Exterior Finish Overview
1. ALWAYS CLEAN YOUR LOGS FIRST
Before you apply any finish to the exterior of your log home you need to prep it first to receive the finish. All the exterior finishes offered by LogFinish are semi transparent and they allow the beauty of the wood to show through. All dirt, grease, as well as mold and mildew must be removed first. Most milled logs have a mill glaze on them and it must be removed to allow adequate product penetration. We recommend X-180 Weathered Wood Restorer for cleaning and mill glaze removal. It removes all the dirt, grease, mold and mildew in one application. Just spray it on from the bottom to the top and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Then, rinse your logs thoroughly with your pressure washer. Set the pressure for between 500 and 1000 psi and rinse from the top down. Keep rinsing until there is no more foam and then rinse it again. X-180 thoroughly cleans your logs and opens the wood up to receive the wood preservative and log finish.
2. NEXT APPLY A GOOD WOOD PRESERVATIVE
Wood preservatives prevent rot and make your logs toxic to wood eating insects such as powder post beetles and termites. Before applying any log finish, make sure you have an EPA registered wood preservative on your logs. At Logfinish.com we recommend Shellguard RTU because it penetrates so deep. This product is a 10% Borate solution in propylene glycol. Just spray it on with a backpack sprayer such as a Solo 475 and then back brush it in. It makes your wood toxic to powder post beetles, termites and other wood eating insects. It also prevents rot. Shellguard RTU is safe enough to be used inside and outside your log home. The key to successfully using Shellguard RTU is that it must be applied to clean, bare wood. Just apply the Shellguard RTU and let your logs dry for 3 -5 days. Then you are ready to stain with finishes such as Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding, Lifeline Ultra 2 or Lifeline Ultra 7.
Logfinish.com’s newest log home finishing product is Q8 Log Oil. This product is an EPA registered wood preservative, log home finish and a deck finish all rolled into one. Q8 is a petroleum oil based product and the active ingredient is copper 8 quinolinolate. Like Shellguard RTU, Q8 Log Oil provides rot protection and makes your wood toxic to powder post beetles and termites. Unlike Shellguard, Q8 Log Oil is designed for exterior use only. Q8 is a one coat product that is applied to the point of refusal so the wood will not take any more. Q8 should be applied with a Solo 475 Backpack Sprayer and then be back brushed in. It provides excellent water repellency. It is available in six natural wood tones and cures into the wood to a natural flat finish. Of all the products sold by Logfinish, Q8 Log Oil is one of the easiest and most versatile products for most log home owners to apply. Q8 is designed for use on logs, as well as on decks. There are no issues with lap lines or brush marks as everything evens out as the Q8 penetrates in and dries thoroughly. When applying a single initial coat of Q8, a second coat must be applied within 24 months. This second coat will protect your home for an additional 4-5 years. For customers with environmental concerns, Q8 Log Oil offers one the industry’s lowest VOC levels.
Logfinish.com’s second most popular exterior finish is Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding. This is a two coat alkyd resin product that must be brushed on. Sikkens Log and Siding uses the same product for both coats and yields a beautiful satin finish. Sikkens Log and Siding is available in eight wood tone colors. Apply the first coat one day and then come back and do the second the next day. The only limit to this product is that it must be applied to logs that have moisture content of 18% or below. When in doubt get a moisture meter. If your logs have moisture content higher than 18% apply a coat of Sikkens Log Pretreatment for six months to a year. This product allows your logs to dry out gradually with minimal checking. When your logs have dried to a moisture content of 18% or less you are ready to apply the Sikkens Log and Siding. Remember, if Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding is applied to wet wood with greater than 18% moisture content, there is a potential for peeling on the high sun sides of your home. When in doubt about moisture content, use the Sikkens Log Pretreatment first.
Lifeline Ultra-2 is environmentally friendly, water based acrylic latex finish system that requires two coats of color followed by two coats of Lifeline Advance Topcoat. Ultra 2 is designed to be applied with an airless sprayer and then back brushed into the wood. It is a little trickier to apply than Sikkens Cetol Log and Siding, but, the results are stunning and the product offers a five year written warranty. Our sales of this product line have increased substantially during the past year because of it’s great finished look and wide range of color choices. Lifeline Ultra 2 is available in 16 factory pre-tinted colors. Lifeline Advance Topcoat is available in satin and gloss versions.
Lifeline Ultra-7 is the most durable water based acrylic latex exterior finish that Perma-Chink Systems has ever offered. The secret behind its durability is Lifeline Ultra-7’s state-of-the-art resin that creates a flexible and tough seal on your log home. Perhaps more important than the seal’s strength, the resin also ensures that the seal is continuous, providing protection from the holes and gaps that might otherwise develop with a lower-quality finish. In addition it has unsurpassed adhesion to wood and is much more resistant to UV degradation, color fading and adhesion loss. Like all Lifeline finishes, the water-resistant film breathes to allow trapped moisture to evaporate from your logs. Just apply one coat of Ultra -7 let it dry for a couple of hours and apply a topcoat of Lifeline Advance in either Gloss or Satin. With just two coats you are done and protected for 3 years. After 3 years clean your logs with Log Wash and then apply another coat of Lifeline Advance to extend your protection to 5 years. Lifeline Ultra -7 is covered by Perma-Chink’s warrantee too. Lifeline Ultra-7 is available in 7 colors all using transoxide pigments. Lifeline Advance is available in Satin and Gloss.
Which exterior log finish product is the best for you? At Logfinish.com we let you decide, by making wet sample kits available at no charge. The sample kits allow you try the products on your own wood and decide which one is best for you. Please follow the product links below for complete information on Logfinish.com’s exterior product line.