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What was once only considered an appropriate aesthetic for isolated homes nestled in the woods, the log home look has grown in popularity in small towns and sub-divisions alike. You can see these virtually anywhere these days, as more and more people are attracted to their rustic and homey appearance. Like any type of wooden siding material, log siding should be stained and sealed to last longer and retain its look. But what stain is right for it? We've researched numerous brands to help you make your decision.
The best stain for your log siding will depend on what qualities you are looking for in a stain. Below are five highly rated log siding stains, each with their own unique set of strengths:
- Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain
- Outlast Q8 Log Oil
- Continental Weather Seal
- Defy Water Repellant and Wood Stain
- PPG ProLuxe Log and Siding Finish
Making sure the stain selected fits your needs is important. Keep reading to figure out which one might work best for you. We'll also be discussing how often you should stain your log siding, how to prepare the siding for staining, and more!
Selecting the right stain for your log siding
The type of stain you select will be based in part on what you want to accomplish with it. Maybe you're looking for a certain hue, or maybe you want the one that lasts the longest. Or perhaps you are attracted to the type of stain that is the easiest to apply or the one that is the most environmentally friendly. We've chosen some of the most popular brands of stain to fit your needs here.
Best log siding stain for value
When we measure value, we look at how much you're getting for your dollar. This brand only requires one coat, and that single coat goes a long way. It is also remarkably less expensive than other brands, adding to your value. This is an easy to maintain stain and has built-in UV protection. You can apply it with a pump sprayer, making the application even easier and faster. It also comes in a variety of colors for you to choose from.
Best log siding stain for longevity
Continental Weather Seal is one of the most durable, long-lasting stains on the market today. This log siding stain brand is long-lasting and can last several years beyond other brands in its class. This has built-in UV protection, helping resist harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun. Minimizing sun damage will make your siding last longer and keep its natural look going strong.
Best log siding stain for low maintenance
If you want a stain for your log siding that makes maintenance easier, PPG ProLuxe is your brand. Its sealing agents are extra dirt and grime repellant, meaning you just need to hose it off throughout the year. No power washing is needed. And, it's long-lasting chemical compounds mean that you can stretch the amount of time between application and re-application.
Best log siding stain that is multi-purpose
Continental Weather Seal isn't only one of the leading brands of log siding stain for longevity, it's also a preferred brand for multiple surfaces. Sometimes you'll want to use leftover stain on other projects. With this brand, you'll be able to do just that. While you can usually use log siding stain on other wood, this brand is formulated to be used on decking, wooden furniture, and other wood projects in and around your home.
Best log siding stain for the environment
Being environmentally conscientious can be carried over into what log siding stain you choose for your home. The Defy Water Repellant and stain will put a durable, lasting coat on your log siding while at the same time being eco-friendly.
Best log siding stain for resisting bugs
Should your primary concern be bug issues, Outlast Q8 Log Oil is a popular stain to consider. If you already have log siding, you know what a problem bugs can be and what issues can arise from having them eat away and nest inside your wood pieces. This brand is one of the most bug resistant on the market and will help keep vermin away for years to come.
How often should a log home be stained?
The amount of time between staining your log home will depend on several variables. A moist climate will wear through the seal, making your stain fade faster. The brand of stain and sealer will also impact how long you can safely go in between re-application.
Generally speaking, you should stain and reseal your log siding every three to five years. Performing an annual inspection of your siding is a must, as you'll be able to identify pieces of siding that need to be removed and quickly replaced because of rot or other damage. You'll also be able to periodically check on the condition of your stain to determine if it's getting close to time to re-stain it.
If you've used a quality stain and sealer, and are actively replaced problem pieces of log siding, then you should have no problem going at least five years between applications.
Can you use a deck stain on a log cabin?
Some stain brands are multi-use and can be used on wooden siding, decking, and wooden furniture. Check the label on your brand to see if it's recommended for this purpose prior to purchasing.
How do you prepare a log cabin for staining?
There are several steps to properly prepare your log cabin or log siding for staining. Following these steps will increase the amount of time you'll have between re-applications.
Walk around your home, and inspect each piece of siding. Look for vermin, mold, and rotted pieces. If you have to remove and replace any pieces, now is the time to do it. Fill any large cracks with a backer rod.
Carefully inspect knotholes as they are notorious for molding and mildewing first. You can spot them because they become much darker when contaminated. Use a bleach/water solution to coat problem knotholes. Rinse off this solution thoroughly.
Using a garden hose and sprayer, wash the siding. If you've used the right kind of sealer, you shouldn't need to use a power sprayer or pressure washer. But if you need to, it will be safe to do so, so long as you take certain precautions. For more about power washing a log cabin or log siding, read further in this post.
You'll now want to remove the old sealer and stain. For this, you'll probably need to rent a sandblaster and have it loaded with dry ice or corn pellets.
Using an orbital sander, sand every exposed piece of wood. Be thorough, as this not only removes any stain that the blasting didn't, but it also re-exposes the wood pores so that the new stain will soak into the wood much better.
Using your hose and sprayer again, give your siding a good rinse. You'll want all of the sawdust from the sanding removed before you move on to the final step.
Now you're ready to stain your log siding. How you apply the stain can vary by brand, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. Seal the stain after you've applied several coats. With a little luck and continued routine maintenance, you won't need to do this for another five plus years.
Can you pressure wash a log cabin?
Pressure washing provides a deep and thorough surface cleaning. You can use a pressure washer on your log cabin or log siding if you take proper precautions. Keep the wand moving at all times. Too much pressure for too long will damage the sealer and the stain.
It's also a good idea to know if there are any gaps or holes in your log siding. You'll want to avoid pressure washing those areas until they are remediated.
If you use the right sealer, you shouldn't have to pressure wash at all. Certain brands make cleaning your log siding quick and easy, with only the application of a garden hose and sprayer.
There are a lot of options for log siding stains on the market. Knowing what you want to accomplish with your staining is the first step in selecting the right one. Picking the proper stain might eliminate certain kinds of maintenance, as well as being able to avoid power washing. No matter what stain you select, be sure to apply it in accordance with its manufacturer's instructions.
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