Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Tips to Get The Most From Your Log Home Finish

Clean, dry, and open-pored-- the way to get the best performance out of your log finish, regardless or the brand, color, or formula, is proper preparation of the surface. For new logs or log siding, that means blasting or sanding the surface at 60-80 grit to remove the mill glaze (a thin film that will block your stain penetration) and open the wood cells. For refinishing over a stained log that has been properly maintained, that might mean a simple wash and reapplication of the finish.

The surface should be clean and dry before finishing, but the best choice of cleaning agent may differ depending on wood species, surface condition, and the finish that will be applied. For example, an oxygen bleach like CPR is a great cleaner for log prep, however it can shift the color of woods high in tannin or flavonoid; e.g., oak might turn dark, Douglas fir might turn pink. Always check the data tech for your finish for the recommended cleaner, and always try a small test area on the actual surface before advancing.

If you plan on using a preservative, such as Tim-bor or Boracol, apply it and allow to dry before applying the finish. Borate preservatives are a relatively affordable step of insurance to deter future fungal decay and insect infestation.

When choosing a finish, more pigment will provide greater UV protection and greater longevity- however too much pigment will mask the wood. Paint and solid stains on logs are not recommended-- firstly because they can hide and prevent remedy of underlying issues such as decay; and secondly, because we think that wood is too beautiful to hide!

Read the application data for the product being used and apply the recommended number of coats to increase UV protection. In most cases the first coat going into the wood should be the heaviest saturation. If spraying the finish, back-brush vigorously for proper adhesion and to force it into any small cracks.

Apply the finish at temperatures in the range of 50°F to 90°F. Surface temperatures below or above this range can hinder absorption and shorten the life of the finish. Wind and direct sunlight can also dry a finish too quickly.

In addition to proper preparation and application, another important consideration to get the most life out of a finish is not to let it go too long without its needed maintenance coat. It’s advisable to give the home a walk-around once per year and inspect the integrity of the finish, especially on the south, west, or sun-exposed areas. Wash and touch-up the finish as-needed, which on average is 3-5 years on the sun-exposed areas.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Log Keepers


As the warmer season draws to a close, we are often frantic to wrap up unfinished summer projects. Sometimes the end of the season may leave us with raw, untreated logs or siding left unstained or unsealed for one reason or another. If the wood has been prepped and cleaned, perhaps even a borate preservative applied, but there’s no time to choose or apply stain before the good weather runs out, a log keeper might be a good option. There are a few choices available on the market with their various advantages, but generally these clear or lightly tinted primers can protect your wood while buying some extra time to get the final finish on. Most can be applied to higher moisture content wood and will help to reduce water absorption, graying from UV damage, and mold or mildew growth. Below are a few options that we carry for a first step in protecting your logs while they wait to be finished.

Sashco Colorfast

Prevents mold and yellowing due to UV damage on new wood as it moves from the mill to the job site and throughout construction. Contains both mildewcide and algaecide to help preserve the wood until it’s time to stain. Or, life happened and you need to wait for a few weeks between prep and staining? No problem.

Before staining, Colorfast evens out wood porosity, creating a smoother surface for stain application and preventing over-absorption and a too-dark color. After staining, the lignin stabilizers prevent the wood underneath from getting sunburned, leaving the stain or clear coat applied on top looking the same year after year.


TM5 First Treat Wood Protection

Organiclear™ TM-5 First Treat
wood coating is used to protect newly debarked (green) logs and timber during processing, storage, and delivery. TM-5 First Treat protects against Mold, Mildew, and Fungus and three way protection from Rain, Fading, and Weather. (Optimal protection is afforded against discoloration from UV rays.) The special one-coat water based formulation penetrates deep into the interior of green wood. TM-5 First Treat is a concentrate that can be diluted with two parts water, or 1:1 for high moisture woods such as Norway Pine or Aspen. TM-5 First Treat is designed for dipping, though spraying works well. If you choose to dilute at 2:1, it may require monitoring logs for additional coatings. 


Sansin SDF Foundation

Sansin Foundation
is a penetrating base coat that offers up to 6 months of complete wood protection against weathering and UV during construction. Even better, it dramatically enhances top coat performance without extensive preparation – simply wash and apply the appropriate product over Foundation as directed. Foundation is perfect for both interior and exterior wood surfaces like timbers, logs and lumber. It penetrates naturally, carrying solids deep into the wood where they form a monolithic bond with the wood tissue. This increases dimensional stability, reducing checks and wood movement. In addition to protecting against harmful UV radiation, it enhances the natural moisture resistance of wood surfaces without causing adhesion issues for subsequent top coat applications. Classic Foundation & SDF Foundation formulas are available in Ready to Use formulations that are milky when wet and dry clear.

Sansin Timber-Tec- unprotected vs protected

Sansin Timber-Tec
is a concentrated, penetrating wood protection system, offering an effective guard against weathering while providing active UV protection. Timber-Tec contains a proprietary mix of ingredients that protects against sapstain (or bluestain), mold, mildew, and fungi. Suggested for use on logs, timbers, and wood joinery products. Sansin Timber-Tec is intended as a priming application for logs 24-48 hours after being drawknifed and should be applied to clean logs that are not in ground contact. Sansin Timber-Tec can not be applied over previously finished or stained wood. Timber-Tec is available in two transparent formulas:

  • M-30 provides the natural light color of fresh pine. 

  • C-20 is a clear concentrate that provides a light honey color to the wood once it has dried. 

Sansin Timber-Tec contains solids that penetrate well, creating dimensional stability and water repellency and greatly minimizes cracks and checking. Sansin Timber-Tec provides active U.V. protection keeping wood pure during the construction phase. Note: If applied by spraying, it must be back brushed for proper application. Timber-Tec must also be power washed off of the logs before applying finish. *On some surfaces it will not be easily removed with powerwashing and may require a chemical stripper like Log-Gevity Citrus Strip or sanding.

Friday, April 9, 2021

Sansin Boracol: Diffusable, long-term decay, insect and mold protection

By Sjoerd Bos, Managing Director at Sansin

Wood is an incredibly strong building material, but it must be protected properly to stand the test of time, and that means protecting it against wood-destroying fungi, insects and mold. Sansin Boracol 20-2 is designed to do just that - fight fungi and insect infestation. It is recommended for use on roof, floor or structural timbers, joinery, joist ends, and door and window framing. Boracol 20-2 penetrates wood exceptionally well – even heartwood, up to 3-5mm deep. It establishes a reserve from where further penetration takes place (up to 40 mm over two years in dry wood).

Because Boracol diffuses with moisture, it migrates into areas with higher moisture content. Boracol can also be used to eradicate wood rot in existing structures, and it can also be used to protect new and existing logs and timbers against fungi and wood-boring insect. In addition to organic surfaces such as wood, Boracol works to prevent mold on inorganic materials like stone or concrete. Sansin Boracol contains boron, which is far less hazardous than traditional treatments and will give your project the lasting protection it needs – with low toxicity.

 The Science Behind Boracol

 Premature decay of untreated wood that was periodically or permanently exposed to increased moisture content (over 25%) reached serious proportions in North America in the mid-2000s. As a result, requirements for reliable treatments were introduced. Boron-based wood preservatives were found to be the most acceptable pre- and remedial treatment for rot and insect attack.

In addition to their proven efficiency, the borate formulations are widely accepted as environmentally safe wood preservatives, having very low toxicity. Boracol wood preservatives are based on inorganic Boron (disodium octaborate tetrahydrate), which not only has the ability to diffuse in moist wood but also contains a very low vapor pressure and has the ability to progressively penetrate the wood even several years after application. Over this time, because of the boron concentration in the wood, the degrading organisms have no chance to survive and cause damage.

The only condition for proper performance is that the treated wood should not be exposed to direct contact with water (i.e. wood-in-ground contact or occasional heavy rain over construction wood). If the wood is exposed to water in this way, it is possible the Boron will “travel the opposite way” by a leaching process. To keep this from happening, a post-treatment application of the wood surfaces is recommended by applying a proven wood protection system like Sansin SDF, DEC or Classic 1-2-3. 

How to Apply Boracol 

Boracol can be applied by brushing, dipping or spraying. Within the first 24 to 48 hours, the product will penetrate 3-5 mm deep into the wood and will establish a reserve of over-concentrated Boron from which further penetration and diffusion will take place depending on the wood’s moisture content.

Brush Application: This method requires some shear force to be applied in order to evenly spread the product over a range of different surface profiles. The brushing method yields best results if applied before wood components are assembled. 

Dipping: This method requires a non-corrosive dipping tank and an additional support surface inclined at an angle to allow excess product to drain off into the tank. The advantage of this method is that all the surfaces – including splits and cracks – are fully treated.

Spraying: Different spray applicators can be used, and the viscosity of the product can be adapted by adding up to 5% water. 

Injection Method: This method is used to increase the quantity of Boron in wood locations where condensed water may be trapped for a longer period. A syringe-type injector can be used to fill cracks and gaps or pre-drilled holes.

It is advised to clean the wood before treatment. Vacuum cleaning, power washing or compressed air are good ways to remove dirt. Boracol forms a wet-appearing film on wood surfaces as soon as the product is applied. The film will stay on wood for a period necessary for the solvent to penetrate the wood surface, bringing the Boron compound deeper in the wood. During this time, the treated wood surfaces should be protected from contact with water.

If the treated wood is intended for subsequent paint or stain application, allow at least seven days for Boracol to completely penetrate and disappear from the surface. If a slight film or crystal-like particles are visible, the surface should be wiped off with a damp cloth. Light sanding can be very helpful to remove boron crystals and improve adhesion of the coating. Subsequent coating is particularly important when wood is exposed to contact with rain or con-densed water that stays trapped in the wood for a longer period of time (e.g. balconies). To learn more about Sansin Boracol 20-2, click here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Indelible Ink Pencil

 The Sanford NOBLOT Ink Pencils have been discontinued but have been now replaced with this indelible successor. The lead writes as if it were ordinary smooth dark grey graphite lead, but it is indelible. In fact, it is a seductively smooth-writing "graphite" pencil, and you must be careful to separate it from regular graphite pencils. If you write very lightly and erase very carefully with a vinyl eraser in a dry environment, the markings will erase. The indelibility is due to the dyeing of the surface written upon, which is "fixed" by writing firmly, by the rubbing action of mechanical erasure, and further intensified by dampening or exposure to humid environments (your "hot, foggy" breath close to the markings will do). To assist you in keeping this lead away from anything you do not want permanently marked, we supply a point protector with each pencil.

This lead does not break as easily as our Veritas indelible pencil leads, but a little more easily than the Sanford Noblot pencil did. The aniline dye component weakens the lead slightly as compared with usual clay/graphite leads. The Select™ Indelible pencil writes more darkly and with a slightly broader line than the Noblot did. We suggest sharpening it to a short point, rather than a long one. The body is round, which assists you in continuously turning the pencil during use to keep the lead pointed. Sold individually.

Made in the USA.


Monday, January 4, 2021

LogSeal Foam Tape

LogSeal Foam Tape is the original and still largest brand of Foam Gaskets to the Log Building Industry. More than 36 years of experience has gone into providing the best gaskets available. LogSeal foam tape is manufactured using closed cell materials, which prevent virtually all moisture absorption and air infiltration.

LogSeal closed cell gasket has the following features: 

1. Excellent seal against water, cold, heat, light, and noise.

2. Excellent recovery characteristics. 

3. Perpetual seal during drying, settling, and continued log movement.

4. Excellent resistance to ultraviolet light. 

5. Adhesive on one side, with an easy-release protective liner. 

6. Easy application with a wide variety of log joint designs, including tongue and groove, splined and gasket, and saddle notch. 

Physical Properties: 

Color - Brown 

Gauge - 1/4" x 1/2", 3/8" x 1/2






Friday, October 23, 2020

Wood Finish & Treatment Decisions For Lasting Log Home Protection

 By Sjoerd Bos, Managing Director at Sansin  

Whether you currently own a log home or are purchasing or building one, you no doubt appreciate the enduring beauty of wood and the log home aesthetic. To protect your investment and ensure your home stands the test of time, you will want to protect it from dirt, moisture, UV exposure and other handling damage. This means wood treatment and finishing are critical decisions. Rather than choosing a coating that creates a non-breathable, waxy film on top of the wood, there are water-borne finish options that deeply penetrate into the logs, allowing water to evaporate and preventing moisture from getting trapped and rotting the logs from within. 

For more than 30 years, the Sansin Corporation has been exclusively dedicated to the development of enviro-friendly, water-borne wood finish technologies that make wood beautiful, durable and easy-to- maintain. Sansin’s wood coatings utilize a unique water-borne alkyd formula that combines the benefits of both oil- and water-based coatings but in a formula with much lower VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels. Additionally, rather than using toxic dyes in the colorant system, Sansin utilizes nano technology to create pure pigments ground so fine that they deliver remarkably vibrant, uniform and long-lasting color. Because the finishes don’t form a film on top of the wood, the coatings won’t crack, chip or peel. Water-borne finishes also dry faster, allowing additional coats to be applied in one day rather than waiting a day or two between coats. When properly applied, the coatings offer superior UV protection and lasting durability that enables log home owners to extend the time between maintenance coats.

Sansin SDF is the company’s most versatile exterior finish and, in addition to log home restoration projects, works well on decks, docks, siding and fences. SDF’s specially-formulated oils and resins penetrate into the wood, creating a monolithic bond for outstanding weather and UV protection that won’t crack, peel or blister. SDF can be used on horizontal and vertical wood surfaces and is available in a wide range of natural, semi-transparent and even solid colors. Because SDF is designed to be highly water-repellent, it’s a natural choice for log homes in moisture-rich environments. SDF Topcoat offers additional durability and superior water repellency using a semi-film forming finish. SDF Topcoat is great for surfaces where water splash-back causes discoloration due to moisture intrusion or frequent wetting.When it comes to protecting wood during construction, Sansin Foundation, a nearly invisible penetrating base coat, is simply the best way to protect logs from damage during construction. Just give the wood a light cleaning, and then you can also use it as a base coat for Classic or SDF, creating those lighter, more natural tones but with built-in UV protection. Foundation penetrates into the wood, creating dimensional stability while reducing checks and wood movement. It is available in three tones that complement the wood species of fir, cedar and lightwood.

 Look no further than Sansin Timber-Tec for your in-yard protection. Timber-Tec is an industrial grade product that protects from UV degradation, blue stain and repels water (helping wood dry), and it also mitigates wood discoloration during the construction process. Timber-Tec can be applied to green or seasoned logs, improving dimensional stability and allowing wood to adjust gradually to moisture levels in the environment. It comes in in two formula options. M-30 provides the natural light color of fresh pine while C-20 is a clear concentrate that provides a light honey color to the wood after it dries.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Something to Blush About

Did your recently applied clear coat turn hazy white?

During the cooler shoulder seasons of spring and early fall, and even throughout the summer, we occasionally get concern. Water-based finishes can be sensitive to cool, wet weather. If dew or rain get onto a finish before it has fully dried or cured, there can be a startling effect called blushing. Blushing is a white appearance in the finish that happens when water reacts with an uncured finish. It will disappear and turn clear again when the finish dries and cures, but that could take a few warm, dry days. In some extreme situations it has taken several weeks for the blushing to clear up, or if it’s in the late fall it might take all winter when things warm up to cure in the spring.

Although clearing of the whiteness can be sped up through the use of a hair-dryer, it’s generally better to do nothing and let it cure out on its own. Blushing typically doesn’t affect the performance on the finish, but is merely a temporary cosmetic headache. Once the finish has cured and cleared, the blushing should not return.


Question about your log finish blushing? Contact us here.


Tips to Get The Most From Your Log Home Finish

Clean, dry, and open-pored-- the way to get the best performance out of your log finish , regardless or the brand, color, or formula, is pro...