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What is best stain for exterior of log home?

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Without seeing photos of the house and knowing where it is I can't tell you if it is fair or not. We restore log homes. We have done some for less than that, and some for substantially more than that. It depends on the house and what it needs. If the house is being stripped, you should also see line items on the quote for borate application, log buffing, any caulking that may need to be done or chinking repair or the like, and which product they are installing. Some are better than others. Check licensing, check insurance, check the BBB rating.


Beth Borrego

Vice President

See Dirt Run Inc. Log Home Care

After reading this entire thread, I think I am going to go with an oil based stain. Either the one Terry used (TWP 100), or the WeatherSeal product.

The reasons for my choice are as follows:

I am a "do-it-yourself" kind of guy. With a water based stain/top coat, I feel there is a greater chance I could screw it up.

I'm concerned with flaking/peeling of the clear coat. My current house stain peeled and it really was a PITA to re-stain it. What a crappy job!

While there appears to be a lot of advances with the two step process, I still believe, particularly after reading this thread (Awesome thread, BTW), that oil is a better preservative than water. The folks who promote these new "green" coatings do not have the history of oil stains.

I've also heard once you go with a 2 step (water based) stain, you can't (at least affordably) switch to oil, while oil to water based is fine.

It seems, based on my research, builders use the two step process because it is easier and more profitable. I question whether they would go this same route if it were their own home?

FWIW, my home is a northern white pine new log home in the White Mountains of NH (1000' elevation).


Edit, Weatherseal site shows the results of testing a few stains. Their Weatherseal appeared to hold up much better than all the lesser known brands (with the exception of "Structures Nature One" which appeared to hold up extremely well), and at least as good or better than the more popular brands.

Anyone have an info or experience on Natures One?

Would you send me a copy if your "How to do " sheet?
Thanks Jim Email


I would highly recommend taking a look at Weatherall's stain line which includes UV Guard, UV Guard II and SuSTAIN.  Finally, I would recommend taking a look at their Competitive Stain Test brochure, the results might surprise you. 

Anyways, good luck and let us know if we can provide any further assistance or free product samples.  Please contact me at with any other questions.


“Quality Products at Great Prices”

Here is a video of our company using the Lovitt's brand of products for a clear cedar home restoration.

Our company is entering our 18th year of log home and cedar home restoration and we have been using the Lovitt's products exclusively.  We have restored and maintain hundreds of log homes yearly.

Our only mission is to provide our customers' with the highest quality product, offer a maintenance program that is reasonable, and be able to maintain a coating over a 10-12 year life span before a complete restoration is required again.

Lovitt's stains are the only option for us, we have tried using many other stains, film-formers (maintenance is super expensive), and everything in between.  Lovitt's stains penetrate, last a long time even in high elevations and waterfront locations, and are really easy to maintain over time.

Every log home owner should investigate the Lovitt's product offerings before making their final choice on a log home stain.  That initial choice, will either set the tone for a great experience or send you on the path to future nightmares. 

Bottom line, do your research....

MM Wood Restoration Projects   to view projects completed by MM using Lovitt's products, chances are there is a project that is similar to yours, take a look :)

Ray, I will add my "two cents" worth of first-hand experience and research over the past 25 years. When we had our log home built in 2007, we had a choice between Eoodguard and Sashco's Transformation stains. We were told that an independent study had been done and that the Transformation stain came out the best, despite the fact that the company had been using Woodguard for over 30 years. Natirally, we selected the Transformation stain. Once we saw teh finished product, it took awhile to get used to Transformation's glossy finish, but it looked nice and would hopefully last many years. 2 years later, it became dull in spots and we had to have the whole house restained. We had to do the same at year #4 also. Now at year #6, the Transformation stain not only needs to be done again, but it also has gotten mildew/mold on it, especially on the eaves. Talking to thers in the Northeats who have Transformation on their homes, we are learning that mold/mildew love it! Well, next year we are considering having the Transformation stain completely removed and applying CTA's Outlast Q8 Oil, which is very similar to the Woodguard product. So, from my research and experience, I would NOT recommend Transformation stain to anyone because it does not hold up under our weather conditions here and it also seems to be supportive of mold/mildew growth. Users of Woodguard and Q8 Oil report to me that it has lasted upward of 5-7 years on their homes here between applications! That sure beats restaining every 2 years!!


I work for the Continental Products Co. We make a wood stain product called WeatherSeal.

Go to the link below and you will see an independent outdoor test of numerous wood stains conducted by Hochstetler Milling, a log home manufacturer located in Loudonville, Ohio.

It will open your eyes to the performance reality of many popular log home stains being sold to the Industry

I took the photos and unfortunately I used my tablet to photograph which is not the best camera. ( I plan on returning to Hochstetler and photograph the weathered wood stains with a better camera.)  The photos vary to a degree because they were taken outdoors and the lighting conditions were constantly changing. Regardless it is self-explanatory. My suspicion with Transformation and their mildew problem is that it is a stain that is predominantly composed of linseed oil. I was recently at a structure that had Transformation on it and it was still tacky even though it was approximately one year since it had been applied. The tackiness may also have to do with plasticizers that may be incorporated in the formula.

FYI: Hochstetler is not, nor has been a customer of ours.  

Michael McArthur

The Continental Products Co.



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