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Hello all, like many others I believe its time to strip my log home. It was built in 1991 and has had sikkens 2-3 plus ever since. I purchased the home 4 years ago and applies another 2 coats of sickens 2 years ago. I have noticed on the south side it is in need of another application and there is also some areas on the house that have black under the finish. So, I am going to strip the entire home and apply a new finish> Any advice on how to strip it (corn blasting or chemical stripper) Are there any finishes that will last longer than 2 years and look as beautiful as the sickens 2-3 plus?

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We remove a lot of Sikkens 1-2-3 every year in Colorado.  It's one of the more difficult finishes to remove.  Media blasting, followed by sanding / buffing is how we accomplish the removal of Sikkens.  Here is an example gallery: 

Log Home Finishing 

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What type of stain and finish are you using that created such a shine/high gloss finish ?

On that project we used Sashco Transformation 'Log and Siding' in Goldtone Light.

Yep, Sikkens is a tough one.

Before you go blasting off stain, try to remove the black first. Do a quick q-tip test. Dip a q-tip in bleach and apply to an affected area. If the black goes away quickly, you may be able to do just a light power wash and clean with a sodium percarbonate (oxygenated bleach) cleaner to get rid of that black. There may not be a need to remove it all....yet. You may also be able to do just some partial log refinishing on that south side. Take a look at the videos I will mention in a minute to see if that might be an option for you.

As for removing Sikkens: we've seen it removed both by chemical stripping/power washing and media blasting. Both will do the trick, but media blasting is the most gentle on the wood. I'd recommend crushed glass instead of corn cob. Crushed glass works like little tiny knives that "cut" the stain off, leaving the bulk of the wood underneath in good shape afterwards. Corn cobs "pummel" it off. :-) Different effect. Chemical stripping is often times cheaper for the materials, especially if you own a power washer, but the time and effort it takes vs. media blasting just can't be compared. When you do a chemical stripping, you have to apply the chemical, power wash it off, possibly apply it again if any is left behind, power wash again, neutralize, power wash again, do some finish sanding to get rid of all of the wood fuzz, then allow it to thoroughly dry. Even then, the wood is left fairly dark. Yuck. Media blasting takes more set up with equipment, but once the blasting gets going, it goes fairly quickly. No waiting for the wood to dry, finish sanding is minimal and you can start staining right away. 

I could go on & on, but it would probably be easier if you just watched our videos on it. :-) Go to Watch "Log Blasting Techniques with Corn Cob and Glass Media Before Staining." That shows you the difference between those 2. Then, for power washing, take a look at "Partial Log Restoration" parts I-IV. Those will show you the effect of chemical stripping and power washing. Just not the same. 

Hope that helps. Big project, but it will be worth it in the end! Feel free to email me directly or post pictures here for more personalized advice based on the condition your logs are in. Pictures usually tell the story. :-)

-- Charis w/ Sashco - -

Hello Michael,

Yes, stain removal can be difficult, time consuming and costly. Finishes weren't designed to come off easily although the sun seems to destroy them quickly. I agree with Charis that media blasting is the way to go if you can. Glass beads are a good choice. Corn cob can leave remnants behind that can serve as a food source for bugs and fungus. Chemical strippers can be harsh on the wood as well as the applicator and the environment.

The longevity of a stain can depend on a number of factors including the type of wood it is on and how it is prepped, the angles of the house in relation to the sun, overhangs and porches, shade trees and more. The color chosen (darker is better), the method of application and the amount of product applied can also make a difference. Most high performance stains should last 3-5 years before maintenance is required and this is typically just an addition of a clear topcoat. Some high exposure walls may require a coat of color earlier.

Check out for more information.

Good luck.



I feel your pain! I am removing sikkens cetol, and 2-3plus also. Had a price to media blast for 4,000. Did some research locally and found i could rent a hopper and all equipment including crushed glass for $610 for 2-3 days. I took a visit to a home that was glass blasted and it looked great from the road but when i got closer the logs looked like the surface of the moon. I purchased a set of hook shavers and have been shaving away since. Its a lot more work but it only cost me $30 so far. I figure to do a light sand re caulk then follow the Q8 log oil protocol. I like the sikkens look and it held up well on the sides of the house that were out of the weather, but i am tired of doing touch ups. If Q8 does what it claims than I should be set!


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