How to Stain a Log Cabin for Long Lasting Results

To maintain the beauty and rustic look of a log cabin, cleaning and refinishing the logs on a regular basis is typical. Knowing how to stain a log cabin yourself can save you a few dollars.

Before staining a log cabin the logs need to be washed. This is typically done with a pressure washer and a mild detergent. We recommend using a wood cleaner and no more than 800 psi of water pressure. Keep the pressure-washing nozzle far enough away from the logs so you do not fur them up as you clean them. Remove all the dirt, grime, and graying from the logs. Once the logs are clean but still wet, apply a wood brightener. Spray the brightener on the logs and allow it to remain wet for 10-15 minutes before rinsing.

Once the log cabin has dried for a few days following the cleaning process, it is ready for stain. To stain a log cabin there are several application tools you can use. For the most stain control, a very large china bristle brush is a good choice. You can also use a pump or airless sprayer but be sure to mask all the windows and other areas where you do not want stain.

When applying stain to a log cabin, stain a log or two at a time and go the distance of the entire log. Basically, do not stain in sections, but rather, coat an entire log before moving down to the next log. This will help to eliminate stop and go marks also called lap marks.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions on stain application. Some stains may take two coats. Depending on the type of logs you are dealing with, you may have to apply new caulk or chinking between the logs. This is best done prior to staining or in between two coats.

Try not to apply log cabin stain in direct sunlight. The heat of the sun can cause flash drying, which can result in an uneven finish. Try to apply only as much wood stain as the logs can soak up. If the logs seem thirsty, do not be hesitate to apply as much stain as they will absorb. In contrast, wipe away any stain that is not absorbed within 10-15 minutes. Do not allow stain to dry on the surface that has not penetrated into the logs.

Keeping up with maintenance by knowing how to stain a log cabin is a great way to protect your investment. Keep your log cabin looking good and protected from the elements so you can enjoy it for many years to come.

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  • We will reply to your comment shortly
    Kelly · 06/26/2023
    To stain log cabin a different color of stain, can we just go over the existing color 
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      The Sealer Store · 06/26/2023
      Varies abased on the stain brand and the type of stain. Typically, no.
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    The Sealer Store · 02/24/2016
    Which Woodrich? We do not sell the Wiping stain anymore.
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    Brill · 02/23/2016
    I stained my house 6 years ago with your Woodrich stain. Can I stain over this old stain with the Woodrich again?
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    The Sealer Store · 08/21/2014
    Yes that is correct.
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    Nicole Laplante · 08/21/2014
    Is a gazebo like a log cabin when cleaning, brightening and staining? I will be using the Restore a Deck cleaner and brightener and the Semi-transparent Armstrong Clark Stain in Cedar color. Thanks.