very modern hue that totally suits the times. As a color expert, Eisman suggests pairing the shade with teal and aqua across the color wheel.


Read more about this color on Pantone color website


Log Home InteriorWe, at Perma-Chink Systems, think that Marsala will perfectly fit the log and timber home interiors. Nothing compliments wood better than earthy reds. The rich and full-bodied red-brown Marsala brings color warmth into home interiors and this stylish tone is universally appealing.

Our Lifeline Accents line includes similar color tone to Marsala. Try our Bordeaux, Cinnabar or Barn Red to accent your wood trims, cabinets, doors and other wood elements of your home. We will send you free samples of our Lifeline Accents interior or exterior stain.


Order over the phone or click here:

Click here to explore our log home interiors


Check out Spazzo, Italian Grill and Wine Bar Restaurant in Redmond, WA. is also using the Marsala color of the year in their table setting decor!

Do you have MARSALA color theme in your home? Share a picture with us here https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perma-Chink-Systems/139006522838860 or e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Download the "Inspection Checklist" in PDF here. pdf small

Exterior Inspection

When inspecting the general exterior of the building, look for:

  1. Landscape plants within 36 inches of exterior walls. Landscaping tips.
  2. Gutters & down spouts everywhere in good working order.
  3. Check for decaying wood within 12 inches of (or especially in contact with) ground.
  4. Wood piles at least 18 inches away from house.
  5. General patterns of fading of the finish.
  6. Look more carefully at areas that are most exposed to weather. South- and West-facing walls usually receive more sun exposure. Walls facing prevailing winds are exposed to more rain.
  7. Pay special attention to all logs and ends extending to or beyond roof overhangs.
  8. Make sure that no sprinkler directs water at the wall. Including water patterns on windy days!

Check for weathering patterns that can include:

  • Fading of the finish.
  • Water staining on exposed log ends.
  • Water staining on exposed walls.

Most preservatives offer some type of guidelines to the actual life expectancy of the product, but as a rule of thumb, left exposed to the elements, you can expect two to four years before a reapplication is necessary.

Typically, Shell-Guard is applied with a garden type pump sprayer, although for smaller jobs, a hand held mist type sprayer is more efficient. When in doubt, follow application recommendations found on the label.

The First Step to renewing your log home is cleaning the surface. On new wood sufaces brush or wipe off any extraneous debris that might be present. On the log surface where the buildup of fungi is under the surface of a stain or finish - power wash, strip or sand off this coating and wipe it down with a damp cloth or sponge prior to the application. There are several ways to clean dirty, weathered wood. The most common types of surface cleaners offered by Perma-Chink Systems:

After Cleaning with Wood ReNewBefore Cleaning with Wood ReNewWood ReNew - is an excellent surface preparation prior to staining or restaining, preserving or sealing.  Wood ReNew works well on logs, decks, fences and cedar shakes.
Wood ReNew is a concentrated powder that is mixed with water and applied to wood. It removes stains and discoloration caused by dirt, mildew, and mold-renewing the natural beauty of wood.

Apply solution liberally with sprayer, brush or mop from bottom up. Allow solution to work for ten minutes, keeping the surface wet with additional amounts of solution. When necessary, use a medium bristle scrub brush or stiff broom to help clean surface.

Since 1981, Perma-Chink Systems' log home sealants have proven themselves on thousands of chinked and chinkless style log homes to become the most widely applied log home sealants in the world and simply the best by every measure:

  • Longevity
  • Appearance
  • Performance
  • Ease of Application


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