Home and Garden
How Often Should You Stain Your Wood Home?
by John Gary
Typically you can tell when it is time to stain your log cabin just by looking at the finish. If it appears dull, faded or is peeling and flaking than it is time for a fresh coat. However, some products or certain colour tones always appear dull or faded so the way to check these are to spray the home with water. If the water beads up and rolls down the wall than the finish is still in good condition.
How often you need to stain your log home will depend on the colour of stain you choose and how well you did the log staining prep work mentioned above. If you choose a light golden colour stain, then you may be looking at log home staining every couple years, as part of your ongoing routine of log home maintenance. The darker colours can last four to five years.
Additionally, you need to keep an eye on your logs. If you start seeing some grey areas or bigger checks starting to appear in the logs and the chinking, then you may have to apply a treatment and contact your log and stain provider for advice.
A lot also depends on how much time you have available. If you cannot commit the time to re-applying a stain every couple of years, then avoid semi-transparent stains which need reapplying every three to four years in favour of using stains which will last up to nine years.
Never use a transparent stain on the outside of your home. It does not protect against ultraviolet rays, and only lasts up to two years before seriously degrading. Semi-transparent stains work well in many applications, but when there is excessive damage to the logs and discoloration it is time to move to a solid stain which will cover and protect them the best.
There are also several ways in which you can make your log cabin stain last as long as possible. Among them is, first and foremost, to purchase quality stain. But that’s not the only way.
The best way to make your log cabin stain last as long as possible is to do your prep work. This includes reading the instructions thoroughly and asking questions of your stain dealer. Investigating the quality of the product you are using is also recommended, because you really do get what you pay for when you buy stain. Ways to prolong the life of the stain you are using include paying special attention to eaves and exposed wood ends, and possibly using a clear coat of stain over the top of the main coat.
The question of re-staining can be a little tricky for many homeowners because what often happens is that they are not sure what the finish is on the logs. We always recommend to go with stain manufacturer timelines which ranges from three to seven years for a semi-transparent stain all the way up to eight and even nine years with a solid stain.