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The construction on our log cabin has yet to begun, but there are so many many decisions to be made. What I am hearing is that log sliding, alot of it, on the walls can cause the inside to become dark, requiring alot of lighting day and night. I want that warm homey feeling, but afraid of the rooms looking dark. Any ideas as far as which rooms work better with sheetrock vs. tongue & groove?

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maybe someone can answer this for me - we have 12 inch pine T&G in our hallway (regular house) - looks like Johnnie Cash's house from the movie - we did some remodeling (took out a door) - so we had to add some new boards (which we had to special order from Maine) - the top section of that wall, the ceiling, and the other walls have aged to honey color - medium in tone. The new section is naked as we don't know how to match it up. The original boards were varnished only. So . . . we thought we would use some stain remover on this one wall - and use the "dirty" rag to bring the new boards up to the color of the old boards and then either re-varnish or stain the wall with a red tone - would this work? What are your thoughts?

Would the blended stain look funny as we won't be able to really bring it up to the same color as the rest of the wood? What about the red stain? - any other ideas?

That is the only concern I have with T&G - is when you remodel you do have differences in color.

As I mentioned yesterday, pine will age naturally. If the existing pine has been there a while, it has darkened to its maximum honey color. If you apply anything to the new raw pine, it will age darker than the existing. In order to keep it uniform, patience and natural aging is still the best policy. Depending on where in the room this is you might be able to trick the eye, until the natural aging process occurs. Wood species goes with wood, In our home we have a blend of pine, maple stained pine furniture, pine lamps stained fruitwood, etc. The pine knots seem to go and pick up the color in other wood species and stains and complements each other. If you use the red stain, depending on the layout of that section, it will enhance that it has been patched. The ideal is to camouflage. You may want to place a tall fig tree, piece of furniture, swags in that area, just to divert attention from it until it ages. Hope this helps. If you want to e-mail a photo of the area I would be able to make some suggestions. My address is If you want to check our website it is

We used drywall to divide off two bathrooms and bedrooms. The rest we used all wood including the master. I think the deep colors we used on the drywall helped as an accent to bring out the warmth of the wood.

For lighting you need to figure about 30 % more wattage than in a typical home. We used sconces, chandeliers, track with low voltage pendants, track with low voltage theatre style heads (provides cutoff accebt on stonework) and track with par halogen lamps.
We have a great room (living/dining/kitchen) and a full log wall with an arch dividing the great room from the back rooms of the home. A loft covers the back area and extends to form the kitchen area ceiliing. The log walls were sanded and a clear coat applied to keep them light. We did go with tongue and goove pine in the back hallway and bedroom, but the interior of the bathroom will have a combination of full log and sheetrock. We wanted to have the option of adding color to the walls here as well as ceramic tile. The only area of the home that is dark is the back entrance/mudroom/laundry which also has tongue and groove and two walls of full log, so we added track lighting using small heads to brighten it up. This room only has one window and it faces east. We put in two wall sconces on the interior hallway that we used tongue and groove in. There is so much light coming in the windows on the front half of the home that we do not have to worry about a dark home during the day. We also used the same small head track lighting on the kitchen ceiling and it looks great! I think it really depends on which direction your large windows face and how many you have as to whether or not you will have that cave-like feeling.
When you are deciding on the "lighting" for your log home, remember that not all the lighting needs to be of the installed variety. Canister lights, chandelliers and other ceiling lights are great, but be sure to include lots of outlets for ambient lighting......for end table lamps, floor lamps, etc. We also included several in-floor outlets in the great room and loft area to ensure that we could rearrange furniture just about any way we wanted, and still have a place to plug in a lamp. And on a final note, be sure your builder/electrical sub wires your outlets to be switchable. Our builder decided to shave a few dollars off the cost of construction, and we didn't find out our outlets were not switchable until it was too late! Now we have to walk over to each lamp and turn it on manually. Not that we don't need the exercise, but in a darkened room it can be dangerous!

Dealer for Expedition Log Homes
This is simply not the case.
If you choose clear coat finish on tongue and grove with log outside walls stained with light color stain, it will create the warm athmospher and feeling you are trying to create. Lakes States lumber in WI. sells to suppliers a pre-finished WP-4 ( 6 inch wide tongue and grove ) that looks great. Stay with lengths 8 ft and less. The cost, I believe, for pre-finished tongue and grove, is less, over all , then drywall.

When you add up the hanging/taping/priming/painting the dry wall you will find that if you are contracting the drywalling, you will spend more money to drywall. Also, with pre-finished tongue & grove, when its blind nailed in place its DONE ! No drywall dust from sanding, multiple coats etc.

You are not building a 'stick home', you are building a 'log home'. Stick with the plan ! Stay natural. In the basement, go wild with 3 of 4 walls dry walled but not the first floor or loft Area. Do the ceiling in wood tongue and grove as well.
Also, when installing the loft floor, do the sub floor in 2x6 tongue and grove end matched pre-finished on the underside that becomes your first floor ceiling. When installed, little scrap, and its all done. Pre-stain your loft logs with Velvit Oil 25% honey oak, 75% natural and then install the pre-finished on one side ( the underside facing the first floor ) and you are done with that part of the project.

You do not want to try finishing ceiling and ceiling logs overhead once installed ! Lakes States Lumber also pre-finishes tongue and grove- end matched 2 x 6 lumber knotty pine that looks great.
If you are doing full log, stick with natural log/wood finish inside. If you think you need more light, then put in more lights or more powerful bulbs. DO NOT SACRIFICE LOOKS FDOR BULBS !
Most State codes will require more window square foot space for natural lighting. Thermo paynes are very energy efficient so do NOT downsize the windows thinking you are saving money. Think 'out of the box' when building a log home. You are creating 'art' not square foot space. Stay with the plan, please !
Shelley --

How do I access your homepage to see more photos? Am interested in how the symphony turned out as I am planning to use it just not sure if I want to clear coat or go for a light stain color then clear coat. We've got spruce swedish cope.

This is probably one of the most frequently asked questions we hear when specifying finishes for each room. Although sometimes cost differences play a role in the decision making, most often it becomes an issue of personal preference and design flexibility options. On a more basic level, often we start off with logging or applying T & G on the inside of all the exterior walls. For example, in a bedroom located in the corner of the room, this would allow two walls of wood and two walls of plaster. Then there are always the different choices of ceiling finishes. Any combination of plaster, T & G, wood beams, crown molding, etc are possible.

Taking this bedroom as a good example, think about your interior décor. If you have a spectacular log or wood bed, it will typically “pop” more against a painted surface rather than a wood one. Two much of a good thing can sometimes lead to both architectural elements and furnishings to become lost and seemingly unimportant in a space. Of course, there is always the type of home that looks amazing with every inch swathed in wood and is completely acceptable so long as you understand that it is very difficult, messy and expensive to change the color of the stain should grow tired of it.

Most importantly, I would question the function of the space first. I read an excellent point from Diane- regarding water and toothpaste splatters on wood in the bathrooms. If the bath in question is a high use area, and you are not crazy about plaster, think of other alternatives like tile and stone. Even an entire bath wall from floor to ceiling in tile can be quite stunning, and yet so practical.

From a color standpoint, paint is one of the least expensive ways to change a look of a space and add personality. This is great in bedrooms, where tastes change as fast as people’s needs do. Color adds style, contrast and personality. The color of the room can dictate whether a room feels cool, or warm. Color can be chosen to reflect, or absorb light, altering the ambiance of a space and either exaggerating natural light or subduing it. Should you elect to trim out doors and windows in exotic woods or creative trim profiles, this trim against a painted wall will look amazing. If covering walls and ceiling in wood, detailed trim will again appear lost and lose some its architectural value so choose a more simple profile.

That doesn’t mean that if covered in wood, you are limited to one shade of natural honey stain. For variety, you could contrast lighter and darker stains to highlight certain areas. Semi-opaque stains can be used to softly introduce color, or take away color, like a whitewash or gray-based stain that does not compromise letting the grain of the wood shine through.

If you don’t want a particular room seem to “themey”, here is an example to help illustrate how to achieve this: Your kitchen has a wood floor, wood cabinetry, wood ceiling beams and the T & G on the ceiling is whitewashed, or stained with a creamy semi-transparent stain. Perhaps you did this because you wanted to lighten up a small kitchen with a flat ceiling tucked underneath a loft. In the adjacent breakfast nook, you have the perfect wood table that you bought on whim in a quant antique shop- with no chairs. Try selecting wood chairs and have them stained in the same whitewash look. In the great room, you don’t feel comfortable making such a commitment to the look. SO try adding lighter colored fabrics, maybe a few birch or painted picture frames or mirrors. Now you have continuity between these spaces, without making dramatic choices in all of the spaces.

It seems many of the replies to this post revolve around cost and maintenance. Although cost is important, I think what is most important is making the decision that you will love to live with in your “forever home”. As far as maintenance, although if properly sealed, it is true the interior will never need restaining and with painting at least every decade yo


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