Last Updated: 17 September, 2020
Best Wood Stain (Review) in 2020
Recreation is essential to a person’s life. It gives you the energy you need to push forward in this mundane world. Usually, your log homes are your vacation houses and a place of recreation.
Imagine visiting your farmhouse just to see it rotting and in urgent need of maintenance. It will only add to the list of your problems, and your vacation goes to the grave then and there.
Nevertheless, you came here for answers, and the answer to your upcoming problem is the best log home stain.
If you want a quick and fast solution to your staining needs, check out our best log home stain reviews. We covered everything that is necessary for you to have a smooth, staining journey.
10 Best Log Home Stains Review
In this section, we have listed the top 10 log home stains. Make sure to have a glimpse before selecting a stain for your home.
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Check Out Our Top Pick
The Outlast Q8 Log Oil home stain is known for many reasons, but especially for its protective qualities. It is an oil-based stain, which is able to protect woods from rot, mildew, mold, and insects at the same time. The product is also safe for the environment as the components of it are registered by the EPA.
On the subject of protective capabilities, the stain is also extremely handy at repelling water. It is highly effective when it comes to repelling water and moisture damage. Additionally, it comes with sheer trans-oxide color. It means one coat of stain is enough to give maximum color to any wooden surface.
The product is a non-film forming agent, meaning it won’t crack or peel. It doesn’t peel away even during the harshest conditions. The stain also protects the wood from UV rays, allowing your home and stain to keep their color for a long time.
Furthermore, the solution is able to penetrate deep into the wood. It protects not only the surface but also the inside of your wood’s cell. When compared with other stains, this one is the most effective. Therefore, according to the results and out months of research, the Outlast Q8 is the best overall log home and cabin stain.
- One coat for maximum color output.
- It doesn’t crack or peel.
- It protects the wood from insect infestation.
- The product is able to repel water.
- One gallon can cover up to 150 to 175 square feet.
- It requires an NBS30 stain additive to prevent carpenter bees and other wood-boring insects.
- You will need to add MoldBuster additive to achieve additional protection.
Next on our list is the Sashco Capture log stain. It is a water-based stain capable of protecting and increasing the beauty of your wood. The product works as a light sealant and offers protection from sun and water damage.
According to the surface of your logs, the stain can stretch and compress. The feature allows it to bring out the natural beauty of the wood and to provide an even surface. Furthermore, the elasticity prevents the stain from cracking or peeling, assuring long term protection.
The stain also features a mildewcide, meaning it has the ability to cover up small cracks on the wood’s surface. It, later on, makes the log visually aesthetic and gives it an even look.
As we already know, the stain is water-based; therefore, it is effortless to clean and requires almost no time at all. The porosity of the log comes into play when we are talking about the stain’s coverage.
The product can cover up to 150 to 250 square feet of logs with one gallon. This is in the case of the first layer. For the second, you will be able to cover 250 to 350 square feet of logs easily.
The stain is a beast when it comes to protecting log cabins. It also brings out the natural beauty of the wood and makes it look stunning. Considering all the facts, we announce the product as the best wood stain for log cabin.
- It can be used on both interior and exterior log surfaces.
- Provides long-lasting protection.
- Prevents peeling and cracking.
- It gives an even look to the surface.
- Can come as a little costly.
- Proper maintenance will require the addition of Cascade Clear Coat.
Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain (Best Log Cabin Stain) Premium Pick
Whether you are planning to protect or beautify your log cabin, the stain can help you do both tasks effectively. It is a fantastic product that comes with exceptional protective capabilities, making it the best log cabin stain on the market.
The stain is extremely easy to apply and reduces the chance of runs or overlaps significantly. The most fantastic feature of the product is that it can penetrate deep into the fibers of log or wood, providing long-lasting color and protection.
Additionally, the stain features a transparent oxide pigment, making it semi-transparent. The feature boosts the natural grain of woods and logs. It enhances the overall beauty of your wooden structure.
On the other hand, the stain is able to protect logs from UV rays. It can retain its color for a very long time. You can use it with new wood or woods that were stained once. It can also be used on wet surfaces, meaning you won’t have to wait for your log cabin to dry.
The product is an excellent stain for pressure treated woods and logs. However, if you don’t want to face irreversible errors, then you should first learn a little bit about how to stain pressure treated wood.
- It can be used with a pump sprayer.
- Provides a rich natural finish.
- The product is suitable for new and pressure-treated wood.
- One gallon of stain can cover an area of 150 square feet.
- Effortless application and maintenance.
- The color could have been a bit deeper.
- Protective capabilities are somewhat limited.
The fourth on our list is the PPG ProLuxe stain. If you are planning to give the right finish to your log home or furniture, then the product can be an optimal choice for you.
First of all, it is a versatile product that can be used on different types of surfaces. You can use it with logs, redwood, cedar, pine, spruce, fir, and much more. Its versatility doesn’t stop here. Unlike other products, the PPG stain can be used on garage doors, siding, trim, and other exterior and interior surfaces.
When applied to logs or sidings, the stain provides a protective film. It augments the natural beauty of woods and logs by bringing out the grain. Basically, it intensifies the grain of the wood, making it look gorgeous.
Additionally, the stain features an alkyd high solids formulation and Translucent Iron Oxide Pigments. It can give a premium look and advanced protection to log home surfaces with only two coats of stain. It offers excellent flexibility and micro porosity, making it optimal for exterior usage and the best stain for log siding.
For smooth wood, you will need one gallon to cover 350 to 450 square feet. In the case of rough lumbers, a gallon will be able to cover up to 175 to 225 square feet.
- It can be applied to a wide range of surfaces.
- Features alkyd high solids formulation.
- Able to resist UV rays.
- You can cover a large area with just one gallon.
- It is a bit costly.
- The stain takes a long time to dry.
When it comes to restoring the elegance of your log homes, no other stain can do a better job than the Sashco Transformation Log and Timber Stain. The product comes with the ability to bring life to old woods and logs that require care and restoration.
Usually, stains are only compatible with other particular stains or clean surfaces. However, with the Transformation stain, you won’t need to worry about other existing stains on your home. It is chemically compatible with most of the stains out there.
The product is semi-transparent and leaves a glossy look after applied. It enhances the beauty of the log by showing off the natural grain. The oil-based stain can penetrate deep into the fiber of the wood, which assures long-lasting color and protection.
Nevertheless, the stain is not only good for old worn out wood but also new logs as well. It can help dramatically reduce the maintenance required for wood by providing a solid foundation of protection.
The product is also famous for protecting exterior logs. With that said, we consider it as the best exterior stain for log homes.
- Can restore the exquisiteness of old worn-out logs.
- Compatible with a wide range of stains.
- Provides long-lasting color and protection.
- Suitable for exterior logs.
- Not suitable for pump spraying.
- It requires a good amount of work to properly apply the stain.
Let us introduce you to the sixth product on our list of the best, the Continental Weatherseal stain. As the name suggests, the stain is famous for its resistance against the effects of weather. It can protect your log cabins from UV rays, heavy rain, and other elemental damages.
It is an oil-based stain featuring alkyd resin and a semi-transparent appearance. Moreover, the product gives a natural look to the surface by showing off the wood’s grain. It also penetrates deep into the log to provide an even more luxurious and long-lasting appearance.
The stain can be used on exterior and interior wooden surfaces. You can use it with wood siding, furniture, log homes, playground items, and shake shingles. The product contains a very thick creamy formula, which is able to stick to vertical surfaces.
It reduces the chance of accidental runs or dripping. You won’t have to worry about making a mess with the stain. Additionally, the product comes with low VOC ingredients, which are stimulated with borates. It means the stain comes with bug control capabilities.
The product is beneficial when it comes to prevent and reduce the harsh effects of weather on logs. It literally makes your log home waterproof and resistant to UV rays.
After considering all the features of the product thoroughly, we came to the decision that it is the best house stain. It performs great and is able to meet the needs of many log homeowners.
- It features dripless staining.
- Offers long-lasting protection from elemental effects.
- It comes with low VOC components.
- Semi-transparent stain can enhance the natural elegancy of logs and woods.
- Not the most versatile stain.
- Could have had better protection from bugs.
If you prefer a clear coat finish for your log home or wooden items, then you might want to have a glimpse at the Sashco Cascade Matte Clear Coat stain. Unlike all the other stains we have reviewed so far, this one features a clear finish rather than a semi-transparent one.
Firstly, the product is extremely effortless to apply, and you won’t even need to remove the existing stain completely. The first course of action is to clean the previous coat a bit. Afterward, you can simply apply the new stain.
The product is 100% VOC compliant and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals that may harm your skin or the environment. Moreover, the stain offers a crystal-clear appearance to the surface; thus, the natural look of the wood will remain the same, but only better.
The product also comes with weather repellent capability, and it’s able to resist algae and mildew due to being loaded with biocides. Furthermore, it provides protection against UV lights, which fights against discoloration. It also protects your log surfaces from cracking and chipping.
It also features a massive coverage of 300-600 square feet per gallon. However, it will mostly depend on the surface of the lumber. The stain is exceptionally suitable for logs due to the protection it provides. Thus, we consider the product as the best log stain.
- Gives a crystal-clear finish to wooden surfaces.
- Offers protection from water damages and UV lights.
- Contains biocides to resist algae and mildew.
- One gallon can cover a huge area.
- It takes a long time to dry.
- Susceptible to moisture after initial application.
The DEFY Water Repellent stain is a little different from others due to its unique formula. It’s a synthetic product, featuring both water and oil-based components at the same time. It has both the benefits of a water-based and an oil-based sealant.
First of all, the primary purpose of the stain is to protect exterior woods and logs. Although it can be used on interior wooden items, its highest performance can be seen while used on exterior items.
Additionally, the product offers protection from UV rays. It prevents the chance of any discoloration of the wood. Besides, the formula it uses is a unique one and able to penetrate deep into the wood.
It can cling to wood pores while letting the water vapor to come out. This allows the stain to contract or expand without peeling or cracking. The oil-based product can resist lap marks, making it seamless to use. You can either apply it with a brush or a pump sprayer.
On the other hand, the stain offers top-quality performance while reducing maintenance time and cost. A single coat of the product can get the job done efficiently. It is 250 VOC compliant and easy to clean up. It is also versatile, and you can use it on redwood, pine log, cedar siding, CCA decking, decks, fences, and much more.
If you are looking for the best exterior wood sealer, then the particular stain is your go-to product.
- Synthetic build offers the advantages of both oil and water-based sealants.
- Safe for the environment.
- Prevents discoloration by resisting UV lights.
- Stain contracts and stretches without peeling or cracking.
- It takes a little time to dry.
- No specific features for protection against insect infestation.
Creating your log home can be a very long journey filled with hardships and hours of work. You would never want to mess up at the end with a poor-quality stain, right? So, if you want something you can rely on then, the Sashcho Capture log stain can be the final step to your journey.
First of all, the product comes with excellent elasticity, allowing it to stretch and contract with the surface of the log. It can absorb movement like a professional and provide long-lasting protection and beauty. The stain can assure years of performance without showing any signs of cracking or peeling.
The product is excellent at repelling water and moisture, which ensures the prevention of insect infestation and rot. Additionally, it will also protect your logs from UV rays. It reduces the chance of any discoloration of wood or whatsoever.
The stain is a blessing when it comes to providing beauty to log homes. It doesn’t hide the natural look of wood; instead, it brings out the grain to make it look more authentic and elegant. Moreover, the clear coat can be applied to any existing stain without much of a nuisance.
On the other hand, it also features easy cleanup. It works great as a maintenance stain. The product is also environment-friendly and won’t harm your skin and the surfaces around you. It doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, making it safe to use.
As for coverage rate, it is able to cover an area of 150 to 250 square feet per gallon for the first coat. The maintenance coat is able to cover almost 300-400 square feet per gallon, depending on the roughness of the surface of logs.
- Prevents rotting and insect infestation.
- Reduces the chance of discoloration by resisting UV rays.
- Environment-friendly and easy to maintain.
- Suitable for both exterior and interior logs.
- It sometimes requires the addition of Cascade Clear Coat.
- The product is a bit expensive.
The Mahogany Capture log stain is similar to the last product we mentioned in many ways. It is not the most efficient product when it comes to protecting or beautifying your log homes, but it can get the job done with minimum effort and cost.
Initially, it is able to repel water; therefore, you won’t need to worry about rotting issues even if your home is in a moisty area. The product resists bugs and insects quite effectively, which is very important for wooden houses.
It also comes with decent quality UV inhibitors that are able to prevent discoloration for lasting beauty. Furthermore, it uses trans-oxide pigments, which not only increase the exquisiteness of logs but also make it last for an even longer time.
Similar to the last product, it is also famous for elasticity and durability. It can stretch and contract with the surface of the log, thereby preventing any sort of peeling and cracking.
The best thing about the product is that you won’t need to remove your existing stain before applying it. You can just clean the surface and use the particular stain, and voila, you have a fresh-looking home.
You can use the stain for different purposes. It is suitable for both interior and exterior woods and logs. You can apply it to wood siding, wood railings, trim log, and spindles.
- Comes with UV absorbing inhibitors.
- Able to resist moist buildup.
- Suitable for different surfaces.
- Excellent durability and elasticity.
- It takes time to dry.
- More than one coat is required.
Stain Types (Based on Penetration Level)
Log stains can be categorized according to their ability to penetrate timbers. Some are suitable for the log surfaces, whereas some can penetrate deep into the wood. Let us a quick look at the different types of log stains.
Usually, such stains come as water-based products. They do not shine much in terms of penetrating logs. These types of stains stick to the cellulose of woods and create a protective film.
They do not perform well unless they consist of high-quality resins. Additionally, you will need to apply them properly in order to have optimal performance. Clean up is relatively easy, and you should be able to do it with water and soap.
Shallow Penetrating Stains
These types of stains fall into the category of oil-based products. Usually, the penetration level of such stain is 1-4 cells deep into the log’s structure. However, the ability to penetrate deep will depend on a few variables.
If you cannot meet these requirements and fail to achieve optimal penetration, then chances are it will form a film that is sure to peel after a certain amount of time. However, if you manage to apply them properly, you will have a protective coat that is able to repel UV rays and water as well. So, before applying them, you should know how to stain wood.
Most of the time, shallow penetrating stains come with a glossy and shiny appearance.
Deep Penetrating Stains
Such stains can penetrate very deep into the wood. The penetration level is almost half an inch or more, meaning 3 to 4 cells deep into the structure of logs.
Deep penetrating stains provide a natural appearance to wooden surfaces, which are often non-glossy. Moreover, they offer excellent UV protection and water repellency. Such stains also contain a particular preservative, which helps them to prevent insect infestation and rotting.
Usually, they do not form a film like the formers; therefore, you won’t need to worry about it cracking or peeling. The recoating process is also easy and doesn’t require much preparation before applying.
As the stain penetrates deep into the wood’s structure, it reduces the chance of lap marks. The application can be made by brushing or spraying. You should use them on bare wood that is free from any existing stains for optimal performance. The latter reduces effectiveness and quality by a lot.
So, if you have an existing stain on your log home, you must first remove it. It’s not so difficult once you know how to remove stain from wood.
Things to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Log Home Stain
There are some key aspects you need to think about when it comes to choosing the best house stains. Nobody wants to end up with a stain that doesn’t last or cannot protect your wooden home. So, have a look at the things that you need for your stain.
Exterior or Interior Wood
When you are purchasing a stain, make sure you know where you are planning to use it. Usually, stains that are meant for exterior woods are different from the ones that are meant for interior items.
Exterior log stains contain preservatives and additives that help them to prevent insect infestation, rotting, UV rays, and discoloration. Exterior logs are susceptible to the harsh elements of weather; therefore, they require these additives for protection.
On the other hand, interior woods won’t require the same additives. However, sometimes when the interior is exposed to a lot of sunlight, you may need to purchase a stain capable of resisting UV rays.
Get a stain that can offer years of service. It takes a lot of effort and money to stain your entire log home; so, you or anyone else will never want to keep repeating the process every now and then.
Take our advice and get something that provides long-lasting protection. It will make your job a lot easier, and you won’t need to worry about re-staining or applying a maintenance coat regularly.
While the interior of your home may not need extra protection, but your log deck, fence, and exterior will need more defense than you can imagine.
Your exterior wooden structures are always susceptible to the harsh elements of weather and UV rays. So, if not maintained properly, they will soon face discoloration, rotting, and many other problems.
So, when buying stains for a log home, check if it comes with UV inhibitors and other additives that can help in preventing mildew buildup, rotting, or insect infestation.
For exterior decks, you should get yourself the best deck stain, and in the case of a fence, the best fence stain. Optimal results and efficiency lie in specificity. So, don’t go using a fence stain on a wooden deck or vice versa.
Sorry to break it to you but staining your entire log home will cost a decent amount of money. However, you should never compromise safety in order to save some extra cash.
You are not going to stain your home every day; thus, when you are doing it, do it the right way. On the other hand, purchasing renowned or branded products is always an excellent way to ensure performance, but it’s going to cost more.
Choosing a Stain Color
Well, now you are in the exciting part of the task. There is a wide range of colors out there, and you can choose either one, according to your needs or personal preference. However, you must be careful while picking a color because it is complicated to change the colors once you apply it on a log home.
Therefore, as per our suggestion, look for something that can last for several years, at least. While coloring a wooden structure, you have to keep a few things in your mind. For instance, while staining a deck, you must have deck stain color ideas, or else it’s going to look horrible.
Now let us have a look at the most used colors for log homes.
The style or color of log homes can differ from one place to another. Homeowners on the west coast prefer golden shades over other colors. Maybe they are inspired by the sunshine, mountain, and desserts of the particular region.
On the other hand, people living on the east coast pick the color gray. It is usually because of the fact that whether you live in the woody areas of the south or the shoreline of New England, gray color can give a weathered appearance to the exterior of your home.
Almost a decade ago, log homeowners used to choose only two colors for their house. It was mostly dark colors for the exterior and a light one for the interior. However, with the advent of different colors, why not make it more interesting by selecting multiple colors.
Depending on your imagination, you can choose and paint your home in an elegant way. You can try using two coats of stain and sealant for the exterior and a different one for the interior. If you are still confused, then you can always go for the gingerbread trim or dark brown.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)
Q: Can I apply exterior log stains or finishes inside the home?
You can use an exterior stain on the inside of your home. However, we do not recommend you do so. Exterior stains contain different sorts of additives, including insecticides and biocides.
These won’t cause a problem to your health directly, but it may harm your wellbeing if you live in an air efficient house. Hence, it’s best to avoid using exterior stains for the interior of your home.
Q: Can I combine multiple stains?
It is possible to make a mixture of stains. However, some of them won’t be compatible with another. For instance, oil-based finishes won’t mix with water-based stains.
Nevertheless, we do not recommend our readers to mix multiple finishers. First of all, the task of mixing is difficult, and secondly, it gets very annoying to duplicate the same mixture.
Q: How often should I stain?
It depends on the type of stain you are using and the place you live in. According to a majority of homeowners and product labels, semi-transparent stains last for almost 3 to 5 years.
However, it is not definite because stains that are more exposed to sunlight lose their color and protective capabilities sooner than homes that are covered with shade. On the other hand, clear stains last a little less, and deep penetrating ones can go on for a very long time.
Ready to Stain
Staining your log home can be a long and challenging journey. You may face many speed breakers on the road ahead if you are not careful enough.
Your journey starts with choosing a stain and ends with applying it properly. So, if the beginning of your expedition is a failure, then the entire project will result in a bad nightmare.
However, you can avert all these big and small interruptions with the best log home stain. Once you choose a product fit for the job, the rest of the work will seem much more comfortable.
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