Best Wood Stains for a Log Cabin 4/5 (30)

This post was updated on January 15, 2024

Best Wood Stains for a Log Cabin in 2024

We at Deckstainhelp.com offer tips for more than staining decks. In this article, we offer our insight on which stains are the best for log cabins. We always appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below with pictures of your log cabin stain projects. For 2024, TWP 1500 Series and the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain are two excellent examples of log cabin stains.


Log Cabin Stain

Log Cabin Stain

Best Exterior Wood Stains for a Log Cabin and Wood Framed Homes

There is no doubt that a log cabin is a thing of beauty in almost any type of landscape. To keep a log cabin looking good and lasting for many years, maintenance is key. Log cabins can be very high maintenance and homeowners know all to well the tedious task of keeping it in good condition.

Like any other wood structure, a log cabin needs to have a protective finish. This keeps water and UV damage from rotting the logs and causing damage to the structure. Determining the best wood stain for a log cabin takes many factors into account. The texture of the wood, age, log moisture content, and climate are just a few. So while there may be many wood stains best for a log cabin there are a few that stand out.

Considering that most log cabins are constructed with rough-textured porous wood that eliminates using any type of stain made for dense smooth woods. A wood stain that is uniquely designed for rough sawn and porous wood is ideal.

Wood stains such as TWP 1500 Series and the Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain are two good examples of log cabin stains. These penetrating stains help prevent the damage caused by water, fungi, and UV radiation. They will allow the natural beauty of the wood to show through while providing maximum protection.

For extra dry logs, a stain like Armstrong Oil Based Stain can be a great choice. In addition to enhanced beauty and weather protection, Armstrong utilizes nondrying conditioning oils to replace the wood’s natural oils that have since evaporated. The nondrying oils separate from the drying side of the formula that remains at the surface to lock in the conditioning oils providing a dry to the touch barrier.

Try to stay away from wood stains designed for smooth hardwoods and also film forming or acrylic based stains. These types of stains are not best used on the rough sawn cut texture of log cabins and can cause a whole host of problems.

If you Have Questions on Staining Your Home, Please Ask Below

The Best Wood Stains Log Cabin Photos


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Diane Lee
Diane Lee
7 days ago

We have a 14 yr old cedar log home in Maine (approx 3600 sq ft floorplan). Original builders/owners stained the exterior using Sikkens (old formula). First new owner stained 8 yrs later using Sikkens (new formula). Two yrs after that, as the current owners, we are now faced with mold/mildew on every surface (almost), with the likelihood that it’s growing between the layers of stain. The deck is actually peeling. Is this even possible with Sikkens? We’re starting to get quotes on media-blasting with pulverized glass ($22,000) then power-washing and re-staining ($12,000+). Do procedures and cost sound about right? Considering using WoodGuard but is TWP better? Desperately need to prevent this problem in the future!

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Eric
Eric
5 months ago

We’re renovating the Lake House. We choose new pine log siding to replace the old log siding as the house addition would not match on the entire house. I am a long time customer of TWP and that was easy to go with them again. My question is with the new wood how long do I wait to stain, and if it turns grey can I stain over that without removing it? I read about mill glaze, the resins on smooth surface from milling blades. I read to wait 5-6 months prior to staining.

The old cabin wood was very dark and we want to get this as dark as possible. Going with dark walnut TWP 1500.

Thanks!
Eric

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Eric Steffy
Eric Steffy
5 months ago

Ok. Will the TWP not adhere as well if it is grey? Is 5-6 months a long enough wait period or can I lightly sand and stain sooner?
Thank you!
Eric

Morgan
Morgan
6 months ago

@Morgan

More pics

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Morgan
Morgan
6 months ago

@Morgan

Pics

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Morgan
Morgan
6 months ago

Just bought this stockade log fixer, ADU, and pole barns remodeled from the 50’s onward using wood from the property.
 
There’s a variety of surfaces including: old fir logs, old rough sawn fir decking, railings, benches and fir clapboards, as well as new cedar clapboards and treated railing and decking added by us. Pole barn is getting new T-1-11 and Hardie board.
 
Media blasting everything this week, then hoping to find a coordinating line with products in the same color and finish for each surface.
 
Was planning on using Cabot, in one color for the different applications, but this is not advisable anymore, correct? Even if we could find the original high VOC oil formula?
Looking at TWP, AC, and RAD stains, it doesn’t appear that one line has it all. Will we have to just mix and match?
 
Do any other recommended lines exist that have color coordinated products for:
-Semi-solid penetrating oil for the logs to cover discoloration
-Solid stain for clapboards to cover discoloration
-Semi-transparent stain for new decking
-Acrylic resurfacing product for old decking (planning rebuild soon)
-Acrylic solid coating for cement boards
 
 
Also, do we need a brightener after media blasting?
 
 
FYI
-In Washington state 8b, fungus of many kinds
-One side of house heavily treed, other side faces full weather
-Old decking is covered, new decking is open
-Everything treated with Borate for insects
-Old paint blasted off
-Color needed is dark brown

Morgan
Morgan
6 months ago

Ok, thanks!

Cabot does have all those products available in the same colors, and they do seem to magically match regardless of species/age/opacity, which is why we thought we had a foolproof plan.

But the new formulas are such a flop, we’re forced to pivot to a new brand. Thanks to this website though, at least we won’t waste time and money on products doomed to failure! We will take your advice and find a mix that works.

Last edited 6 months ago by Morgan
Chris
Chris
8 months ago

We want to re-stain our 35 year old pine log cabin!Behr stain has been used multiple times but didn’t seem to hold up more than 3 or 4 years!It is a very dark color like espresso!What stain would you recommend!We were thinking about using the Armstrong Clark brand in the espresso color they have!Can we just stain right over the old stain?Can you tell us what we need to do and what we need to get?Thanks

ron breton
ron breton
9 months ago

i have had a log cabin for 5 years now i used the timber pros XP log stain as per the instructions and unfortunately after a year it started to peel off. I have re-stained it again after 2 years and the following year it started peeling off again. That stain was recommended to me by the log home company which i found very ineffective and a waist of time and money as i have to consider a better stain and re-do the work. What stain would you recommend knowing i need to sand the old stain off.
thanks .

John Vliegenthart
John Vliegenthart
9 months ago

I want to re-do my south facing wall of my log home. It was originally stained with Cetol 1 and Cetol 23. About 4 years ago I put on a coat of Cetol Maintenance. Should I get down to bare wood or can I put something over the previous coats? I just want to protect the logs from us damage. Thanks, John

AVG
AVG
9 months ago

We purchased a log home that hasn’t been cared for. At some point they painted it green. We’re going to get it walnut blasted and then stained. The company doing the blasting recommend Messmers, I was thinking Lovitts. What do you recommend? TWP?

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Scott C
Scott C
10 months ago

I have a 5 year old cedar log home. I used a semi transparent water based stain from Sherman Williams(regret)and now and stripping off the stain and want to go with an oil based stain. Looking at Cabot’s or TWP but my question is you can still see some of the latex in certain parts of the logs, not much and with it being cedar don’t think it will be noticeable. Would oils based over those places hold up? See pic below

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mike
mike
10 months ago

we have a 15 year old cypress log home in colorado at just under 10,000 ft. elevaton. Unclear what was previously used to stain but need stain that is uv resistant and also resistant to brutal winter weather and exposure to intense sunlight on the sunny side.

Nathan F
Nathan F
2 years ago

So I’m in Saskatoon SK Canada and the dulux store has got a deal going on for Olympic 59000, 59000C 5 gallon for $100 just wondering what your thoughts are on this product for doing a cedar cabin that hasn’t been restained in +20yrs?

If im getting the paint and stripper brightener looking around $400

I want to do it right and one side is telling me thats a pretty good deal ill just make sure that is prepped well but the other side is like you pay for what you get and should be looking for something better like TWP or Defy paint.

I’m thinking going
2x TWP201 Cedar 5 Gallon
1x Restore a deck stripper
1x Restore a deck brightener

looking at $658
should i be getting double restore a deck if doing a whole cabin?

I want to buy local and CoOp with there hybrid stain is looking like a good option
have you heard anything on that stain?

Tony Barnett
Tony Barnett
2 years ago

Could you tell me what kind of stain to use and can I just pressure wash it thin stain

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Jeffrey Curtis
Jeffrey Curtis
2 years ago

I just got a log cabin from Little log cabins.com two years ago it’s Sun faded out yellow notty pine what stain you recommend the enteior I what’s clear varnish what is best

ABW
ABW
2 years ago

I just bought a cabin that has unstained rough cut cedar on front and back and hardie board on sides that the prior owner painted brown. Trying to figure out how to stain the cedar and somehow make the sides match or at least blend. Can hardie board be stained?

Olivia
Olivia
3 years ago

We don’t know what kind of stain was used on our log cabin but it is time to stain, is there a stain we can use without sanding?

Gerard Riquier
Gerard Riquier
3 years ago

How to protect from ULV ray in South Georgia ?

Arlene Wakeling
Arlene Wakeling
3 years ago

We live in an original pioneer cedar log home from the 1800’s and like to re-stain the logs next year. I used about 6 years ago Premier quality exterior wood semi transparent stain on the logs, they still look great but I would like to change the color by staining over it.

Which type of stain is best to paint over old color without sanding out stain off? We live in Ontario , Canada a four season country.

Arlene
Arlene
3 years ago

What if I used the same brand?

frank andrews
frank andrews
3 years ago

I have a cedar sided home built in 1986.The exterior has been preserved / stained with only one product that has been used over the years. I need to reapply and cannot find and old can. The store I purchased it is out of business. Crazy but all I can remember that it was labeled as a stain wood preservative for cedar buildings and log homes. I believe the product began with the letter P. the color is a dark brown.Hope possibly someone maybe able to help.
Thanks in advance

Thomas Rauls
Thomas Rauls
2 years ago
Reply to  frank andrews

Could be Penofin wood preservative
New product is Penofin Verde a greener product

Reney
Reney
3 years ago

What kind of stain do you recommend for new Western red cedar 4×4 posts?
Is arbor coat or structure wood stain okay.
I’ve seen good ratings for Armstrong but can’t find where to buy it

Thomas Rauls
Thomas Rauls
2 years ago

I agree with not using Arbor Coat.
New options would be AgriStain by Green Planet Paints. Penetration of a 4×4 cedar post in thee months in the sun. 100% renewable resources,
No mildew, mold or in can preservatives. All natural preservation of wood.

Reney
Reney
3 years ago

What kind of stain do you recommend for new Western red cedar 4×4 posts?
Is arbor coat or structure wood stain okay.
I’ve seen good ratings for Armstrong but can’t find where to buy it

Devin
Devin
3 years ago

Can I use a solid color of Olympic Elite stain on my log home? Do solid color stain breath enough for log?

Nancy Krause
Nancy Krause
3 years ago

We currently have a rough cedar sided home stained with behr premium log home glossy cedar stain. It is turning dark in areas, also not a fan of the glossy finish. What can i use to switch to a more flat finish.

glyfada kinser
glyfada kinser
3 years ago

What is the best clear log cabin sealer?The cabin is made from logs cut straight from our woods & is 40 years old.

Lillian Poff
Lillian Poff
3 years ago

What color stain is on this cabin in the picture above?

Lillian Poff
Lillian Poff
3 years ago

Could you send pics and names of the stain that would go good with black trim?

Greg Alan Flem8ng
Greg Alan Flem8ng
3 years ago

Just purchased 26 to stacked logcabin. Home inspector said I need to pressure wash and stain logs deck and deck railings. I’m awarded monies to buy pressure washer and all products for the job and want to bring this home back to life. Help!what can brighten it up. Do i need to pressure wash/strip/brighten/stain?or is there more or less. And particular products

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Richard
Richard
4 years ago

My log home is 25 years old and needs to be recounted. Which product is best with the most longevity

Dave Powell
Dave Powell
4 years ago

Is CWF-UV5 a good choice for re-staining a log home. We have eastern white pine logs.

Eugene Campbell
Eugene Campbell
4 years ago

I have a pine log home approx. 20 years old. Getting ready to power wash and restain for the third time. I would like to have a semi transparent or clear look showing the beauty of the wood, but would also like to have a glossy or satin look. What product do I use?
Thanks
Gene

Miranda Dean
Miranda Dean
4 years ago

I have a large, pine, log home and live in Mississippi. We have issues with sun and rain. Im thankful that we do not have to worry about a lot of snow. Can you recommend the best stain for us? Our house is 3280 sq. ft., so how many gallons would we need?

Cecil Pugmire
Cecil Pugmire
4 years ago

I have a 3 sided log home that was last stained about 6 years ago, live in SE Idaho with semi dry climate at 6000 feet altitude. what is best oil based stain recommendation?

Stefanie
Stefanie
4 years ago

Are any of your recommended stains compatible with Permachink chinking compound?

Cory
Cory
4 years ago

Hi. I’m a first-time cabin owner… and looks like I need to restain it before winter. Previous owner used Superdeck 1910 Natural. I really like the color, but it’s fading after a few years. Can I reapply the same stuff over the top (after pressure washing) or do I need additional prep work? If I need to do additional prep, should I just go with another brand of stain? Looks like Superdeck doesn’t get very good reviews. Thank you!

Norma Counts
Norma Counts
4 years ago

We used capture and cascade on our log home, it is water based. Is it okay to switch to an oil base

Karen Freeman
Karen Freeman
4 years ago

I have a 27 year old log home that we moved into 3 years ago. It needs to be stained. I believe it was previously stained with Cabot semi transparent stain about 8 to -0 years ago. Any recommendations.

Cindy and Don Adams
Cindy and Don Adams
4 years ago

We have a 38 year old log home we built ourselves. We need your help choosing the right kind of stain/preservative. The last thing that was used on it was cuprinol 38 years ago.other than that bug spaying and power washing is all that has been done to it. We have some carpenter bee problems west side and post beetles on the east side. The house is actually in good shape. We know we need to power wash it 1st. Not sure what to use. If anything. Please help. cell phone is 603-860-2891
We live in Massachusetts , but we live inland near the New Hampshire boarder.

Marcy Slaughter
Marcy Slaughter
4 years ago

We bought a log cabin in southern Colorado 4 years ago. We think the cabin was built 25 years ago. The logs are green treated and do not look like they have been stained. We are planning on pressure washing with a cleaner, then brighter to make sure everything is off the logs. Next, stain them because they are looking dry and in need of some chinking too. What stain would you advise me use on these green treated logs?
Also, it has a porch with log railing around the house. Would you put the same stain on the log railing that you would the log house or do I need to use a deck wood stain on the log railing?
Thanks for you help.

Betty Viersen
Betty Viersen
4 years ago

We need to know what will go over Behr Super Rawhide? We had excellent results with it but time it’s redone. Help

Steve
Steve
4 years ago

I used Olympic Clear coat stain on my exterior white cedar logs. The water-based stain has not lasted 3 years. I am ready to put a solid pigment stain on my cabin even if I have to go to a darker color; right now it is sort of a neutral blonde color. Please advise me on what is the best brand to use. I live in western Indiana where the weather constantly changes. Some of my logs have started to turn dark where the stain has worn away. Please advise. I just remembered that my wife and I accidentally put water based solid stain on the logs as well. I know it was a mistake but we did not know what to do. Can I put a solid oil base stain over all? All of the logs have a knife and peel look to them…

Terry
Terry
4 years ago

I have a log home made out of larch pine,very dry and hard wood . The sun has dried the logs out. What stain should I use?

Ken
Ken
4 years ago

Have a cedar rough cut cabin in British columbia.it was first stained in about 1972 with a stain that I believe was called rawhide. This stain never dries and stays tacky to the touch when it is humid. Is there a stain that can be applied over it?
Some people have sandblasted it off of their cabins but it’s an unbelievable mess.is there a way to avoid sandblasting

Ken
Ken
4 years ago

Is there an alternative such as chemical or pressure wash that might work to remove it?

Kurt Wiesbauer
Kurt Wiesbauer
4 years ago

Western red cedar what do you recommend for an exterior and interior stain

Maria Mejia
Maria Mejia
4 years ago

Hi! I’m purchased a cabin in twin peaks, California. I have a big deck that needs re paining. I would like to stain it. Recommendations of what to use or what brands to use? Please help!

Dawn
Dawn
4 years ago

Is there an advantage over corn cob blasting and/or walnut media blasting?

sharon walker
sharon walker
4 years ago

we have a home with log cabin siding..right now we have sickens on it and it is not holding up. what is the best product to use on the siding? we live in Missouri and have sun, heat . we plan on power washing the sickens off but need a great product to replace it with.

Tom
Tom
4 years ago

What about Outlast Q8 Log Oil for log cabin stain It says it is EPA registered. Any experience or comments?

Shirley
Shirley
4 years ago

I have a spa room. We installed a tongue & groove ceiling. Can I use Thompson Water sealer on it?

dean
dean
4 years ago

can you use cabot austrailin oil on a pine log house

jim munroe
jim munroe
4 years ago

I have a Lincoln log house I built in 1985 always have used cwf cedar stain would like try something different as far as color its held up ok after about 6 applications over years

Alan
Alan
4 years ago

How would you remove the cwf ?

Willy
Willy
4 years ago
Reply to  jim munroe

Don’t build layers (multiple coats) with semi or solid stains, it’s not like a paint that builds durability and life by applying multiple coats. Multiple coats of solid or semi stains will peel, one coat with a thin second coat is the max or it WILL peel.

Willy
Willy
4 years ago

I used Behr Deck Plus Solid stain 12 years ago on our cabin and it still looks like we just stained it yesterday.. Solid stains don’t typically peel like paint, just slowly fade away. But the Behr still looks like new. So good we used it on our main home in New England and it is holding up unbelievably. I do see it rated #1 in Consumer Reports all the time so it has an excellent rating from them also. I would never use semi or clear oil stains, they attract mold since it is a natural food for mold spores. They look nice and natural but the constant maintenance is not worth it for me. I’m hoping for 20 years out of my solid stain, so far so good. If you pick the right color the solid looks beautiful.

Willy
Willy
4 years ago

Is TWP a linseed based product??? If it is, linseed is a natural food for mold.

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