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Howdy everyone! I have couple of questions about chinking. As many of you know, we have an older log home built in 1948. We have all kinds of chinking compounds that had been used through the years. Some is original and some is even......gulp.....some type of silicone.

Some of the chinking has split or has pulled away. There are even tiny spots of daylight that you can occasionally see. Can we chink over old chinking? Or, do we need to attempt to remove the old chinking first?

If so, what are the best methods of doing this? Our interior log walls have a 'yellow shellac' finish. Any responses will be greatly appreciated! :)

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Hi Denise,

Do you know what kind of chinking was used on the home?
If you do you could rip away just the chinking that has pulled away. Resand that area and reapply that chinking. If you are looking for a chinking to go over the other chinking I would recommend to use a milar tape or electrical tape over the pre-exsiting chinking this creates a bond breaker so that the new chinking will not adhere to the old. Then you could apply a new synthetic chinking over top of the old chinking. The synthetic chinking will expand from 4 to 9 inches in width.

If you need any further assistants with this project I would be happy to help you with this project.

Feel free to email me at

I agree with Kelly. One additional thought:

If indeed there is some silicone in there somewhere and that's one of the areas needing work, you'll need to do a couple of things:

1) Remove as much of the silicone as possible. Makanica Silicone caulk remover (available at pretty much any hardware store) does a great job. Nothing sticks to silicone - silicone can't even stick to itself.
2) Widen the joint a bit - 1/8" extra on either side - so you are sure you're getting good adhesion where there may be remnants of silicone.

Obviously be sure that whatever is already on the home in the way of stains, finishes, etc. is compatible. If you don't know what is on there, apply some of the chinking in an inconspicuous area. If you don't see any problems with adhesion, curings, etc. within a couple of days, you should be good to go. However, if you see the chinking pulling away, you will have some other work to do which we can talk about later if it comes to that.

Good luck! Feel free to email me at or call me with any further questions. Or Kelly, too. I know her & she's a wealth of solid knowledge.

Can you post any pictures of the worse places? Not the see-through part but the ugly chinking/silicon/whatever.

Duct tape over the old stuff can work too.

I'm a bit concerned about the interior finish. On one hand, because of the age of your house you're not likely to get much movement, and it may well be irrelevant, but in some cases a "shellac" type finish may not adhere to the wood well enough to let the chinking do its job if there is movement. That is, the shellac may pull off the wood when stretching occurs. Again, in your case this is not likely to be a problem but if anyone else reads this in the future who has a newer log home with a similar finish, I wanted to toss in this caveat.

CharisB is absolutely right about the silicone. Anyone who uses it anywhere besides bathtubs is committing a crime against humanity, and should forced to watch "Dancing with the Stars" in reverse order as punishment. Or just forced to watch "Dancing with the Stars", period, if that's what they fear the most. Anything to stop such travesties.
I agree with everyone else, especially w/ Chinker Bob and the Dancing with the Stars thing, if we could only make that happen...
The only other thing you might want to do on the top and bottom edge of the chink joint, sand or grind back to clean wood to make certain all the old chink gone and add a little fresh stain. Like everything with a log home...a little extra in the prep department always helps you out later.

Denise be sure to check and make sure your exterior chinking is back at the top of the joint so water can't run in, water should run out and over the log below. The problems you may encounter having logs damaged behind the chinking could be much bigger later. I think you're getting some very good infomation from your responses. What is the backer for your chinking(ie) masonite, mortor ?, could have a bearing on your fix
I am thinking that you may have cement too as chinking,you say you have tiny spots,has the chinking
pulled away from the log,if so what I would recommend is that if the chinking has pull away from the
log clean the area were the chinking has pulled away and apply a bead of chinking to the area that has
pulled away and blend back in with the other chinking,then after you have fixed the chinking I would
recommend chink painting the whole gap that has chinking on it,to make all the chinking look new again.
If you have tiny spots you made just have to chink paint the entire run and that might fix the problem.
Chink Paint is a thick texture paint for renewing the look of the chink.If you need more info let me know
and I will send you out a log home sealent guide on how to fix the problem.Thanks Greg
WOW, didn't know I'd get so many responses. Hubby is up there this weekend. I'll have him take some photo's. Some of the sealant around the windows is indeed, concrete. Some of the really old stuff on the interior is a smidge flexible with what appears to be sand in it.
Do not sand shellac it may have lead in it. If so wear resperator. I suggest fast drying alcohol and rub off shellac.


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