One of facts of life in preserving the beautiful look of natural logs is that eventually they need to be refinished. Owners of conventional homes have to re-paint their home from time to time, and owners of Log Homes need to periodically re-stain them. It’s important to look at the process when considering re-staining a log home. With re-painting, it’s much easier – pick a color, clean the walls, and re-paint it. With a log home a number of other issues come into play. Is the existing finish intact enough to simply re-stain over? Are there water stains that must be removed before re-applying the required semi transparent stain? Do you want to re-stain in a different color? If you want a darker color can you simply re-stain over the lighter color? If you have water stains and want a lighter color, what do you do?
In numerous cases if the stain is aged, or if water stains are present, getting the logs back to a consistent natural appearance is necessary in the re-staining process. So the question is – WHAT OPTIONS DO I HAVE TO GET MY LOGS BACK TO THAT NEW NATURAL LOOK BEFORE I APPLY THE STAIN? The options are:
1) Pressure Washing Pressure washing is an option if the existing stain is worn out and can obviously be removed completely by pressure washing. Care must be used during the operation as high-pressure water can easily erode the log surface and in some cases can come right through log joinery due to natural settling of the structure.
2) Chemical Strippers Chemical strippers are used if existing stain is sufficiently intact to preclude the use of a pressure washer, or if the strippers are used to soften the stain making the pressure wash easier. There are a variety of strippers on the market; some are more environmentally friendly while others are more aggressive. The bottom line is that they work, and they should be chosen to match the application and that, by the way, they are CHEMICALS. They’re applied to the wall, and then they are removed, along with the stain. The chemicals and stain have to go somewhere, right? Typically they end up at the base of the wall on the bushes or on the dirt, where they have to be cleaned up and disposed of properly.
3) Sanding or Sandblasting An obvious option is to grab a belt sander and sand the finish, or what’s left of it off of the logs. Ouch, I just remembered that the logs are round, and the belt is flat! And there are lots of corners and crevices. Lots of detailed work involved, lots of dust, etc, etc. Sandblasting seems a lot easier – can go around the logs easier, get into the corners, less fine dust — but the sand chews up the logs (known as “the fuzzies”) and now I’ve got a whole pile of sand around my house to clean up.
4) Use a Blaster-Buddy Having extensive experience with all of the above methods, we are convinced that the easiest, safest and not to mention environmentally clean method of removing old finishes from log homes is the Blaster-Buddy. Introduced in spring of 1999 by Perma-Chink Systems, on outward appearances this revolutionary system resembles an overgrown sand blaster. From an inside perspective here’s why it’s different.
Instead of sand, the blast media is custom dried ground up corncob. I’m going to go technical on you for a minute here, so hang on. The dried cob is lighter than sand so when it strikes the logs it has a high velocity, but low mass. This means that the blast particle has lower energy, removes the stain, but does not harm the wood as much – in other words, takes the stain off but doesn’t fuzz up the logs as badly. Next, because the media is organic (corn cob), that pile of stuff all around the house is lighter to clean up and any residual will decompose and fertilize your shrubs. Next, because it is a dry media, you don’t run the risk of blowing water into your house and because you don’t have to wait until the house is dry, the house is ready to stain as soon as the blasting is completed. This is one of the most clean and efficient ways to prepare your house for re-staining. Perma-Chink Systems both sells and rents Blasters, and stocks corn cob-media at distributors across the country.
We realize that re-staining a log home is a bit of a traumatic process, but one of the necessary evils in life. So if you have to do it, get the right tool and make it as easy as possible. Hire someone to do it for you, or do it yourself. In any case rent a Blaster-Buddy from us, order more cob media than necessary (we take back any unused resalable bags), rent an air compressor at your local rental yard, take a day to re-expose those beautiful logs, apply Lifeline Exterior™ stain the next day, and go back to work to rest on Monday.
Blaster-Buddy with remote control, weights about 400 pounds and it is about four feet high. It comes with 50 feet of blast hose, an owners manual and safety kit. The safety kit includes a face shield with headgear, a pair of gloves, sets of earplugs and respiration masks. The fully equipped blast machine package assures you matched components for efficient and reliable production.
The heavy-duty formed steel tube cage of the Blaster-Buddy protects remote control valves, components and piping. The inverted head design allows for easy filling and a large abrasive storage capacity. Efficient 35° shaped conical bottoms assures free gravity flow of abrasives and complete consumption. A unique media valve allows for gravity flow of abrasives into the passing air supply with the least amount of resistance. Tough stainless steel plates control the critical air-abrasive mixture and eliminates abrasive back flow. Tilt control raises the wheel slightly off the ground when the machine is positioned upright, and wide leg design provides positive balance. The Blaster-Buddy machine vessel is fabricated to ASME standards and is National Board approved.
Perma-Chink Systems will also supply you with 40 lbs bags of media to use with your Blaster-Buddy Machine. The coverage rate will vary depending on product to be removed, access and shape of area to be blasted. One bag of media covers areas from 75 sq.ft. to 200 sq.ft.
Again, your advantages using Blaster-Buddy:
No water is used – no water gets into your walls.
No caustic strippers and no chemicals.
Clean up is simple – residual materials are biodegradable.
Home is ready for finishing immediately at completion, dry and chemical free, so you can proceed with your next steps.
Save our environment, USE BLASTER-BUDDY from PERMA-CHINK SYSTEMS, INC.
About Perma-Chink Systems, Inc.
In 1981, Perma-Chink Systems, Inc. introduced flexible chinking to the log home industry to replace what was the standard at the time – concrete mortar and painted splines.
This revolutionary product, Perma-Chink log home chinking, looked like authentic mortar but stretched and flexed to accommodate log movement while maintaining a tight seal for the life of the house. Log homes became one of the most weather-tight, comfortable home choices available. Practically overnight, Perma-Chink had forever changed the way log home owners would think about sealing their log homes.
Since 1981, PERMA-CHINK SYSTEMS, INC has developed a complete line of specialized sealers, stains and finishes, preservatives, and cleaners made for the unique needs of log homes. From primary wood treatments applied immediately after logs are peeled, to restoration products for older homes, Perma-Chink offers everything needed to seal, protect and beautify any log home.
“Pretty much everybody in the industry has heard of Perma-Chink”, says Rich Dunstan, president of Perma-Chink Systems, Inc., adding that the company’s polymers help hold together the log houses of such noted Americans as former President Jimmy Carter, businessmen H.Ross Perot an T. Boone Pickens, clothing designer Ralph Lauren, and singer Barbara Mandrell’s 20,000 square-foot home.
Perma-Chink Systems sells its products directly to log-home manufacturers and builders and by mail to home owners.
Perma-Chink Systems gives dominance in the log home industry with the largest line of environmentally conscious sealants, stains and finishes, preservatives and restoration products: 22 products.
Call us today at 1-800-548-1231 in Redmond, WA or 1-800-548-3554 in Knoxville, TN and visit our website at www.permachink.com for more information about our products.