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What is best stain for exterior of log home?

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I would very much like to receive your "How To" info on log home staining and sealing. Thanks

I use Permachink products. My house was built in 2001 and it still looks new. All I do is lightly wash off dust each year and put a new clear coat over the pigmented water based stain every 4-5 years.

I live in Maine.

Does it peel?

It does not peel at all. I used 2 coats of the pigment product followed by one coat of clear satin. Then as they recommend, I put on a second coat of clear a year later. I suggest you make sure the logs are quite dry before doing any permanent finishing.

Of all the products we have used over the years in our business, we have found Perma-Chink's to be the best.

Tim and Anita,

I work at Continental Products Company and we are the manufacturer of WeatherSeal. Too often bloggers have no expertise in their discussions but think they have and then make statements that are not correct. For the most part it is not intentional but nonetheless it creates an incorrect impression and can leave an uninformed person who is trying to educate themselves on a particular product with wrong information which then can lead them to making conclusions about a product that is just plain false. Here are two statements you make with certitude that are confused and misleading.

1. "Weather Seal is a solid stain and Woodguard is transparent." This statement categorizes WeatherSeal as a solid stain. The retail industry's categorizes a solid stain as a an opaque stain meaning one that is heavily pigmented like a paint so as to achieve a more complete hide. From my point of view the term solid stains is an oxymoron because in fact what it describes is a paint and not a stain. In my opinion a stain by definition allows the appearance of the wood grain to show through. Like WoodGuard or Outlast, WeatherSeal has a complete variety of colors that allows varying degrees of semi-transparency. WeatherSeal is NOT a solid wood stain.

WeatherSeal Colors:

2. "Woodguard last 4-5 years so does Outlast." What does that mean? I hear these type of statements about longevity of particular wood stains and to me it reveals a reckless disregard of numerous variables that affect the longevity of ANY field-applied coating on the one hand and a marketing ploy for the gullible consumer on the other. I can say with certainty regarding this type of longevity claim for a mineral/paraffinic oil based wood stain, that this claim may have merit if the building coated is not exposed to any type of weather. But under normal circumstances, this statement is pure hyperbole. I know because Continental has conducted numerous independent outdoor weathering tests on these products.

Outdoor weather tests:

Michael McArthur

The Continental Products Company


Hi Michael,

Curious, does weather seal have any wood preservative properties? I'm currently sampling weather seal and q8.

Thank you,


Legally, as dictated by the EPA; any direct wood preservative claim that references wood rot, mold, mildew, and insects must be registered with the EPA as well as each individual State the registered coating is sold in. Each State registration imposes a fee to the registered paint product. Additionally, it is my understanding, that to obtain such a registration toxicity testing of the entire formula is required. In the past, all that was required from the paint company's particular formula to obtain a wood preservative EPA registration was only the data created by the manufacturer of the wood preservative. Consequently the paint manufacturer could piggy back the toxicity data that the maker of the wood preservative additive provided when applying for an EPA registration. Because of the change in testing requirements, the cost to run standard toxicity tests on the entire paint/stain formula generally exceeds the benefit in added sales that such a wood preservative claim might provide. It is also my understanding, and I may be wrong, that Q8 and WoodGard somehow were allowed to grandfather in their previous, less costly registrations. Finally, to answer your questions about WeatherSeal's Preservative properties as legally defined, I cannot give a specific answer but what I can say is that WeatherSeal does provide good protection against nature’s elements.

I would add that, in general, wood preservatives mixed in with the stain are not as effective on their own as those that are applied to the bare wood, then covered over and sealed in by a high-performance stain. Those left on the surface (in the stain) are generally degraded much more quickly by normal erosion, UV degradation, etc., leaving the underlying wood susceptible to those things you were trying to prevent in the first place. 

--- Charis w/ Sashco

My cabin builder is using Messmers Timberflex Alaskan Log Home Formula. It is a three step process, but looks great and should last for 10-years.
I sent this company an e-mail asking a few questions about their stain and 3rd clear coat. The stain portion is an oil based stain they advertise having lots of solids ( protects UV rays better then few solids ). I will wait on their reply about the 3rd and final clear coat. Any coating that coats the log surface that does not allow the logs to breathe can trap moisture. The initial look is great but in time if its trapping moisture and subsequant coats also trap moisture this will be a long term serious concern. Also, what happens when you are ready to restain ? Do you now need to strip the clear coat off before applying the 2nd generation of stain. Their instructions say about 3 years before restaining, perhaps longer if not exposed to the direct sun/eliments. When I get an answer back from them I will forward same to you for your review. Perhaps the 3rd final clear coat is also a stain and not a varnish or coating substance. Their response should answer this question.
Wes, I e-mailed Messmers with several detailed questions. I would be happy to share their informative answers with you and others. provide me your e-mail address and I will forward their responses. messmers acknowledges that the clear coat applications can result in trapping mositure. They have a product called UV-Plus which is a semi transparent oil based stain for exterior. It contains linseed oil and they choose not to reveal the % in the stain. Some report that higher levels of linseed oil in stains darken with age ( yet used for years as a wood perservative ). Check with U.S. Forest Products Lab regarding their observations of exterior stains higher in Linseed oils. You may want to contact Gemini Coatings and ask for their tech support people and ask them as well about stains with higher percentages of linseed oil.
Geat discussions - lots to consider. Solomon wrote centuries ago, " In the multitude of counselors there is accomplishment ( wisdom)". Proverbs 15:22


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