I'm hearing the term"film-forming" when it comes to exterior stains. Will someone define that for me?
"Film-forming" just means that, instead of penetrating all the way into the wood, there is a portion of the stain (usually resins mixed with pigment) that dry on the surface of the wood. There are chemists who might give you a more technical explanation...this is layman's terms. There are pluses and minuses to film-forming stains:
- They provide superior UV protection vs. stains that penetrate deeply and leave nothing on the surface (and as I'm sure you're already aware, logs need extra TLC to combat UV damage)
- The are generally more colorfast than deep penetrating stains. They don't tend to darken as much or fade as quickly.
- They are generally easier to clean up, as many are water-based.
- Almost all of them are chemically compatible with other finishing products like chinking & caulking. (That is not usually the case w/ deep penetrating stains, most of which contain waxes and/or silicones that chinking and caulking can't stick to.)
- When prep isn't done correctly and/or the wood isn't dry enough, they can peel. (But when proper prep is done and wood is dry, this is a rare thing.)
- They are a bit less forgiving at initial application....read: it takes a bit more practice applying these kinds of stains in order to get an even appearance.
Many people have their opinions on stains, but our company always recommends that log home owners use a film-forming stain. The film is essentially your "long sleeves" of UV protection. You can apply a deep penetrating stain that doesn't leave a film, but it's very similar to putting on a SPF 8 sunscreen and calling it good. Using a film former is like wearing an SPF 15 with long sleeves and a hat. The protection is a whole lot better.
Hope that answers it for you!
-- Charis w/ Sashco - www.sashco.com - firstname.lastname@example.org
So what is the differene between your Transformation and Capture stains?
Well, let's see:
*Transformation Log & Timber is oil-based. It has a glossy finish. It's two coats, sprayed on and back-brushed in. Maintenance is done with a coat of Transformation in either Natural or Gold Tone Light (both of which impart some pigment for additional UV protection, but don't change the color of the existing stain much, if at all.)
* Capture and the Cascade clear coat are our water-based system. They leave a satin finish on the logs. It's two coats of Capture, followed by 1 coat of Cascade at first application. After that, maintenance is done Cascade.
As far as performance goes, you'll see similar results out of both. Capture is a bit more elastic, which is nice in high-wind areas. But both are elastic to withstand the movement that logs normally undergo.
Hope that helps!
I hope film forming stains will be around for a long time. As long as they are, I will always have corn cob blasting jobs to do. I just don't use them for my clients,....... unless they want an existing finish recoated.
One of two things will happen eventually. One, the film will crack or peel, and if they do, you are done, and all the existing stains will have to be removed and you start over.
Two, you get such a build up of stains, from recoating, that you lose the transparency of the wood. Your house will get darker and darker, or you get a heavy pigmented gold that will basically cover the natural charactor of your wood. I have probably blasted most brand names of stains off log homes that most people have ever heard of, including all the well recognized log specialty stains.
That is my biased opinion, and my clients are happier with what we use now than anything we have used before.
My products don't last as long as most, but the touch ups and recoats are always so delightfully simple. And they are always just that.
It sounds like you are used to dealing with film forming oil based finishes and not film forming waterborne stains. We also have to deal a lot with film forming oil finishes not holding up and the coat build up is terrible. But I would disagree with film forming waterborne finishes cracking and peeling and causing coat build up.
This is simply because when applied correctly most film forming waterborne stains (such as PermaChink and Sashco) dont flake or crack because they are very elastic (this also helps keep micro-checking minimal). Film forming waterborne stains also don't cause coat build up (when maintenance is kept up on) because they incorporate a clear coat top coat to combat coat build up. These products are also much easier to maintain than film forming oil finishes.
We have a great many buildings with Sashco and Permachink stains that have not needed anything more than a maintenance clear coat on the hot walls and these building are well over 5 years old. I also have yet to see any of these film forming waterborne latex stains peel and flake when proper preparation procedures are followed.
I also disagree that once they start to crack or peel you need to remove all the existing stain and start over. You need to remove any failed areas of stain on just the select logs and most of the time you don't need to take that route since most film forming waterborne stains have excellent color matching capabilities. This is unlike most film forming oil based stains which have terrible color matching capabilities.
In my opinion I think a film forming stain is the best route for a log home but just make sure that it is a film forming waterborne latex such as PermaChink or Sashco and not a film forming oil based finish. Hank I would listen to Charis as she is spot on with what a film forming finish is just make sure to do your research on a log home stain as this is hands down the most important part of your log home. Without a good quality stain you will be plagued with problems down the road and this could ultimately ruin the great experience of living in a log home.
So for you guys who are using Permachink, are you finding that the Ultra 7 product actually covers 300-400 SF/galas advertised? For those guys using Sashco, does it cover as advertised?
These products do on average get the coverage they claim just shoot for the low figure on the coverage rates they give you and you will be good.
I personally haven't used Lifeline Ultra 7 because I do not get the results I need from a one coat stain. My company uses the Lifeline Ultra II stain from PermaChink and Sashco Capture log home stain which are both 2 coat systems followed with 2 clear top coats. I would also recommend you apply 2 coats of the clear top coat if you choose these types of finishes (this goes for the Ultra 7 stain from PermaChink as well) as you will be able to go longer in between maintenance coats of the clear. It is just very important that you keep a very close eye on your hot walls (walls with extended exposure to sun and elements) and apply a clear maintenance coat when the clear top coat starts getting dull.
Also, I am not sure on how you plan to clean your building but I strongly recommend not using bleach and tsp on any wood. Get a good quality log home detergent such as PermaChinks Log Wash it is a very good product and will not alter the ph of your wood.
Pardon my ignorance. What is "tsp"?
TSP is Tri Sodium Phosphate it is commonly found at almost every hardware. It is still used for cleaning exterior surfaces and has many more uses. We used to use it but have found much better products out there that are log home specific. Log Wash is hands down the best detergent we have used for cleaning log homes and prepping the surface of a new log home. It is concentrated and relatively cheap. One gallon of concentrate will make 16 gallons of diluted log wash detergent. Hope this helps.
Intensified Wood Restoration
How is the log wash applied?
With a sprayer and then you get a good long scrub pole and a scrub brush. You get the surface of the logs wet and then apply log wash from the bottom up and rinse from the top down. Never let the product dry on the logs and never apply in direct sunlight.
You make a lot of great points here. I just wanted to let you know that Lifeline Ultra 7 is a bit thicker than Lifeline Ultra 2 as all of the transparent iron oxide pigment is in just the one coat. This being the case we would rather (should you decide to try it on a project), see you apply only one coat of Lifeline Advance clear topcoat to it initially to keep it as breathable as the Ultra 2.
We reccomend that you come back to the job in three years, clean the logs with Log Wash, and then add your first maintenance coat of Lifeline Advance. This will also extend the initial warranty to a 5 year length. If you ever need or want some samples give us a call, you are exactly the type of professional that we would like to have giving our best quality finish a try. Thanks again Lee.
-Kevin, Perma-Chink Systems