Natural wood has a unique beauty all its own, and the right kind of stain allows it to shine though while still adding color and personality. When it comes to wood stains for log homes, there are a lot more options than you might think. In decades past, there were only a handful of choices, but today the sky’s the limit, allowing homeowners to choose a shade that fits their style while allowing the natural beauty of the home to stay in the spotlight.
With so many choices available, choosing the right stain might seem like an intimidating task, but we’ve gathered up some of our best tips from helping our clients and shared them here.
When thinking about the colors and look you want for your log home or getaway cabin, consider your personal preferences, homes you admire, and the ambiance or curb appeal you’d like to create. Take pictures with your smartphone when you see a house you love on the road. You can also cut out magazine pages or start a Pinterest board to gather ideas, get a feel for what you want, and show your log home professional the end result you’re looking for.
In general, lighter stains are used to create a bright and open feel. They can make your home stand out more at first impression and give it a more natural feel. For the interior of the home, lighter colors can make rooms seem larger and more open.
Dark colors, on the other hand, can be used to create a more intimate, subtle curb appeal outside, while creating a cozy and warm feeling inside.
Better yet, don’t feel like you have to pick just one shade of stain. You can always mix-and-match. A two-tone look is becoming very popular with log homes and creates a unique, stylish, and memorable look for your home. Try a darker color for the logs and a lighter one for windows and roofline. Or the other way around. The best look is the one you like best, so don’t worry about old school rules.
When it comes to choosing between oil-based stain versus water-based latex stain, making the right choice depends on what’s best for each home’s unique characteristics such as the type, age, and condition of the logs and geographical location. Not many years ago oil-based stains were the majority of what was used on log homes. In today’s market, however, water-based latex stains have improved dramatically and are often used as well.
Regarding the differences, there are many. Water-based stains are easy to clean up with soap and water while oils require a solvent based cleaner. Water-based stains dry faster than oil-based ones. Oil-based stains can result in much richer colors than water-based. Really, we don’t choose one over the other in all cases, instead we consult with each client and look at the home’s location, building materials and environment to recommend which stain we feel would perform exceptionally well, protect the home, and last longer.
When choosing a stain for your home, quality definitely makes a big difference. All stains are not made alike. Be sure that the stain you choose is intended for log homes. The right stain will make your logs look good AND allow them to breathe while still offering the best possible protection against aging and the elements. Be sure that the stain provides UV protection for your logs. The surface of logs needs to be protected from the damaging rays of the sun, similar to applying sunscreen. Avoid using clear finishes alone because they provide less UV protection from the sun.
And remember, cheaper prices or flashier advertising doesn’t equal better quality. While good stains may be a bit more of an investment, in the long run your budget will thank you as a longer-lasting, high-quality product will protect and beatify for much longer than lower-quality ones.
If you are considering stain for your log home or cabin and would like some advice, give us a call at 877-477-6564 for a free consultation about what the best move is for the health, beauty and longevity of your home. We’ve specialized in log home staining, repairs and restoration for over 20 years and have the knowledge, equipment and experience to help you make sure your home stays healthy and looks great!