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Cleaning Logs Before Staining Them

Whether your project is with a new home or a maintenance procedure, it is important to read the instructions of the product you are using and follow the advice of the dealer who sold you the system. However, whatever system you choose, preparing and cleaning are a must and should be repeated on a yearly […]
by Country's Best Log Homes Staff
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Whether your project is with a new home or a maintenance procedure, it is important to read the instructions of the product you are using and follow the advice of the dealer who sold you the system. However, whatever system you choose, preparing and cleaning are a must and should be repeated on a yearly basis to keep your home free of debris.

Prepare. As you inspect your logs, you may find they have “mill glaze.” It’s the glossy finish caused by the mill’s hard cutting overheated blades bringing water-soluble resins to the surface to create a hard, varnish-like glaze. The glossy surface can hinder adherence of the finish, so removing this glaze should be on your to-do list at this time.

The best way to remove it is by letting the logs “age” a few weeks or by sanding lightly to open the grain to allow the other products to be absorbed. If you sand, hose down the logs to remove all sawdust or particles.

There are also products that chemically clean the wood of dirt and remove glaze. After the prep work is complete, allow for three non-humid days for proper drying of the wood before proceeding. Too much moisture on the surface will cause adhesion failure and could make the finish blister.
 
Clean. A clean surface ensures the application stick to the logs, so it’s critical to take the time to do it right. Surface dust, pollen, or dirt left over from construction will prevent the proper adhesion of these products.

There are many ways to clean and prep your logs. One way is to simply hose it down with water and hand-wash the more embedded areas. A close inspection of your home at this time will provide you with a base with which to work in the future and will help you track any ongoing changes in your logs.

For a larger home you may want to utilize a power washer. Caution: Too strong a stream or keeping the stream in one place too long could do more harm than good. The strong blast of water could damage any seals or chinking that were made while possibly raising the wood grain so much that it creates more work by having to sand it back down. Pressure washers with lower power settings and larger nozzles will disperse the stream to an acceptable level.

Published in Country's Best Log Homes Staff
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