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Benefits of Using a High-Quality Finish on a Log Home

What are the benefits of using a high-quality finish on a log home?

Whether you’re currently building your dream log home or simply checking off tasks on your annual home-maintenance “to do” list, we’re always looking for ways to skimp on expenses around the house. But when it comes to putting your best foot forward with a beautifully stained home that’s also protected from the exterior elements, you might want to think twice before being lured in by the lower price tag of a middle-of-the-road finishing product.

Think about it: Not only does a stain and finish define the aesthetic appeal of your log home, enhancing the striking beauty of the wood’s grain and natural color, but it serves as a shield for your home’s most precious building blocks – the logs. Because of this, it makes sense to spend the extra money upfront on a high-quality finish for your home. And, as it turns out, if you can swing the higher cost for the first application, you will save yourself oodles of cash over the lifetime of your log home.

What are the qualities to look for in a top quality log home finish?


To ensure a successful and long-lasting result, you’ll also need to consider factors like wood protection, maintenance and, of course, appearance.

Appearance:   In addition to building a quality home, you want to build a beautiful home, which is why the finished appearance of your logs is so important. By spending a little bit more upfront, you’ll get a distinguished looking wood finish that will set your home apart from the rest.

A high performance finish gives long-lasting color retention through the use of a balanced formulation of transparent iron oxides and long lasting mildew inhibitors. By applying a clear topcoat, you also have the opportunity to create a gloss or satin finish and greatly extend the life of the stain system.

Longevity: With a high-quality log stain, comes high performance and longevity. The most important duty of your home’s finish is to shield your logs from the elements, including UV rays and water. While UV inhibitors are included in some high-quality stains, your finish should also repel rain but be permeable to water vapor to allow trapped moisture in your logs to evaporate. For topcoats and base stain, Lifeline™ provides you with options that “breathe,” allowing moisture within the logs to evaporate while reducing checking. Clear topcoats boost protection against UV rays and add water repellency – while making your exterior walls easier to clean. The smooth surface of a high-quality clear coat repels dirt and dust, making cleaning a breeze.

Value: There is no doubt that high-quality finishes will save you time and money in the long run. Lasting longer equates to less labor expense over the life of the finish. A high performance stain will typically last 5 to 8 years while low quality stain will expose your home to the elements in two years or less. High-quality log home finishes make the job go faster, cover larger square footage and require less maintenance over the years.

Environment: A high-quality wood stain should be formulated to meet and exceed emission standards established by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as well as all state and local restrictions.  Finishes should also be free of formaldehyde which is a known carcinogen.

Over the past few years almost all new innovations in coating technology have been in low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) water-based systems.  This new technology has allowed the development of high quality products like Lifeline™ Ultra stains and Advance™ topcoats that not only look great but meet the most stringent environmental requirements in every state.

How do top quality finishes differ from the average finish, like one you could pick up at the local hardware store?

All stains differ in their lifespan, coverage rate and quality of appearance and protection. One of the most important aesthetic considerations for log home owners is stain color and tone. It seems like most stains look great right after they are applied but will that beauty stand the test of time? By choosing a high-performance finish like Lifeline™ Ultra-7, you are ensuring that the finish will look as beautiful years after application as it did the second day it was applied thanks to a balanced formula of transparent iron oxides, mildew inhibitors and an advanced polymer resin.

Here’s how it works: The transparent iron oxides protect your logs without resulting in a “painted” look that hides the natural texture and beauty of the wood grain. Plus, these pigments provide superior UV protection, blocking the fading and bleaching effects of the sun for a much longer period of time. In addition, the mildew-fighting components will help prevent any mildew or mold from growing in the finish itself, which will greatly reduce further discolorations on your logs.

Next is the durability. The secret behind durability of Lifeline™ Ultra-7 is state-of-the-art resin that creates a flexible and tough seal on your home’s logs. Perhaps more importantly than the seal’s strength, the resin also ensures that the seal is continuous, providing protection from holes and gaps that might otherwise develop with a lower-quality finish. In addition it has unsurpassed adhesion to wood. It’s this continuity that has proven to be much more resistant to UV degradation, color fading and adhesion loss.

The total cost for finishing your log home includes labor, tools and the materials involved in preparation of the wood surface, application of the finish and maintenance of that finish. When you consider the cost, it’s important to include the total, long-term cost of the stain that you choose.

For an average-size log home, labor costs for finishing would typically be about $4,500. In addition, about 20 gallons of stain would be needed to apply two coats to the home. For an ordinary stain, let’s say the cost per gallon is $30, totaling $600 for the entire job. Add in $4,500 for labor, and the total cost of the job is $5,100.

Field tests show that the job will last two years, the cost per year of service would be $2,550.

Now let’s take a look at the cost for a top-quality, 100-percent acrylic stain. At a cost of somewhere around $100 per gallon, the cost for 20 gallons would be $2,000. Again, the labor would be $4,500, so the total would be $6,500 – a significant increase from the lower-priced product. But, since the stain job will last at least five years, the cost per year of service would only come out to $1,300 – is half the yearly cost of the “budget” stain job!

It’s no surprise that high-quality products from Perma-Chink Systems’ extensive collection of exterior finishes and stains will result in spending less time and money protecting and maintaining your log home over the years!

Lifeline stains from Perma-Chink Systems are easy to apply and quick drying, so you can continue application without extended delays for drying. With our clear-coats you have the flexibility to perform maintenance with a minimum of labor and material costs. You can apply either color coats or clear coats over any surfaces requiring maintenance.

Quality stains not necessary will cost more if you consider coverage, number of coats, years of service, labor cost.

Perma-Chink Systems is the log home industry’s trusted partner for the tightest, greenest, and most impeccably finished log homes in the world for almost 40 years!

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