Staining the Exterior of Your Log Home

August 28, 2018


Log homes are a beautiful facet of residential construction, and when they are well taken care of, they truly stand out. One of the ways to make your log home stand out is to apply a new stain to it often. Here is how you can stain your log home and keep it looking like new for years to come.

How Often to Stain Home

Your log home should be stained every 3-7 years. The time between stains heavily depends on exposure to wind, rain, sun and any other elements that have the potential to harm the exterior of your log home. Keep in mind that a stain will not help protect your log home agains the elements; this includes UV rays. The type and quality of stain used will also affect the time between stains.



The first step is making sure that your log home exterior is clean and prepped to stain. If your home is new and the logs have yet to be stained, they will still require a pre-sanding or sand blasting prior to staining. For homes that have already been stained previously, a good pressure washing followed by sanding will help get the wood ready. Rinse afterwards to remove any leftover particles from the pressure washing or sanding.
Next, mask off any areas that you do not want stained, such as windows or doorways. For the ground, lay down a plastic sheet to protect other areas from the stain.

This is a picture showing several paint chips leaning on a colorful cedar log being used as inspiration to choose colors for home improvement.

Pick Your Stain & Shade

There are two types of log home stains: oil-based or water-based.
If working with an oil-based stain, keep in mind that the stain will darken with time, especially if the stain is linseed oil-based. There are some newer, soy oil-based stains that are supposed to hold their color, but we recommend asking your painter or paint supplier for example homes that were done 1-5 years ago so that you can drive by and get an idea as to how their stain selection is holding up.
If you choose a water-based stain, be sure to use a clear coat finish to help the stain maintain its color. Once you’ve chosen which kind of stain you want to use, then it’s time to choose a colors.
When selecting a shade for your log home, log home stains are not as easy to switch out. Make sure that it is a shade that you can see yourself being happy with for years to come.
Look at the log homes in the area that you live in and see what they are doing and whether you like this color or not. But if you’re looking for a more natural wood look, applying a lighter stain can still help bring out the colors in your wood choice.


  • Spray small area of log home with water. If water beads up, then stain is in good condition. If the water is absorbed, then it’s time to re-stain.
  • When testing a stain, make sure to sand the yellowish color off the log prior to application. This will give you a more true color.
  • Make sure that the wood is completely dry. If there is any moisture in the logs when the stain is applied, then the stain might not adhere fully, resulting in blistering and an uneven look to your log home.
  • Don’t skimp on stain. Feel free to use plenty of stain on your log home.
  • Really get the stain into the wood by pushing a long-handled brush into the log.
  • Two coats are best for a longer lasting finish.
  • Finish your log home stain project with a clear coat/sealant for best results.

Staining your log home will ultimately help put years on your log home. And at Spectrum Construction, we want the log home we’ve built for you to stand the tests of time. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at [email protected]