Should I paint or stain my log cabin?
We got the following recommendation from David at McDonogh’s Hardware in Galway:
For the outside or inside of your cabins I recommend you using Sadolin Classic All Purpose Woodstain or Fleetwood Super-Flex Wood Paint.
Sadolin Classic is a oil based product and the Super-Flex is waterbased. The temperatures need to be above 8 to 10 degrees to use either of them.
2 to 3 coats is the recommendation for both depending on soakage and surface of the timber.
All surfaces are recommended to be cleaned down with a cloth dampened with methylated spirits ( NOT WHITE SPIRITS ) to degrease the wood.
Both of those products can be used for inside and outside.
If it’s a colour you want to paint on for example a cream, grey, white, yellow etc then Super-Flex is the one to use.
If you want to keep the wood finish colour for example Teak, Antique Pine, Mahogany, Light Oak then Sadolin Classic is the one to use.
You should STAIN the exterior of your log cabin
When someone asks us “Should I paint or stain my log cabin?” we ALWAYS say you should only stain the exterior timbers of your log cabin.
Previously we always recommended SIKKENS products too. But David from MacDonogh’s Hardware gave us the benefit of his experience, which has made us re-think our position.
Painting and staining exterior timber are two popular methods used to protect and enhance the appearance of wood surfaces, such as decks, fences, and siding. Both techniques have their advantages and considerations, so let’s explore them further:
Staining Exterior Log Cabin Timber:
- Natural Look: Stains preserve the natural beauty and texture of the wood, highlighting its grain and colour variations.
- Penetration: Stains penetrate the wood fibres, providing a deep level of protection against moisture, UV rays, and mildew.
- Maintenance: Stained surfaces generally require less maintenance than painted ones. Instead of peeling or chipping, stains tend to fade gradually, and a simple reapplication can rejuvenate the wood.
- Options: Stains are available in various opacities, ranging from clear or transparent stains that offer minimal colour change to semi-transparent and solid stains that provide more colour coverage.
- Prep Work: Proper surface preparation, such as cleaning, sanding, and ensuring the wood is dry, is crucial for the stain to adhere effectively.
Painting Exterior Timber:
- Protection: Paint forms a thick protective layer on the wood, shielding it from the elements, UV radiation, and moisture.
- Durability: High-quality exterior paints can withstand harsh weather conditions, including rain, sun exposure, and temperature fluctuations.
- Versatility: Paint offers a wide range of color options, allowing you to choose from numerous shades to match your desired aesthetic.
- Coverage: Paint can cover up imperfections and provide a uniform appearance on different wood types and textures.
- Maintenance: Over time, painted surfaces may require periodic maintenance, such as repainting or touch-ups, as paint can chip or peel due to weathering or wear.
Factors to consider when asking “should I paint or stain my log cabin?”:
- Wood Condition: Evaluate the condition of the timber. Paint is ideal for hiding imperfections, while stain works better on well-maintained wood with an appealing grain pattern.
- Climate: Consider the climate in your region. If your area experiences intense sun exposure or frequent rain, paint with UV protection or a high-quality stain may be necessary.
- Desired Aesthetic: Decide whether you want a solid, opaque colour (paint) or a more natural, translucent appearance (stain).
- Maintenance Preference: Determine how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in maintaining the wood surface over the long term.
Ultimately, staining is the best option for treating the exterior of your log cabin.