The Log Blog

Step inside the blog cabin for everything you need to know about log cabins…

A fabulous new Fifth Avenue summerhouse

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Mr & Mrs R wrote to us recently to say how delighted they were with their new Lugarde Fifth Avenue Classic summerhouse. We think it looks super and especially like the choice of colour. They chose Sadolin Superdec in “Asteroid” and “White Gloss” for the door and windows. Inside instead of the usual pine look, they went for Sadolin Clssic “Gossamer Blue” for the walls and “Opal White” for the ceiling.

Lugarde Fifth Avenue Classic

Lugarde Fifth Avenue Classic

Dip, dip, hurray! New Lugarde pre-treatment for garden buildings

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Lugarde have introduced a new wood pre-treatment for their garden buildings. The factory finish is available in four transparent colours; blue-grey, white, green and light oak. The entire building is treated including all parts that are normally unreachable after construction and the good news is your summerhouse, log cabin or garage will be maintenance free for up to five years (depending on weather conditions).

Lugarde summerhouse in transparent white

Lugarde summerhouse in transparent white

Lugarde first pre-treat the building with a colourless base before the top coat colour of your choice is applied. You can choose to have the entire building in one colour or mix and match the doors and windows and floor. Your building is instantly weatherproof and you save time and money by not having to pay expensive decorators charges or waiting for the great British weather to be dry.

As for further maintenance in the years ahead, you will only need to re apply a suitable wood preserver top coat, there is no need to use a base coat. See the pictures for examples of the 4 colours available, or take a look at the Lugarde range of garden buildings.

How to apply wood treatments to your log cabin

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We highly recommend that you treat your log cabin with wood preservatives as soon as possible after it has been built. The logs will be supplied ‘natural’ and untreated so it is extremely important that you protect the wood from the elements so that it lasts for years to come.

When you are ready to apply the protective finish, you must first make sure that the log surfaces are clean and dry. Make sure that you are not working in strong sunlight or rainy weather or in extreme temperatures (whichever product you choose, take note of the manufacturers guidelines).

Read thoroughly all of the directions for the particular product that you buy before applying. Usually more than one coat will be needed. Follow the instructions carefully, if it says to wait 24 hours between two coats then do not try to out guess. Make sure you wait the required time before adding an additional coat.

Cuprinol pre treatment wood preservative

Cuprinol pre treatment wood preservative

Our advice is to use Cuprinol Wood Preservative Clear as a pre treatment which will protect the wood before applying subsequent treatments. Cuprinol describe  this as a colourless general-purpose preserver for interior or exterior use. It gives deep penetrating protection to sound wood against decay, mould and blue-staining fungi. This low odour formula has been specially developed with low aromatic solvents to make it more pleasant and convenient to use.

We recommend that you apply liberally with a brush (it can be sprayed, but spraying can lose some of the product to the atmosphere and it may be difficult to get into all the joins and nooks and crannies). Apply evenly, working it well in to the logs and paying particular attention to the joins and the open grain of the log ends.

After the Cuprinol base coat has dried sufficiently, typically 2 – 5 days, you are ready to apply the top wood treatment. We recommend either Sadolin or Sikkens. For more advice on what and what not to use, we suggest you read our article Choosing the right wood treatment for your log cabin.

A good tip is to paint the whole way along each log at a time, starting from the bottom and working up. This way any drips won’t show and you can break off at any time without leaving a drying line. If you paint in sections from top to bottom you will get a darker ‘overlap’ which will look patchy and unsightly. Don’t worry if after the first coat the colour looks a bit uneven, generally that will improve with the second coat. Make sure you leave window and door frames open to dry well before closing. You don’t want them getting stuck!

We sometimes get asked the question, “can I treat the logs with wood preservative before I construct the cabin?”. What happens when you do this, is the wood takes on moisture from the treatment and swells. The joints will be tight and difficult to assemble. Far better that you treat the cabin afterwards.

Afterwards, continue to maintain the cabin and inspect the exterior regularly. Sadolin and Sikkens products will typically last around 5 years before you need to re treat. If you keep up with the proper maintenance of your log cabin, you will prevent any unsightly peeling that can occur in the future.



Choosing the right wood treatment for your log cabin

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Log cabins can last for generations providing they have been properly maintained. A good finish on the exterior logs is essential if its going to last a lifetime. The wood needs to have a proper finish that can control moisture. A good quality product will repel water (rain and condensation) from the outside but will also ‘breathe’, allowing moisture that is inside the wood to make its way out.

The moisture content in the wood will vary during the seasons throughout the year.  The current weather conditions and the age of the cabin will have a bearing on the content. Therefore it is extremely important that the finish on your log cabin is well maintained so that it repels water from the exterior surface of the wood and allows the wood to breathe.

Painting your log cabin with normal paint is therefore not a good idea and is definitely not recommended. Layers of paint build up and don’t allow the wood to breathe. Paints are not capable of ‘stretching’ and they fail. Its inflexibility does not allow the constant natural expansion and contraction of the wood and over time, the paint will crack and peel. Rain will get trapped between the log and the paint finish and the wood will no longer be protected. Moisture will make its way into the logs through the cracks and then be trapped by a finish that cannot breathe. These conditions if untreated will be the start of the rotting process.

So what should you use?  Whichever product you choose it should satisfy three criteria -

  1. It must be a wood preservative, not a paint
  2. It must be a waterproofer (many preservatives do not have waterproofing abilities. This is also true of many varnishes)
  3. It must have at least a small pigment of colour to provide UV protection and the damaging effects of sunlight. Without resistance to UV radiation the pine will fade to a grey/black colour.

Get it right first time and enjoy your cabin for years to come!

Keops recommend Sadolin or Sikkens wood treatments.

Wood treatments are available in a wide range of colours

Wood treatments are available in a wide range of colours

 

Put your feet up for the next seven years!

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New Sadolin Ultra StainIf you like the natural wood grain to show through on your log cabin, then you’ll love the new Sadolin “Ultra” Highly Translucent Woodstain range.

Available in a range of 16 colours, it provides tough weather protection with excellent durability. Its also got advanced UV active technology which means better protection in areas of high sun exposure.

The great news is that when used with Sadolin Ultra Basecoat, the Ultra System lasts for up to seven years. Visit http://www.sadolin.co.uk/ to find out more.