Log Stain Failure

7 months later. The log ends have that dirty dry look, the log stain wasn't applied properly. The weather is taking it's toll on this log building now.

bad log stain and finishing
An example of BAD log stain, prep and application

Why did the stain fail?

  • The owner personally applied the stain when they should have consulted or hired a qualified log building applicator.
  • They didn't use a professional spray system (Airless and HVLP sprayers). In my professional opinion brushing alone is not good enough. You need to FLOOD the (stain) deep into the logs. FLOOD stain on heavy, let it soak, soak, soak and then brush out excess so no drips and sagging happens. Nothing worse than looking at a sloppy mess. When using Timber Pro Coatings (love that product) I repeat this 3 times over a specific time frame and absolutely during proper climate conditions. If you don't do this, forget it. Wood staining is not "fast food". We are protecting a huge investment, organic fiber and it takes time. Ironically most people take better care of their automobile than they do to a $250,000 plus home.
  • Maybe it was too hot (direct sunlight) when they applied the stain causing it to dry before it had a chance to soak into the wood but again I doubt it. From looking at the log ends, they look like very little stain was even applied.
  • Maybe it was too wet when they applied the stain too. It could be wet wood that couldn't absorb the stain well. Or possibly they pressure washed this home before staining. If so, I would never use a pressure washer to clean the logs and then apply stain directly after. If I did I would wait for the logs to dry out for some time.

Now  greying and mold is happening. Greying on the top laterals this early after stain was applied is not a good sign. Eventually, if not taken care of the entire home will be very bad.

Maybe the logs were in bad shape before the staining. Mold could have already been present. If so, the logs should have been cleaned before the staining process. However, at first glance it appears to lack sufficient amount of stain so over all I'm guesstimating it is the applicators error.

The logs also look like they weren't peeled very deep. This process is not my visual favourite style because they seem to darken quickly. Also "close to the bark" wood doesn't seem to absorb stain well. The outer area of the tree is very hard.

Most products don't fail in 7 months. This is most likely the result of poor stain application. Do it right the first time or expect a big bill later on. Logs are organic material.  We need to seal and protect them.

Can this be fixed?  Yes, but it will cost a lot more money now to fix this very serious problem. I would strip it and start over.


This is how log stain should look.  Deep and rich.

Example of best log stain and prep.
excellent log stain application

PAINTING Guys:  Log Home Finishing