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We just purchased this home in northeastern Kansas the end of December. This home was built in 2002 on site. It was a "kit" from Heartbuilt Homes out of Stockton IL. The main level is log and the upper level is log siding.The previous owner said it has Sikkens stain on it that was reapplied about 5 yrs ago. As you can see it is failing pretty bad. I have been researching log home restoration for the past few months and was wanting some advice on my plan. Also, I have gotten a couple of quotes from professionals in the $30-$40,000 range. I understand their costs, but this is kind of extreme for me. I have redone several houses over the years, but this is our first experience with a log home.

I am looking at getting a media blaster. The Texas Blaster ( looks like a decent one that would allow for easy maintenance. I have read of people using everything from a cheapo sandblaster to the $5000 Kernel with good results. So I'm guessing with trial and error it is more of the way a person blasts rather than the blaster that makes the difference. I think I'm partial to crushed glass based on what I've read as well. I plan to rent a high CFM air compressor to run the blaster and buy some scaffolding.

I plan to use a preservative after blasting and then a stain. One question I have is regarding chinking. Currently there is no chinking on the outside of the home. I have the plans and they called for caulking between the logs. However, there is some "after-built" chinking in places that was applied probably due to water leakage in certain areas. I am thinking that if I go to the trouble to strip off the old stain, treat the logs, and then re-stain, I should probably go ahead and chink the whole house.

I realize this will take me (and possibly my wife helping some) quite awhile to do. But I'm in no big hurry to have it all completed at once given the astronomical price of the alternative. I figure after all the costs involved buying/renting the equipment, media, scaffold, and stain it will cost around $6,000. 

My lack of experience with log homes can be a factor, but I feel very confident in my ability to do this job correctly. I was raised on a farm so I have plenty of mechanical common sense. I am very detail oriented and will try out everything on scrap wood before proceeding to the house.

Any advice (other than "have a professional do it") would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you!  Kai

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I would try the log wash product from Permachink first. Concentrate mixed in pump sprayer. Apply one wall at a time. From bottom to top. Let it do its thing for 15 minutes. Then rinse with power washer ( not too high pressure) from top to bottom. One wall at a time.

Let it dry and look at results. It might take the dark stuff off or lighten enough to avoid blasting. Then apply new stain from top to bottom. Maybe one shade darker. Then top coat of Advance or something with UV and mildecide protection.

In my opinion, blasting is oversold and hate to start with bare wood finish unless absolutely necessary. Blasting media includes corn, sand, ice, walnuts, etc. with your metal roof, windows and gutters, protection is needed unless dried ice? So pressure washer is first choice and usually does trick for less money.


Thank you for the advice, I will check into that! Guess it wouldn't hurt to try washing a small area and see how it does before buying all the blasting stuff. Could always go over it later with the blaster if it didn't work.


Kai - 

Good on you! I agree with Chris that blasting isn't always necessary, but am not a fan of power washing for many reasons, especially on a home that you're not convinced is fully sealed. Power washing can introduce a lot of other problems when not done correctly. (Of course, blasting can do that, too...)

If you get a minute, hop over to our YouTube channel and watch some how-to videos:

In addition, I would like to invite you to attend our Zero Failures Log & Wood Home Finishing & Maintenance Seminar. No, it's not a commercial for our products. We combine classroom "text book" teaching about the science of wood with hands-on practice finishing your own log wall. (Yes, you get to practice blasting, we do a power washing demo, stain and chinking application, etc. etc.) Check out the video here: You can get more details on cost on our website here: Most who attend are contractors, but we usually have 1 or 2 DIYers in the class. We've kept in contact with some over the years, all of whom have said that what they learned was well worth both their time and money. 

As to chinking in between the logs: we generally recommend you do all caulking after staining, and if the home was designed for chinking, it should probably be applied. :-) If they've intentionally left room for it, there's the possibility that bugs and weather can get in. It's definitely a time-consuming task but can be done. Women actually make very good chinkers. :-) (Don't tell your wife I said so.)

Hope that helps for now.

-- Charis w/ Sashco - -

Hi Charis,

I have actually watched all the videos on the Sashco website and was really impressed with them. I also noted the seminar you referenced and would really like to attend. I will talk with my wife and see about heading west that weekend. As far as the chinking, there are no gaps in the logs where chinking was or really should be. I am just guessing it would be a good idea to go ahead and caulk/chink it. I think I'm on the right track as far as a plan goes, I'm just mainly looking for advice on what products that would work the best together on this project. I would like to keep in touch with you regarding the seminar and my project. I tried sending you an email but it returned it stating undelivered. I might try again.

Thanks, Kai

I'm glad to hear you've watched the videos. It's always nice to have words backed up with pictures. :-)

My advice on products: no matter who you use, it's best to stick with a system from the same company, if at all possible. That way, you're assured that whatever is used together will be chemically compatible with one another. (You're also dealing with only one company who knows their products in and out should something happen or weird questions come up.)

As far as caulk/chink goes...there are some homes that only need caulking & chinking in key areas (corners, doors, windows, etc.). Hand scribed log homes, when done by a skilled craftsman, rarely need caulking & chinking on the whole darn thing. Others will indeed require chinking every single joint. Based on the pics you posted, I'd say you probably need to seal most joints.

I'm sorry your email didn't go through, but I did see that you signed up for our product research panel, so I'll pull your email off of that and email you myself. Hopefully that won't bounce.

Thanks again!

-- Charis

Media Blasting and Pressure Washing Log Home Video

You need Log Home Finishing.  You figure it will cost $6000.00 that's assuming a lot.  What about liability? You've never done this and you're going to do it to your own home?  Are you currently a contractor?  Aware of safety equipment?  Have you ever set up scaffold, masked a window before blasting, considered the source of that glass crap?

I'm glad you said it first "My lack of experience with log homes can be a factor"?  Confident people destroy homes, confident people die... EVERYDAY!

Take the week off, get a timeshare somewhere and call...

Log Home Finishing

719 331 4047


"confident people die ... EVERYDAY!"  .... :)

We are redoing our home this summer using Permachink smartstrip and the s-100. We also have Sikkens on our house some areas there is no finish left, other areas it is pealing, under our porches it looks great. Permachink offers free one day simenars it was a great eye opener for us, lots of people to offer great advise. I will post pics as the weather is just starting to break here in Ohio. Our house is 40 year old hand pealed red pine I believe a New England log home.


I am planning on going to a similar seminar put on by Sascho. It has hands-on training and looks to cover a lot of the aspects of refinishing. I would be very interested in how you project goes and see your pictures. We are planning to do ours this summer as well. Look forward to hearing about your progress!

Hi Kai,

I've been in the log home restoration business for 7 years, I can look at the pictures and confirm that your blasting stain removal is spot on. Don't waste your effort on strippers and cleaners. The one thing you definately need to do after the blasting and before the preservatives, is putting a cleaner and a neutralizer on with a rinse between the two. This process neutralizesold and mildew spores. If you don't your wood will turn gray in a very short amount of time, and the spores will come right back, right underneath your freshly re coated home. We use lovvit's two step cleaner and brightener. Mildew addatives, like Sta-Clean added to your finishes are also worth their money. 

I would say your cost estimate is close, on the low side, but you are definately close. And of course the labor will be free :) Good luck, and call me for free advice any time. Good luck.




Thank you for the response and the guidance! I will check into the cleaner and neutralizer that you mentioned as well as the mildew additive. The estimate that I quoted was based only on materials and equipment. I've done enough projects to know there is always additional costs involved so I agree, this is probably on the low side. My main point was that I could do it myself on weekends or time off cheaper than hiring someone to do it. I was an economics major in college so I also understand the opportunity cost of doing it myself, but I also look forward to doing these sort of projects. I greatly appreciate all of you advice and may just take you up on your offer for advice in the future when I begin this project!  Thanks!


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