restained log home exterior

Best Practices for Re-Staining Log Cabins

The question

When re-staining a previously stained log home, what prep procedures do you recommend before applying a new coat of stains? Is power washing sufficient?

The answer

By Rick Watson

That really is dependent on the condition of the existing coating and whether it can be finished/recoated.

Some products require total removal. That’s why you may have read to recoat before 24 hours, or that the second coat must be applied within seven days of the first coat on the data pages. Otherwise, the product would sit on top remaining tacky, and never “dry.”

Data pages may also state that only one coat is necessary due to the composition of the product. Excessive film build may create a glossy/tacky finish. Many stain products are meant to penetrate into the wood, not just sit on top.

Recommendation: Test first

Test the absorbency of the finish by sprinkling water on the surface. If the water penetrates, then most likely it can be coated over. If the water beads up or does not penetrate, my suggestion would be to remove the existing coating.

Recognize that any surface preparation short of total removal of the old coating may compromise the service length of the new system.


This article was originally published in the Summer 2017 issue of PPC magazine. Rick Watson, Product Information, Sherwin-Williams, answers contractor questions in the Ask Your ProPartner™ column of PPC magazine. Read more of his answers here.

Got a question not answered here? Stop by your local Sherwin-Williams store or contact your sales rep. Their employees are trained to have the product knowledge and application expertise to solve  your toughest coating problems. Find a store near you

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