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Log Prep – a very interesting study!

A reader of this blog, Terry K. Tadysak, built a full 9 inch Swedish Cope style log home in Northern Wisconsin about 3 years ago. In preparation for this project he did considerable research on what best to use for interior and exterior wood stains.  Terry contacted me and was willing to share his findings with our community.  This is some VERY interesting reading…

In researching exterior and interior log stains, he learned that most log home builders are recommending stains they are able to buy wholesale and resell at profitable retail prices. he found that many of their recommendations were not the ‘best’ choices recommended by U.S. Forest Products Lab or consistent with the Texas A&M study on exterior stains. Oil based semi transparent stains was the ‘best first choice’ of these institutions. (Terry works as an Investigator for a Law Firm for 31 years that specializes in Products Liability. Researching products has been something he has been doing for more than 3 decades ).

Terry obtained over 30 types of exterior stains and over 25 interior stains and applied the stains to log cut offs The same logs used in his log home. The test applications were very useful in deciding on best finish for interior and exterior. The longevity of the exterior decisions he based on U.S. Forest Products Lab and Texas A&M recommendations.

He learned in his research that some of the exterior choices can also be potentially very harmful as a result of the ‘bug juices’ in the stains. I ultimately chose TWP as it did contain the fungicides and algaecides necessary to preserve the wood and still allow the logs to ‘breathe’. You will see from his “how to do” information that he used TimBor to address the insect issues. I should note that this stain is so effective in order to caulk the spaces between the logs on the exterior you need to use an oil based caulk. Most on the market are water based.

Read Terry’s full ‘log prep” report here…

BTW… yes, that’s yours truly driving that man-lift around my front yard. I talked about DIY maintenance and staining logs on this previous post.

4 comments to Log Prep – a very interesting study!

  • Charis Babcock

    I read Mr. Taddysak’s report. It was interesting. Sashco did it’s own testing of a similar sort a while back (report available on our website at, and there have been other manufacturers who’ve done the same. Sashco is glad to see people are doing their own research and is always happy to provide samples for this type of testing. It’s good to know many aren’t buying simply based on the claims made by some and/or without any research into what is out there.

  • Tom


    Thanks for the additional information. I downloaded your report and as you stated, “This study clearly shows there truly is a big difference in the quality of stains, so it just makes sense to spend a little more money per pail for a stain that will retain its original beauty much longer”.

  • I hope you found the report informative. Just some extra details for you:

    We prepared no less than 16 panels for each stain we tested and the results shared in the report are an average of the results from all the panels. We generally tried to show in the brochure itself the best performing panel for each competitor in order to be as fair as possible to all the companies whose products we tested.

    In addition, we continue to have many of those panels out there in our “back yard” doing longer-term testing. No results yet, but stay tuned.

    Thank you for your blog and the opportunity to share information. Sashco is always looking for opportunities to better educate the log home community and appreciate blogs like yours that allow us that forum.

  • Bob

    I strongly endorse TWP. I too read the research from Texas a&m. I live in an area of log homes near Yellowstone Park. On average, owners in our neighborhood were getting 2-3 years out of an application of most of the highly advertised products. My second application of 1500 series TWP came three years after the first coating. I’ve gotten at least five years out of the subsequent stainings.

    I am on my second log home–sanding every inch inside and out using a four-and-a-half inch grinder/sander. By FAR the best sanding disk I have found (and I had a big pile of used disks of many styles and sizes from doing my research) is frequently called a flap disk. It looks like a series of one-inch pieces of sand paper glued to a standard round sanding disk. Most building supply stores carry a 60 grit which works for the really rough work. Lowe’s in Montana carries a 120 grit which is about perfect for finish work on logs. Use it for a short time on a throw-away board to take the coarse effect off.

    Also, find a sander paper cleaner/eraser. They look like the light colored eraser that crumbled away from grammar school days. I found one at Harbor Freight Tools. On a saw dust filled disk, with grinder/sander running, carefully apply the eraser until the sandpaper is clean.

    With a flap disk and the eraser, I’ve been able to sand more than eight hours.

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