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Protective wood treatments

/Protective wood treatments

Protective wood treatments for your log cabin

All log cabins and summerhouses need to be treated and maintained with a high quality waterproofing wood preservative to ensure they last a lifetime
A single coat of Cuprinol or Sadolin clear wood preservative should be applied both internally and externally and allowed to penetrate and dry for three days before treating with weather protector products. The three day drying makes the use of these spirit based products suitable even when over-coated with water based stains such as Superdec.

For external treatments you can choose from many brands but we have found Sadolin or Sikkens to be excellent. Other recommended products are Jotun/Butinox or sikkens Novatech/Novatop.

Whichever product you choose it must satisfy four criteria.

  • It must be a weather protector rather than a paint
  • It must be a waterproofer (many preservatives do not have waterproofing abilities. This is also true of many varnishes)
  • It must have at least a small pigment of colour to provide a filter against the sun
  • It must be of high quality, for joinery applications, e.g. front doors, windows, conservatories etc.

There are many lower quality stains available for sheds, fences, garden furniture etc. that really do not provide the correct weather proofing needed for a log cabin and/or need maintenance annually. These are generally the lower priced products. In our experience “Cuprinol Garden Shades” or “Ducks Back” have not performed well in log cabin applications.

It is always best practice to apply the treatments by brush and ensure that each coat is worked deep into all joints particularly at corners and between logs. Do not brush too thin or apply over thick. Ensure all faces and edges of doors and windows are also weather protected.

For the internal treatment, assuming you do not expect dampness being created in the cabin and also that you wish to retain the light pine appearance, simply apply the one coat of Cuprinol/Sadolin clear preservative or similar all purpose preservative.

If there is likely to be moisture created within the cabin e.g. from cooking, many people breathing, gas heater, open garage doors and concrete floors, hot tubs etc. then the internal faces of the walls and ceiling must also be waterproofed. You could use Sadolin Extra Durable Clear Coat or Clear Polyeurethane floor varnish. In all cases it is a good precaution to treat inside faces of doors and windows with the exterior weather protector stain to prevent differential moisture absorption that can cause warping of the doors or windows.

All treatments are to be applied in accordance with the product instructions and maintenance coats are to be applied at intervals recommended by the product supplier.

It is sometimes necessary to add a silicon sealant to some joints in the cabin. This is always needed for log end to end butt joints that occur in long walls and sometimes around door/window frames to wall joints depending on weather conditions imposed.

It is a simple case of running a bead of silicon water proof sealant into the joint to fill any gaps and provide a cover fillet.

However we recommend that the silicon is only applied after all other treatments are completed and the wood has dried and settled. For this reason our installers are not in a position to apply the final sealants and responsibility for doing this lies with the customer.

Sadolin products are available online or nationwide from any Crown Decorating Centre. There are five systems which work well.

  • “Classic” as a first coat followed by “Extra” as a top coat. Provides a semi gloss finish – OR
  • “Onecoat” for both coats. Also provides a semi gloss translucent finish – OR
  • “Ultra” base coat followed by “Ultra” highly translucent stain – OR
  • “Superdec” for both coats (water based). Provides an opaque finish – OR
  • “Classic” for both coats (better with three coats). Provides a matt finish
If you choose Sikkens the preferred choice is “Novatech” first coat and “Novatop” top coat. More product information and advice is available at the sikkens website
A Special Offer For you!

We have set up an account with a company called Wood Care Direct       tel. 0845 305 5401

You can order any of the products displayed on their website and benefit from extra discount off already great online prices.


Simply use the code (note the underscores are necessary!) for all your decorating needs over and over again (you can even let your friends into the secret).
Woodcare Direct will deliver straight to your door. Most products reach you within 48 hours of ordering.
To estimate quantities needed please try these simple calculations:-

To estimate quantity of products

For clear wood preservative (one coat inside + outside + ceiling)

“Distance” = Total length of exterior walls (in metres) + total length of partition walls (in metres)

Area 1 = “Distance” x 2.5

Area 2 = Cabin width (in metres) x cabin length in metres

Quantity of product (in litres) = 0.05 x (Area 1 + Area 2)
Round up to next whole 5 litre can

For weatherproof stain (2 coats external only)

Quantity of product (in litres) = 0.25 x Total length of exterior wall (in metres)
Round up to next whole 2.5 litre can

For log cabins that require Euro class B Spread of Flame (see our Building Regulations information) we recommend HR-Prof.

HR-Prof is a water based solution that is absorbed into the surface of the wood. It is easy to apply and has non-flammable properties which restrict ignition and spread of flame. It is applied first and can be fully over-coated with wood treatments as mentioned above.

For further details visit Fire Retardant UK Ltd

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Protecting your log cabin from the elements- what (and what not) to use and why and how to apply it

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