Posted on 2 Comments

How to paint your log cabin

Rule Number One: don’t paint – stain!

Yes – putting paint on the exterior of your log cabin is a no no. Your wooden house has to breathe – you cannot let moisture get trapped within your wood. So we always recommend using a high quality wood stain, like SIKKENS.


Can you paint a log cabin exterior?

Can you paint a log cabin exterior? is is a great question, and one of the questions we are asked all of the time. People get confused between PAINT and STAIN. The main difference between the two in=s that paint will seal the timber, while a stain will let the timber breathe. It is important not to seal your timber, since that can trap any moisture within the wood, and moisture and wood are not good bed-fellos! You can get mould forming, and rotting will occur too. Not a good situation for the log cabin owner!


Cavity wall log cabins

We offer high quality, well engineered double cavity walls in all of our log cabins. This means that our cabins have an insulated cavity, a minimum of 100mm or four inches (this can be expanded if desired) , and that will ensure a warm, dry, easy to heat and mould free log cabin interior. Remember,though, that the timber faces of the walls within the cavity cannot be painted or treated, so any moisture that might get in their in moist winter air needs to be able to escape. If you paint the exterior of your cabin, you will trap this moisture within the cavity wall, and that can lead to issues further down the line.


Log cabin paint colours

Sikkens, a timber paint and stain manufacturer based in the Netherlands, offers “A Rainbow of Colours for your log home”. Below is am image from their website of their Joinery Colour Classics.

SIKKENS Joinery Colour Classics

So, what do they say about their timber stains collection?

Joinery Colour Classics (JCC) combines the most popular opaque and translucent colours in Europe in one comprehensive collection.

Finally, the Joinery Colour Classics give log cabin owners a standardised collection of the most popular wood coatings in the whole of Europe – with perfectly matching coverings and hues. The Joinery Colour Classics are ideal for coating of dimensionally true wood parts for exterior applications.


They also offer a range of colours, expanding the choice for log cabin owners. This new range is called “Never Ending Impressions”.

SIKKENS Never Ending Impressions

SIKKENS Never Ending Impressions NEI collection, developed at the Akzo Nobel Aesthetic Center, shows the entire spectrum of harmoniously balanced colours of subtle to vivid expressiveness, ideal for TIMBER LIVING log cabins, garages and garden offices exteriors..

Preventative wood protection and a naturally beautiful colour collection are typical features for SIKKENS translucent coats.

This leaves more room for creative freedom and the implementation of the very personal taste in colour on your log cabin. If SIKKENS is good enough for Walt Disney and McDonald’s, then it just might be good enough for you!

Where to get your log cabin colours?

Sikkens is available at all Pat McDonnell Paints Stores (Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny, Athlone and Tralee)

You should also be able to get them from you local hardware store. Many stores offer a basic range of Sikkens stains, but you may need to order specific coours through the Dulux rep that deals with your ocal shop. A note of caution – the colour charts they offer are not very accurate, because different stains will come out with different shades, depending on the timber they are applied to. This is due to the translucencs of the stain itself, and cannot be helped.

unfortunately, you will need to buy a couple of the smallest pots with different colours, and try them out on the log cabin timber. (Make sure the lads from Timber Living leave you some clean timber onto which you can apply your samples). These samples are not the cheapest (it cost me about €15 a tin!), but you want to get the job right at the end of the day.


How many coats of stain does my log cabin need?

Before you apply any stain to your log cabin, you should apply two coats of ordinary wood preservative. This is a quick job, but it is important. Once that is done, you will need three coats of Sikkens. Read the instructions carefully. Sikkens offer one product that is especially for cabins with high exposure to sunlight. It has UV protection built in. Normally, this is not required in ireland, but have a good chat with the Dulux rep and read the technical information supplied by Dulux before you proceed.


And feel free to give us a call to discuss this further, or visit one of our showrooms to see the real thing.

2 thoughts on “How to paint your log cabin

  1. i was told by the company that supplied my cabins to paint them with zinnser primer and sikkens satura oil based now i have paint peeling and rot i have to sand all paint off what is the best paint to paint them and do i use wood presever after i treat them with wetrot hardener thanks francis connolly

    1. As per the blog post, we always recommend Sikkens.
      Sorry, but I am not an expert in wood rot. Sorry to hear you are experiencing this. Who supplied the cabin?
      We build our cabins on a plinth, where the cabin overhangs the base, and we also include rain sills. This is the best way to avoid wood rot.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.