chink paint vs perma chink log chinking

Chink Paint vs Chinking

Article content courtesy of Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.

Many log home manufacturers offer squared log homes with cosmetic chink joints. Although some owners of these style homes ignore these cosmetic joints and just stain over them, others like the look of a chink style home which may be the reason that they bought the home in the first place. The question is…. when should you use Perma-Chink Log Chinking in these cosmetic joints versus using Chink Paint?

When cosmetic joints are less than 3/8 inches deep the answer is fairly easy. Unless the log home manufacturer specifies the use of Perma-Chink, Chink Paint is textured to look like chinking, less expensive and much easier to apply, especially if you are planning to do it yourself. Since there is no room for backing material, we have seen several instances when a thin layer of Perma-Chink was applied directly over bare wood and blisters formed in the chinking. Even if the bare wood is covered with masking tape it may still not be a good idea to use Perma-Chink. If the Perma-Chink only has a 1/4” lip of wood to hold onto on the upper and lower edges there may not be enough surface area for good adhesion. If Perma-Chink is applied and masking tape is used as a backer in shallow chink joints it’s especially important to make sure that the tape does not cover any edges. If it does there will be virtually no adhesion of the Perma-Chink at that point.

Whenever Chink Paint is used and a seam is present within the cosmetic joint the seam may be first sealed with Energy Seal. Once the Energy Seal is dry, Chink Paint can be applied over it. Do not use masking tape under Chink Paint. It will prevent the Chink Paint from adhering to the wood and may eventually peel off.

When cosmetic chink joints are 3/8 inches deep or deeper, Perma-Chink may be used but you should be aware that Chink Paint is a less expensive alternative that’s much easier to apply. If the joint is deep enough to accommodate both backing material and the proper thickness of Perma-Chink, it’s best to actually chink it to prevent water from accumulating on top of the bottom lip.

2 thoughts on “Chink Paint vs Chinking”

  1. We have rectangular shapes logs with 2 by 4 in between each log. The depth of the board is about 1/4 inch or less. I have chalk between the boards and logs. I realize now I didn’t use a high quality chaulk. I am trying to figure out how to give a chink look covering the boards. I tried Sascho chaulk and spread it over the whole board and tried watering down synthetic chinking and painting it but that is messy. We are trying to be cost efficient. What do you recommend for durability, helping to seal, and being cost effective.

    1. This log home was assembled incorrectly during the original construction. To use chinking the 2×4’s should have been set so that the edge of the 2×4 was at least ½” back from the face of the log. The ideal chinking thickness is 3/8” It should be sloped slightly to allow rain to drain properly. The correct chinking thickness would be 3/8” at the top of the groove and 1/2” at the bottom of the groove. These measurements are wet measurements when the chinking is applied. When curing occurs the dimensions will shrink slightly.

      Now comes the tricky part. How do you trim back the 2×4. My best suggestion is to use a router with a ¾” flat cutting tool On the router you would set the cutting depth to ½” and use the log above as a guide and rout the top half of the 2×4 so the depth is ½” You would then make a second pass using the lower log as a guide and rout the bottom part of the 2×4 to a ½” depth. In making these suggestions I am assuming that the logs are square cut and relatively flat. If the logs are hand hewn and not flat you would have to nail up a 1x guide board and run the router on that to get a uniform ½” depth.

      Next comes the finish chinking. Chinking is designed to stick to the log above and the log below and otherwise float. You would use masking tape as a bond breaker. My suggestion is to get a one-Inch roll of masking tape and run it down the center of the routed 2×4.
      Apply the chinking using a Cox Bulk loading gun. Lay three ½” beads on the 2×4 and finish with a foam paint brush. After applying chinking mist the chinking beads with water and finish with a wet foam paint brush. When done as explained above you have a seal that should last for 10-20 years. Perma-Chink and Log Jam are both excellent chinks. They should never be diluted. Use them right out of the pail. Both products are sold by LogFinish.com as are the Cox Bulk Loading guns and followplates. A Five Gallon pail of chinking will fill about 250 LF of 1 ½” gap per the explanation above.

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