The stain on your logs is the most important line of defense against the three main enemies of your logs. Those are the sun, (U.V. damage), moisture, and fungi. After proper preparation of the wood/logs, I believe it is one of the most important decision’s that is made for their longevity and beauty; you should use the best stains available, and not cut corners on quality. There are many stain manufacturers out there. BEST WOOD PLANER
They all claim to be the best and do an excellent job of protecting your logs from the element’s, etc. But from my experience, most of them do not. One of the most common area’s of shortcoming I see is the U.V. protection provided by stains.
I see many log homes where the sun is actually sun burning the wood, and turning it black right through the stain. Many times this happens in one to three year’s after application of the stain. This is a prime example of the stain that was applied just not having enough U.V. inhibitors. It doesn’t do any good to have a stain that provides good moisture protection, but allows the sun to damage and destroy the wood cells underneath the stain!!
I use what I feel are the best stain’s available today. They are formulated to prevent the damaging effects of water, fungi, and U.V. radiation. They are a V.O.C. Compliant blend of natural and synthetic resins which penetrate wood pores to block out water and provide long-lasting protection. A unique feature is that these stains contain nutrient-free resins, instead of high levels of fungicide to prevent mold and mildew growth. There are many stains produced that have natural oils and minerals as key ingredients, that are actually food for mold and mildew spores. Staining your home with some of these products is like giving an invitation to all kinds of little critter’s to make a meal of your log’s! One example of this is Linseed oil based stain. I’m amazed at the number of stains that still exist out there that are linseed oil based. Obviously these stain manufacturers don’t have a clue about what their stains do and how they react to certain factors like the sun.
The very first log home I ever worked on had an existing stain on it that was linseed oil based. The sides of the home that got the most U.V. exposure were quite black. This wasn’t the typical sun damage concentrated on the upper curvature of the logs, but pretty much covered the whole log. I found out after doing some research about the fact that linseed oil has a photo-chemical reaction with ultraviolet rays that turns the wood black. This is on top of the fact that linseed oil is one of those natural oils that many organisms like to feed on. Like I mentioned before, its like candy-coating your house. I think that linseed may be fine to have in some stains if the amount is very minimal, but I still see no reason to have it in a stain at all. There are better ingredients to add as fillers to the stain.
The application method of the stain is the next most important step. First I mask off doors, windows, etc. Anything that we don’t want stain on. I protect concrete, bushes, and so on, with canvas tarps. Then, I use airless sprayers to get a large volume of stain on an area of the logs. The stain is then back brushed by hand to work it into to pores of the wood and even it out. This step is then repeated a second time, with the end result being that the wood has absorbed as much of the stain as it can, and the stain is applied evenly. This method gives the most uniform look, with the greatest amount of protection for your logs. The result is value for you, the homeowner. Your log home will last the longest period of time in between re-staining, with NO damage to the wood cells of your logs.