Just 10 years ago, your choice of wood stains might as well have been brown, brown or brown. But contemporary stain manufacturers now offer a wide array of colors, from ocean blue to forest green — even pumpkin orange. These hues are still inspired by Mother Nature. She just kicked them up a notch. And your choices don’t end there. Modern technology has helped to produce safer, less-toxic stains — along with additives to make the formulations longer lasting and more protective. But which one is right for you?
There are no hard and fast rules. But there are upsides and downsides to every finish, so you should base your stain selection on your specific project. With manufacturers regularly refining and growing their product lines, you’ll gain a lot by asking the pros which stains they suggest — and why. (Perhaps one penetrates more deeply, while another provides more UV protection.)
But here are the basic options. Stains come in three formulations: oil-based, water-based, and “emulsions” that blend the two. For the most part, oil-based formulas are no longer used since equally effective, less-toxic options have come to market. However, a manufacturer may still recommend an oil-based formula for re-staining an old log home if you don’t know what formula was originally used.
Ins and Outs
The primary difference between interior and exterior stains is the presence of additives. Because exterior walls are exposed to the elements, ingredients are often added for UV protection and to prevent fading. Others fight the growth of fungi, mold or mildew. Most interior walls don’t need these additives, though UV protection may be a good idea in a sun-room or any space with lots of windows. If you don’t think your walls react to sunlight, you’ve never taken down a photograph only to be shocked at how much darker the wall is behind it. On the other hand, stains without additives are less toxic and less expensive. So, again, it comes down to your project and preferences.
Now for the fun part – choosing the actual color! While you want to select colors that reflect your personal style, choose carefully. All experts recommend going with hues you can live with for years to come. Changing colors on a stained log wall is not nearly as easy as repainting. One of the most popular colors on the east coast is gray. Whether on the rocky New England shoreline or tucked into a woodsy area in the South, gray exteriors can give your home a weathered look, as though it’s been part of the surrounding landscape for 100 years. Folks on the west coast seem to favor golden shades — perhaps inspired by the region’s deserts, mountains and sunshine.
Ten years ago, most home owners selected just two stains: a light color for the interior and a darker one for the exterior. But with all the hues available today, why not be adventurous with accent colors? On cottage style log homes, that gingerbread trim cries out for color. (Just think of the “painted ladies” of Victorian architecture.) Or maybe you want to go lighter, darker or just completely different with porch rails, shutters or decks. There’s no rule that says you can only use one color on your log home’s exterior.
Are you ready to make a change? Do your logs need a brightening up? If your answer is yes to either question, the professionals at Moorhouse Coating are ready to help. Call or email us TODAY!