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The Magnificent 7: Stain Guide

The finish you select for your logs or timbers matters. Use this overview to navigate your options.

Written by Suzanna Logan
Searching for the perfect stain for your home’s wood? You’re in luck. We’ve rounded up seven standouts from top manufacturers that will add protection plus luscious color to your log or timber home inside and out, top to bottom. So whether you need a stain that can stand up to the elements or provide just the right amount of pizzazz, we’ve got you
(and your walls, floors, decks and trim) covered.

Lifeline™ Ultra-7

This water-based stain formula, which offers a furniture-grade finish, is made up of transparent iron oxides, mildew inhibitors and an advanced polymer resin. The resin creates a tough but flexible seal that is proven to stand up to the harshest weather conditions (think snow country, the sunny southeast and extreme mountain locations).
Made by: Perma-Chink Systems
Best for: Any exterior application on your log or timber home, including walls, siding and railings
Bragging rights: Lifeline Ultra-7 meets and exceeds all standards for low-VOC exterior finishes in North America and can be color-matched to any desired shade.

SuperDeck® Log Home & Deck Stain

Part of a full line of products that includes formulations for stripping, cleaning and waterproofing, the SuperDeck Log Home & Deck Stain delivers a durable, satin sheen and varnish-like finish to your log or timber home.
Made by: Sherwin-Williams 
Best for: Both exterior and interior logs and timbers
Bragging rights: Wood can be re-coated in just four hours, so a staining job can be finished up in a single day. Plus, it’s water-based, so easy application and clean-up are a sure thing.

Outlast Q8 Log Oil®

This oil-based wood preservative targets rot and decay-causing organisms, like mold, termites and powder post beetles, while helping control cracking and splitting.
Made by: CTA Products Group 
Best for: Log home exteriors, wood siding and decks
Bragging rights: You’ll get one-coat coverage with this EPA-registered wood preservative. And when it’s time for touchups, no need to strip before re-coating. Also, it’s the only stain product on the market that meets the American Wood Protection Association requirements for end-cut treatment of pressure treated lumber.

UV Guard Wood Finish

Perfected over a 25 year period, the pigment-rich formula contains advanced UV absorbers and stabilizers, making it ideal for particularly sun-prone areas. It also effectively repels water, yet still offers a “breathable” coating that resists warping, swelling or cracking caused by excessive moisture.
Made by: Weatherall
Best for: Interior or exterior logs, wood siding and timbers
Bragging rights: In stringent testing involving sunlight, moisture and temperature extremes, UV Guard Wood Finish bested major competitors.

Nanocomposite Aluminum Oxide Finish

While not technically a “stain,” this commercial grade, factory-applied finish system made up of seven UV-cured coats of nano-finish guarantees longevity to your home’s most heavily-trafficked areas.
Best for: Adding durability to floors and paneling
Bragging rights: “Nano” is made in the USA, is both no-VOC and BPA-free, and it carries a coveted UL GREENGUARD GOLD certification, so you can breathe easy knowing it has low or no chemical emissions.

Transformation Stain® Log & Timber

While this oil-based, semi-transparent formula can be used on new log construction, where it really shines is on old, damaged or weathered logs. It restores dull, grayed-out wood, making it rich and brilliant in a single step.
Made by: Sashco
Best for: Logs and timbers, wood siding and trim, wood railings and spindles
Bragging rights: Because it’s chemically compatible with a wide range of stains, it’s a smart go-to stain when you’re unsure of what was used on your logs or timbers previously.


This heavy-duty exterior wood coating combines transparent iron oxides and acrylic stain resin technology for translucent coverage that allows the natural wood grain to come through, while still offering advanced protection against the elements, including sun damage, water and fungus.
Made by: Structures Wood Care
Best for: Logs and timbers, wood siding and trim, entry doors, fencing, railing and shakes
Bragging rights: The VOC-compliant formula is made up of 100-percent, industrial-grade acrylic — with no added resin fillers.

Editor's Picks

All products featured are carefully reviewed and selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, we earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

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