The Log Home Neighborhood

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I will be refinishing my house this spring and had a few questions.

1.  I was planning on using Perma-Chink Lifeline 2, but I recently discovered that Woodguard was previously used on my home.  Since Woodguard is a deep penetrating oil based stain I think it will be best to stick with an oil based stain.  Am I correct thinking this?


2.  Woodguard seems to be oily to the touch even long after being applied.  For that reason I would prefer to not use it.  Is there another oil based stain that would work that isn't oily to the touch years later?  I was considering Weatherseal or Sashco Transformation.


3.  What about caulking compatibility?  I'm assuming that since the stain is oil based there are many caulks that would not work.  I see there is a letter from Sashco stating all of their log sealants (Conceal, Log Builder, Log Jam, Chinkers Edge)  had good adhesion with Weathseal stain, and obviously they would work with Sashco Transformation.  Is one of these preferable over the other?  And do I need to stink with these caulks/chinks from Sashco or would the Dap polyurethane caulk work?


4.  What about staining of the caulking?  We would prefer the caulk match the stain.  Will these caulks accept the color of the stain if I caulk before staining?


5.  I have no idea what type of caulk is currently on.  It is somewhat soft and pliable, although I know it's been there for years.  I also believe some clear silicone was applied in a few locations.  Do I need to pull all the old caulking out, or can I caulk over it then stain?


For what it's worth my logs are tongue and groove milled D Profile from what I believe is pine.   





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Hi, Brent. I'm Charis with Sashco. I'll answer your questions in order:

1) Yes, it would be best to stick with an oil-based stain. Those oils in Woodguard can leech out of the wood for years to come and cause any water-based products to peel off. Yuck.

2) I, of course, love our products. :-) I'm biased. You can find reviews by others on here, LinkedIn and other places to do your own research on the many stains available out there.

3) Yes, our products are compatible with our stain and several others. I'll bet the Dap poly would work just fine, too, although we haven't specifically tested it in our lab. Most polys work fine with our products.

4) First, understand that stain will stick to many caulks (except silicone) but doesn't soak in like it does on wood. Then, you need to also keep in mind that semi-transparent stains, by design, allow whatever is underneath to show through. So, no matter what, you should choose a color caulk that is close to the color of your stained wood in order to get the best match. That said, staining over top may not be necessary. Most log home specific caulks come in colors that match very closely the most popular stain colors, so staining it to get it to match is rarely necessary. Our Conceal caulk is textured to mimic wood grain and comes in wood toned colors made to match our stains, as well as others. Of course, down the line when you do maintenance, you'll end up staining over it, but because you'll have already chosen a matching color, it won't be affected by the stain. 

5) No need to remove the old unless it's failing. Save yourself some work! If you want it to match with whatever new caulk you use, you can always do a quick wipe-down skim coat of the new caulking right over top. Of course, the silicone won't allow much of anything to stick to it, so if it's failing or you want to replace it with something that matches better, you'll have to remove it and thoroughly clean any joints where it was used to get rid of any remnants in order to ensure whatever new product you use will actually stick.

Hope that helps some! Good on you for planning this far ahead and getting your ducks in a row before you start the work. When you have a minute, download our booklet called "Keeping the Dream Alive." It walks you through the steps of refinishing a log home from beginning to end and arms you with some good knowledge upon which you can base many of your finishing decisions.

Have a great evening, and feel free to contact me directly should you want to discuss any further specifics. 

-- Charis w/ Sashco - -

Thanks Charis.  That is great info and exactly what I was looking for.  There has been a lot to learn as a new older log home owner.


Does Transformation feel oily after it dries like Woodguard does?

Also, oil based stains do not receive a clear coat on top.  Is that correct?



No, Transformation doesn't feel oily. That oily feeling from Woodguard is actually the wax in it, and Transformation doesn't contain any waxes. That wax is what can be problematic with chinking and caulking.

And you are correct - oil-based stains don't receive a clear top coat. (I believe there are some out there that do exist, but none for log homes that I'm aware of. They're mostly for furniture and wood floors.)

Yes, the learning curve can be a bit steep with log homes. You're on the right path starting early and asking lots of questions. There's a lot of knowledge on this forum alone that's worth rummaging through. 


-- Charis

Thanks Charis.  I asked a few questions several months ago, but I have read a lot since then and I feel like I'm on the right track.


I'm not too apprehensive about the staing, but the prep work is another story!  Three sides are in decent shape with a fair amount of Woodguard stain left.  I know that for my new stain to work and look its best I need to take it down to bare wood, but with Woodguard being deep penetrating that is going to be a huge pain!!!!!


The south side is in much worse condition, with most of the Woodguard stain gone, and the logs have sove "grooving" along the grain on the lower half.  The wood behind this "grooving" appears sound and solid, but I will have to remove this grooving.  I'm thinking

Not belt sander.  You could use the Osborne brush, aluminum oxide disks, or last choice, a random orbital.

Do you have any photos?  This forum allows you to upload photos.  Photos help us professionals to answer your questions.

I will get photos posted this weekend.  You are very helpful.  Thanks!!

We use Sashco Transformation nearly exclusively.  In our 2013 season there was only 1 home which we didn't use Transformation on.  I would suggest a two step pressure wash using hot water to clean then brighten the logs.  Apply 2 - 3 coats of Transformation and you will be good for many years.  

The Fein caulk cutting tool could be used to cut out any failing caulk and then re-caulk with Sashco Conceal textured caulk.

Here is our 2013 gallery of projects using Transformation:

Good luck!

Thomas Elliott

Log Home Finishing

That looks really good.  Thanks.

I beg to disagree. Any finished can be removed from logs, you are never, ever locked in with either an oil or an acrylic. You are limited only by the skill of the person or company that is stripping the logs down to bare wood again. NO oil penetrates deeper than the chemical or media used to remove it. We have removed Woodguard to install Perma-Chink many times with success and our owners have never faced the peeling situation described in this thread. I would be pleased to speak to you in more detail about this project and answer any questions you may have. Have a great day!

Beth Borrego

See Dirt Run! Inc. Log Home Care

Beth - I'd be interested to know what process(es) you used in order to remove the deep-penetrating oils. On the homes we've done, as well as some of the contractors who we work with, it has usually required a combination of 2 or more chemicals, along with either abrasive sanding or media blasting. And indeed, some have had success with those processes and using a water-based over top. We have, unfortunately, witnessed a few too many occasions where that has not been the case. In some cases, we've seen the stain stand up OK, but the sealants used over top not adhere properly when the oils have leeched out over time, usually via newly opened micro checks and cracks. We have also seen massive peeling of the stain. There has been no way to tell if/when this might happen. We saw it happen within 6 months after the new stain was applied, and, at least in one case, there was no indication of any problems until 7 years after the new stain was applied.

-- Charis

Charis, as a wood restoration professional in Colorado, I get to see everything that can happen to a log home.  You are correct, that sometimes wood restoration involves All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men.  In other words a log of hands and a full arsenal of tools are sometimes required.  For Example:

Step 1: Star 10 Phase 1 paste

Step 2: Star 10 Phase 2 Liquid 

Step 3: Sodium Perchlorate Wash (hot water)

Step 4: Oxalic Acid Wash (hot water)

Step 5: Grinding

Step 6: Osborne Brush

Step 7: 3m non-woven buffing pads

Step 8: clean up

Step 9: masking and prep


****steps 1 - 4 can be subbed for media blasting about 50% of the time

I'd say on average we spend 2/3 of our time and budget on restoration then the last 1/3rd of the project is very easy and predictable to apply product.


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