Stains and Finishes
Beautify Your Log Home
The main task of finishing the logs is to repel moisture and protect against UV rays. Basically, all log homes should be refinished every 2 to 7 years. An easy test to determine if it is time to apply a new finish is to sprinkle several logs with water from the hose or a spray bottle. If the water is absorbed into the wood rather than repelled, then it’s time to refinish. If you are applying an oil stain, logs must be completely dry. Dry to the touch is good enough for water borne finishes.
The key to a good finishing coat is compatibility with what’s underneath. Preservatives and finishes must work together. If those two don’t get along, the finish coat will fail.
Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. has developed a family of compatible products so you don’t have to worry about this, just take an advantage of their research. It is certainly possible to apply water borne stain over an oil based finish. Remember, the main reason for re-applying any stain is typically that the initial stain is worn out or weathered off. To reinforce the beauty of your logs, always apply a SEMI-TRANSPARENT STAINS.
UV ray protection.
UV is short wave visible radiation from the sun. This high-energy stuff – is what causes tanning, sun bleaching, eye damage, cancer, etc. When these rays illuminate a log surface, they include a chemical reaction with the wood structure that in essence, decomposes the wood surface. This shows up as graying, or some type of color change. The goal of any exterior wood finish is to minimize the amount of UV that hits the wood. Water borne, (film forming) stains use a polymer resin to form the base of the stain – imbedded in this film then are tints, various UV blockers and absorbers, etc. The UV typically doesn’t damage the film (resin), but passes through the film to energize that chemical reaction with the wood that actually decomposes the wood under the stain.
Never use an interior clear coat designed and produced specifically for applying over your stain coat. When applying a stain, follow the shade. Use an airless sprayer to get the stain on the wall, and then back brush to even out any lap marks and runs or uneven concentration. Use a good brush and move fast and never leave a dry edge. Plan your application to always keep the wet edge.
Ultra high performance stains, such as Lifeline Ultra-2 have up to 5 times the tint loading as standard stains, therefore they block UV rays much more effectively. Use a scaffold or man lift. No matter what you use, start and finish a wall as soon and as consistently as you can.
Figure approximately 350 to 450 sq.ft. of coverage per gallon of stain. The actual number will be affected by the choice of product, age, porosity of the wood, as well as methods of application.