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I'm a noobie here but we have been living in the log house I self-built in 1979-80 from scratch. Located in E. KY, it's "stack log" constructed of ~11-12" SYP, hand peeled logs.Quite uniform, as they came from a 1930's CCC planted plot, thus an even aged stand of trees. It's a 2 story house containing a little over 300-16' logs plus board & batten dormers of rough sawed pine.

I'm currently searching for my next finish , to be self applied after a clean up for some mildew & dirt (not old finish/es) via my pressure washer. I'll be using a "honey/amber" tint, lightly colored stain. The current finish needs a bleach type cleaning but there's not a lot of pigment to be concerned with removing as the previous finish was Olympic oil toner that's pretty much gone. Any finish product and color I choose will go on well over what will be left after cleaning & removing some graying.

I don't want a "2 coat type log cabin finish". I am currently only considering Q8 Log Oil & TWP Series 100 or similar products & have samples of each but yet to trial them. I've scoured the web & know about most all that's out there but certainly haven't used them all. I have given some consideration to mixing up my own concoction of: Tung oil/citus solvent/pigment/zinc stearate.  KY doesn't require a low VOC finish material.

I would like to hear from people that have either used these products mentioned above or that have applied finishes after these products had aged on an older house like mine.

I went through all the comments in the "stains & sealants" thread. I do see that there are some very experienced finish application people on here & some that have more experience selling than doing. No offense intended to sales people (after all , I will buy something!) but I'm more so interested to hear from those with hands on based comments.

Your thoughts are appreciated!

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Hi Michael - I've been using Q8 Log Oil for years now and I LOVE it.  Keep in mind that Q8 uses a unique oil which is why you can clean up after it with just water if you want to. Unlike other oil based products, it will not form a "skin" in the bucket if you leave the top off of it.  I too liked Q8 as it was not a film forming product and a 1 coat application.  Here in hot/humid South Carolina it has out performed the other two products I had on my log home before finding Q8. No matter what product you choose - be sure to follow the surface preparation and application instructions to the letter.  This will give you the best performance the product has to give.

Thanks Donald! I'm interested in what you used first two times? That gives me somewhat of a frame of reference.

Donald, I'm hoping you have the time to share some more information:

After further thought-what type logs do you have & when built? How long between coatings on first two finishes & interval with two Q8 applications?

FWIW, It may get a bit hotter in SC but our E KY humidity is high too-like a jungle in summer! We are located in middle of Daniel Boone National Forest. The front of my house has year round, all day, southern UV exposure. One part is under the shade of a large tree that comes up through a hole in an attached deck. One end gets a.m. sun and the rest is shaded either much or part of the day from position and large trees away from the walls but nearby. I live in an opening in deep, mature woods.

I hear you on finish prep work-that's the hardest part of any finish application. I've painted cars, MC's, tractors, houses, barns, fences you name it! A sales rep for TWP finishes told me he was currently trying to "comfort" a lady that applied their product to a deck and the finish was peeling- this happened after she mis-interpreted the directions that say wait two days before walking on the new finish. She thought they said wait at least two days before applying the second coat and did so well after the first coat had set up. Her problem was obviously caused by applying new oil to what was a set up a set up first coat! Procedure matters.

Hi Michael - I have Borate pressure treated Eastern White Pine logs that were milled and erected in 1992.  After the initial application of Q8, I waited 12 months for the 2nd coating, then 3 years after the 2nd coating.  I'm five years beyond the 2nd coating will will re-apply this or next year.  The water repellency is still good, just needs a gentle washing to get all of the pollen/dust off the surface and re-apply.  I've used (02) Light Gold and am very happy with the color - however - I use Q8 log oil for the water repellency AND insecticide.  You can buy color from anyone - but to have all the properties that Q8 offers (UV protection, Water repellency, termite control, etc.) in one can is a good deal.  

I agree with Donald. I have applied Q8 twice on my log home. Easy to work with. Donald, have you ever applied a clear coat on Q8 for cedar rail and pickets? Thanks

Scott, I appreciate the further comments but still must say that "easy to work with" is not what will help me make a decision as to "what finish & why". More details please. I also find soap & water cleanup as nothing to do with a finishes performance on the wood. Cleanup of brush & spray equipment is minor compared to 5 gallon buckets of this stuff. Thanks!

I have applied Q8 twice now. I believe that the product gives great protection and water beads off your logs for years. I second coated my log home and did the whole house for consistency of color & performance but quite honestly I will only coat sides exposed to weather and sun when I do addition future coats. My personal opinion from years of painting and GC work that the labor time of products that required a 2nd coat plus clear is a major factor.  A general word of caution from warranty or performance angle. Read some time the labels of products such as one coat primer plus paint. The disclaimer always way might need 2 or more coats to cover. MY POINT everything is subjective with objective data . For everyone who loves something there are those who have different opinions.  My opinion is also that you should choose Q8 product that are lighter in color because it gets darker with multiple coats thru the years. Also there are tremendous previous blogs that argue what your looking for on this site that the engineers discuss technical data.

Thanks Scott. The labor part for me is a matter of my time , not cost to a contractor. I recently called a lady near me, as she owns a log house (that we see from the road) that was obviously refinished. She paid over $10k to have hers redone & several misapplied products removed from logs. In my case, that sounds like a "kings ransom" as I only get the sweat & dirty job other than seeing it done afterwards & on the cheap.

I have found some long term tests on the TWP 100 product.

As for color choice, my house has aged on the heavy UV exposure side to the extent that no color is needed! I could bleach the wood lighter but prefer to not loose anymore wood fiber than absolutely necessary.I choose "honey/amber" tones to get some amount of pigment on the wood but not much color added. It also evens out the overall appearance of the house. The logs under my porches retain their "natural" honey color & don't require the pigment for either reason.

Like said in my original post, I have Q8 & TWP samples to play with soon.

Hi Scott - I've not used a clear coat of Q8 before.  I have the same color Q8 on my house as on my porch post/rails.  The post/rails are also borate pressure treated Eastern White Pine like the log walls and log siding.  Keep in mind that Clear does not have a pigment to it so if you have lots of sun (UV) hitting your railings - you'll need to re-apply the clear coat more often than with a color.  If you like the natural silver color of wood - then the clear coat will be fine.  You might also check out their deck seal and oil for your post/rails.  It is clear too.

Try Lovitts, The Emerald line, will go over top of whatever you have on now. Not affiliated with them. Just have been using there products for 8 plus years, and have had nothing but success using their suggested formulas. Ask for Jeff.

Ray Wengerd

Thanks Ray. I sent Lovitt's a contact query about the finish and a Product Data Sheet request too. I see your a pro at this work & that matters to a hands on guy like me. I built from scratch & maintain our home, so, though not in it everyday, I'm a retired tech teacher that knows the process of build & finish.

I have used Cabot's ATO and in the NON-low VOC formula, it's a good product. I also just now tried/applied a 2 gallon job of Olympics newer "Woodland Oil", in Natural, on a red cedar floor I sawed, dried, made & installed for my new screened porch project. It's not as viscous as the Cabots but should work nicely for that under roof porch application. I bought it as was a "dented can deal" & not a weathered spot for that floor either.

I currently have samples of Q8 & TWP 100 and honestly, after playing with them on some wood, I could never tell the difference in a "label blind test" as far as small spot application! I realize that's not anything scientific but it is what it is & they act and look the SAME! when I try them out on wood. Price point for Q8 is twice the TWP and Lovitt's is the same as Q8 @ $270/5gal, plus freight from WA? TWP & Cabot's I can buy locally and they both have strong reviews.


TWP Disappears much quicker than Q8 will, I haven't seen a long time consumer of it, that is really happy with it.


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