Oil Based Log Home Stain & Water Based Log Home Stain

Published on | Log Home Stain |Josh Horner

Selecting the right stain for your log home can be confusing and time consuming. Below you will find some helpful hints to guide you through the selection process.

  • Oil based stains typically penetrate into the wood and have a strong odor. Oil based stains can be used on logs, wood siding, decks, hand rails or roofing materials. Not all oil based stains are created the same.
  • Water based stains typically form a coating on the surface of the wood and have a low odor. They can be used on logs or wood siding but can present problems when used on decking surfaces. Not all water based stains are created the same.
  • Always test the stain on a wood sample from your home.
  • Clean your wood sample the same way your wood will be cleaned prior to the application of the stain.
  • This cleaning process can dramatically change the color of the stain material on your home and sample area.
  • Allow the stain sample area to dry for 24 hours.
  • Apply the same number of coats to your test sample area as you intend to apply to your log home.
  • Start at the top of your logs and work down when applying your log home stain.
  • Spraying the stain first is preferred but not absolutely necessary.
  • Always back brush your stain into the wood.
  • Oil based stains are typically easier to apply.
  • Water based stains can show lap marks and brush marks if you are not careful during the application of the products.
  • Water based stains clean up with soap and water.
  • Oil based stains clean up with solvents.
  • Water based stains can hide some of the grain of the wood.
  • Oil based stains typically allow more of your wood grain to show.
  • Some water based stains are prone to flake and peel on the surface of your wood. This is due to poor application of the stain material or it could be a bad water based stain product. A good water based stain will allow your wood to breath and expand and contract as your wood does thus preventing any flaking and peeling on the surface.
  • Some oil based stains fade very quickly and your wood is left with no protection. Once again, this can be attributed to poor stain application or it could be just a bad oil based stain product.
  • A good stain material should last 3-4 years on the southern exposure of your log home and 4-5 years on the other sides of your home. If you have found a stain product that outperforms these numbers then stick with it.
  • No stain will last the lifetime of your log home.
  • Stain technology has come a long ways in the last 20 years. There is a wider selection of good stains but there are still quite a few inferior stains on the market today.

For more information about chinking material, application tools or contractor referrals contact Mountain Home Building Products toll free at 800-490-3695.