How To Chink A Log Home
You want the old-time mortar look without the old-time mortar performance. (Cracks and air leaks, anyone?) Let us walk you through how to chink a log home, or repair old chinking on your older log home, to keep the air, bugs, and wet weather where it belongs – outside.
What You’ll Need
Log Jam® Chinking
Sashco has all the equipment you need to media blast your log or wood home to prepare it for the perfect staining job.
Step 1 – Gather tools
- Log Jam® chinking
- Sashco Filler RopeTM, another backer rod, or clear packing tape
- Utility knife to open cartridges
- Caulking gun; or, if you’re doing a whole home, you might want a Sashco Snorkler® chink pump (link “Caulking gun” to caulk and chinking accessories page)
- Follow plate, if using a 5-gallon bucket
- Foam brushes or trowels for smoothing the chinking
- Spray bottle and small container of water for smoothing
- Denatured alcohol if chinking during hot temps (above 80⁰F)
- Damp rags for clean up
- Some flannel to help you feel very Daniel Boone-ish
Step 2 – Clean the Joints
If chinking for the first time:
- Make sure the logs are stained with a compatible finish. All of Sashco’s stains work with our chinking. (Link Sashco’s Stains to the “Products” page)
- Clean off any dust, pollen, bird poo, etc. The chinking needs to be applied to a clean surface in order to adhere properly and last for years to come.
If repairing or replacing old chinking:
- Remove any crumbling or cracked mortar. Mortar that’s still intact can stay as long as it looks good and there’s no rot under it.
- Sand down the joints to remove loose, unsound wood fibers. Those wood fibers will interfere with adhesion of other products (stains and chinking) that are applied.
- Stain the joints with a compatible finish. Again, all of Sashco’s stains work with our chinking. (We were thinking ahead!)
Step 3 – Insert Filler RopeTM or another bond breaker
Why? Because your chinking job will last longer and you’ll use less chinking. (We’re sure your hands and wallet will thank us.)
- In joints ½” deep or more, use Filler RopeTM, Grip StripTM, or another backer rod.
- In joints less than ½” deep or over top of existing mortar, use clear packing tape in the back of the joint.
Step 4 – Applying the chinking
A steady hand is imperative, so lay off the caffeine for a bit. Apply no more than 2-3 feet at a time. On wider joints, apply 3 separate beads – one on either side of the joint, and one down the middle – or use a ribbon nozzle to apply one wide bead at a time.
Step 5 – Smooth (tool) the chinking
As you go along, use a damp foam brush or a spray bottle with a trowel to smooth (tool) the chinking. This ensures proper adhesion and long-term performance. Don’t apply too much at a time! You don’t want the chinking to skin over before you get a chance to smooth it. In hotter temps (above 80⁰), a 25% denatured alcohol/water mixture will help slow down the drying to give you more time to smooth the chinking.
Step 6 – Clean up
Use soap and water to clean up skin and tools. Wipe up any milky run-off as you go along. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy your work.
Yes, we said to stain first before applying chinking. Chinking, when smoothed, will create some milky run-off. This run-off will soak into unstained wood and create ugly lines underneath your stain. Avoid this and extra sanding work. Stain first.