Loghome Circ Ad Top Left

Ask the Expert: What Do I Do About the Sealant or Chinking When Re-Staining My Home?

Photo: Courtesy Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.
In a log home, there's no denying... the logs take center stage. But as anyone who owns a log home with chinking will tell you — the mix of materials adds an undeniable, classic charm. To maintain that charm, as with any home, maintenance will be required at some point; perhaps the chinking will become a bit dirty or tired-looking, or the stain will appear faded. That's when you know: it's time to re-stain. 
With different materials on your walls, how do you protect and refresh the chinking when re-staining your home? Here are some tips on what to do, and, equally important, what not to do.

Two Big No-Nos

You may be tempted to mask off the chinking and stain the logs. Save yourself the time and hassle as the tape won't stick evenly, and you'll end up with feathered marks. Go ahead and prepare the logs and re-stain over the chinking. 
Another big no-no is even more important. Avoid oil! An oil-based stain won't penetrate into the chinking. You'll be left with an oily mess on your chinking, and, when you do try to apply a sealant or another stain to the chinking, it will neither penetrate nor dry. 
There are much better, more effective and efficient ways to re-stain your log home with chinking. All with gorgeous results. Here's where to start. 

Photo: Courtesy Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.

What Type of Log Chinking Do You Have?

If your log home has mortar chinking, you can stain right over it with any of Perma-Chink's Lifeline Exterior stains. The stain will stick, and you will not be left with an oily residue over your chinking. However, the mortar chinking will retain any cracks and imperfections. Ultimately, you'll likely have to replace your mortar chinking. 
If your log home has Perma-Chink's log home chinking or other synthetic chinking, you're in luck! You can stain right over it with Lifeline stains and finishes. The color will stick, and your chinking will be protected. Our stains have enough elongation qualities that, when the wood exterior walls naturally expand and contract, the Lifeline stain on the chinking will expand with it. Without this property, the satain on the chinking would look attractive initially, but would soon begin to crack and flake off. 
But what about the stain color on the chinking? Many people find that, after staining the wood and brushing out any drip marks, they love the stained effect on the chinking. Because chinking is a different material than a log, it will not carry the stain color in the same way. It will appear as a toned-down version of the wood color, eliminating the striped appearance while still providing that rustic, elegant definition unique to chinking. 

Photo: Courtesy Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.

Chink Paint

For a completely new look, Perma-Chink Systems carries a line of specially formulated, textured, latex chink paint designed specifically for coating chinking—synthetic or mortar. Our Chink-Paint line comes in an array of colors, and both protects the chinking and gives it opaque coverage. You can even completely alter the color of your existing chinking!
Chink-Paint has two key qualities that make it unique. As mentioned, logs expand and contract through daily and seasonal hot and cold cycles. The chinking must do this as well, and as the chinking expands and contracts, so must the chink paint over it. Chink-Paint has the same coefficient of expansion as Perma-Chink Chinking, so you get a film with enough give to accommodate shrinkages and expansions without micro-fissures or separation from the chinking. 
Chink-Paint also contains an aggregate for a textured coating. It will look natural and beautiful on your chinking. Whether you're brightening up the appearance of old, dirty chinking or changing the color entirely, Chink-Paint is uniquely qualified for the job. Because of the aggregate, you must mix the Chink-Paint regularly as you apply it since the aggregate will settle. Try using an inexpensive, 3-inch paint brush that you can toss out when the job is done. 
Perma-Chink Systems also offers a version of Chink-Paint without an aggregate. Without the aggregate it will appear smoother but still non-glossy. Even without the aggregate, Chink-Paint still provides the critical stretchiness that you need for your chinking without that undesirable shiny gloss of standard latex paint. Both versions of Chink-Paint are also good for touch-ups and spot maintenance to keep your home attractive and protected. 


Stress-Free Staining 

No matter how you approach it, staining can feel like a big job that takes you away from the actual enjoyment of your log home. With Perma-Chink's Lifeline Stain and Chink-Paint, you can make that job easier and get back to what you really love. Both will bring back that furniture-grade NEW look to your log home.  

Follow along! Join Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. in this exclusive Ask the Expert series to get answers to all your top questions about staining, sealing, maintenance and more!


Subscribe Now + Get 2 Free Gifts!