Color is a beautiful thing. It can also be the source of sleepless nights, eye-twitching, and the reason you’re popping Tums. Let’s face it, choosing the right color for your log home is a big deal, and it can feel pretty darn stressful. We get it, and we’re here to help! These top-tips go a long way to giving you color confidence!
First, spend a lot of time just looking around at homes you love. What tones speak to you? Looking at stain colors on other homes gives you a big picture idea of what to expect on your own. We have tons of inspiration for you here.
Take Your Color & Maintenance Temperature
Next, consider maintenance and protection. While every Sashco stain will protect your home from the beating Mother Nature dishes out, darker stains do provide slightly more longevity. Lighter colors require slightly more frequent maintenance. When choosing a stain color, “take your temperature.” What’s most important to you? Want to go darker and go a bit longer between maintenance coats? Great, you’ll be thrilled with colors like Transformation Stain in Brown Tone Dark or Redwood, or Capture Log Stain in Chestnut or Mahogany. Maybe you’re more of a purist and prefer lighter, more natural-looking logs and don’t mind doing maintenance a few months earlier. Perfect, we’ve got just what you’re looking for. You’ll be swooning over colors like Capture Log Stain in Natural or Wheat, or Transformation Stain in Gold Tone Light or Natural.
Try Before You Buy!
Once you’ve decided which color family you prefer, try it on for size! If you’ve ever painted a room, you know that seeing color on a tiny chip versus an entire room is a very different experience. Multiply it by, well, a lot, when you see a stain color online or stain board versus your entire home! If you want total color confidence, you need to know the color you choose for your home is right before you cover the whole dang thing and it’s too late. Many factors influence what a stain looks like on your home—lighting, wood prep, even individual logs impact how stain looks. We take the stress out of selecting a color with the sample packages of your dreams. One quick order gets you product info, samples, and more — all in a fun box. It’s like receiving peace of mind in the mailbox. Get your free stain samples here.
Congratulations! You’re on your way to a gorgeous log home and way better sleep. You can go ahead and toss the Tums.
Tip #1: Proper Prep, Please!
Spend any time around Sashco peeps, and you’ll hear ad nauseam about the importance of proper prep. Why? Because it will guarantee the best long-term performance in a stain. Without proper surface prep, even the best log home stain in the world will fail.
Every month we feature a contractor, business, or success story. Learning from others in the biz is the best kind of learning. This month, we’re featuring Tony Christensen with Kbartee Renovations.
Spring is upon us, which usually means business picks up. Tony with Kbartee Renovations has been in full swing through the winter, too. We’re grateful for the time he spent with us, sharing more about his business here in Sashco’s home state of Colorado.
How did you get started in Log home finishing?
I graduated college with a degree I wasn’t going to do anything with and was looking for work. Scott Stropko (Sashco’s Western Territory Manager) was a good family friend and he asked if I liked working outside. I said yes. He hooked me up with Jim Davis out of Wyoming and I started four days later. I worked with Jim for 3½ years and decided that I didn’t want to travel as much anymore, so another business partner and I broke off on our own. I worked with my business partner here in Colorado for 11½ years. Then, about 18 months ago, I decided to split off on my own. Life. is. great! Every day I pinch myself to make sure it’s real. I have an incredible job and I get to work in some incredible places. When I decided to be sole proprietor, it was a little scary. I never thought I’d be this busy. It’s mind blowing. I’m so grateful. There wasn’t a day during COVID that I didn’t work.
What is your favorite part of this work?
Restoration. I like working on older homes. I like it when homeowners haven’t liked their home for a while, but didn’t know they could get it the way they wanted. I simply apply expertise and elbow grease. I love taking a home, transforming it, and seeing how happy the homeowner is at the end. We’re restoring their dream. Their smiles make it all worth it.
What is your least favorite part?
Weather: It’s hard to work around the weather. But then, I had more working days in January and February of this year than I have in March and April because of spring snows. It’s also difficult to manage expectations for people who don’t know that we’re booked so far ahead. They call in June wanting their home done by end of the summer.
What is your advice to a newbie?
I wish Sashco offered the Zero Failures Business Focus class when I started out 13 years ago. I’d be so much further ahead. I would tell people that your word and your reputation are everything in this industry. You better have an incredibly good work ethic and be able to work with lots of different personalities. Be willing to learn. Soak up everything. It’s paramount to do good work and maintain high-quality relationships in this industry. If you get a bad rep with homeowners, that’s also a bad rep with distributors and others in the industry. When you screw up (not if, because it will happen), be willing to fix things and learn from it. Don’t just cut and run. You learn who you don’t want to be before you learn who you do want to be.
What does the future look like?
I’ve had opportunities recently to merge with another company or purchase another company, but I really like where I am now. I like having the smaller crew. It’s part of the appeal with homeowners, too. I’m the owner, I will be on the jobsite 85-90% of the time, they’re dealing with me from A to Z. I’ve gotten really good at selling that. There are people who I know want to grow. That was me at first. I have two guys working for me and they’ve caught on really fast. Eventually, I know I will need to ease back and let those guys take some things over. In 5 to 10 years, maybe they’ll want to buy me out and I can go buy my cattle ranch.
Speaking of cattle ranching, what is the meaning of Kbartee?
Kbartee is a brand my wife’s grandmother sewed into her wedding dress. It’s a K, a Bar, and a T. As a gift for our first wedding anniversary, my wife registered it. I wanted something different for a company name and this just fit. It will be the brand for our cattle ranch someday.
Thanks again, Tony, for the time. Hit Tony up to talk shop!
Mold might be the most dreadful of all four-letter words!
When dealing with mold, you may come up with a few four-letter words of your own. No wonder. It’s a major headache!
You probably wonder, “Can I scrub that black spot off the caulk?” In good faith, you try to clean the surface. The surface may even look good briefly, but then you realize mold is growing beneath the caulk. Argh! Even re-caulking your bathtub or shower does not work. It always returns over and over again. Please give me an Advil and an explanation for why it keeps coming back.
You don’t have to worry. We’ve got you covered. You might discover mold and mildew growing underneath your bathroom caulk, which means that new caulk will not fix the problem (Say what?!?!?!). They keep growing back, so even if you replace the caulk, the mildew keeps coming back, and then you just end up where you started. It’s a frustrating cycle that never ends.
What are the best ways to determine where mold or mildew is growing?
Soak a cotton ball in fresh chlorine bleach and apply it to mildewed caulk. If it disappears immediately, the mildew is growing on top of the caulk. Score! You just need a little elbow grease and a thorough cleaning session.
Mildew that takes 45 seconds or more to disappear is likely mildew under the caulk, requiring more effort (and persistence, don’t worry, you’ve got this).
Do you see mildew where you removed the caulk? This happens when rigid caulk loses adhesion or crack. Water gets behind the caulk and causes mold and mildew. Is it difficult to see the mildew? Unfortunately, it may be behind the tile, and the caulk line is simply an exit. (Ugh.) Remove a tile (we know, but there’s still Advil) and see where the mildew comes from. Moisture often enters through unsealed grout lines. The scenario can be a bit like trying to find the source of a leaky pipe. You can see the water dripping and the damage it is causing, but it takes some detective work to discover where the leak comes from.
3. Eliminate mildew.
Hopefully, the mildew growth is localized and minor. Mildew remover products or mild bleach and water solutions – 5 parts water to 1 part bleach are great options. Getting a specialist in is essential if that tile you removed hints at something more serious (like mildew covering the walls and tile backs, or visible mildew around the surrounding tiles, etc.).
4. Reset the tiles and seal the grout
It’s important to seal that grout to prevent any further moisture infiltration. You can find grout sealer at any hardware store. Re-caulk after removing all mildew, and the surface is clean.
If you don’t want mildew to grow on your caulk, use an enzyme-based product (like Sashco’s CleanSeal®) or a product that has a chemical composition that naturally inhibits mildew growth (like Sashco’s Lexel®).
6. You’ve worked hard, so enjoy it.
Let’s toast to that mold-free shower. Linger under that hot water and marvel at the lack of black stuff. Oh, that’s so soothing. Cheers!
Do you know the five most common signs that you need to do log home stain maintenance?
Identifying signs that it’s time to maintain your log home with a fresh coat of stain, or Cascade® Clear Coat is easy. Start by downloading this handy inspection guide to carry along with you as you perform your inspection as the very first step in your maintenance plan.
Loss of sheen
Most clear coats have a satin sheen when first applied, and while still in good shape. Over time, that clear coat or stain erodes due to weathering. Look at your home in the sun or take a flash light to it. If it looks a bit flat, it’s time for maintenance.
Color shifts in log Stain
Does your stain look darker than it did originally? Perhaps there’s some fading going on where it’s exposed to sun? Both are signs that your stain (andthe UV filters in it) have worn off and need to be replenished.
Water not shedding
Break out the hose or a spray bottle. Is water still running down the logs? It should sheet off the wood, not bead up. Any areas where water isn’t “sheeting” well needs a fresh coat of stain or clear coat.
Dirt, pollen, bird poo, etc.
Over time, surface contaminants will eat away at the integrity of your stain. If you can see these contaminants, it’s time for a good wash down at least, and possibly time for more another coat of stain.
New micro checks and cracks in the wood
Have any new micro checks (the tiny cracks in the face of the logs themselves) appeared? If so, those are unprotected by stain and need to be treated! Left unprotected, they’ll allow moisture to come in that can compromise the integrity of the stain, not to mention invite rot. Make sure new micro checks are filled with stain or a your clear coat. (Important note: Make sure any crack that’s 1/4″ wide or larger on the upper curve of the log is caulked with Conceal® or Log Builder®, not just stained.)
We have GREAT news! It’s only necessary to apply more stain and/or a clear coat where it’s needed, when it’s needed.
In some cases, the north and east sides of the home can be skipped the first time you maintain the south and west sides. They don’t get the same UV exposure and don’t tend to need care as soon. Any areas protected by an eave, overhang, or porch will likely require less maintenance over time, too. Proper planning and education will help you stay on top of your maintenance, so many times there’s no need to re-coat the whole darn house every time. (We’re all about saving the weekends for fun and relaxation, too.)
That’s it! Great job! You’ve determined what needs to be done to protect your log home come spring.
Need a little more guidance and help planning? No problem, our customer service team is always happy to help! Give us a call at 800-767-5656.
Have you ever tried to run a cloth or duster over wood with no clear coat on it? It’s horrible! It catches on the wood, doesn’t remove the dust, and ultimately makes a bigger mess. Even worse is trying to clean wood that is permanently yellow from UV exposure and oxidization. Follow these 3 steps to create an easy-to-clean, won’t-get-discolored constant warm glow in your log or wood home. BONUS: Interior finishing needs to be done only once. Routine cleaning — wiping down cobwebs, dust that settles, fingerprints, etc. — is all that’s needed to maintain the finish and keep the wood looking like new.
What do you get when you combine a roofing contractor and a sealant manufacturer for a chimney repair project (apart from much time spent arguing over who gets to use the rad tools)? An expert example of tuckpointing a chimney.
Recently, Sashco president Les Burch and Sashco team members Sabrina and Randy helped Shane Guerra, the owner of Synergy Property Solutions, and his team, repair a chimney. Shane used Mor-Flexx, a latex acrylic caulk designed specifically for the chimney repairs. Mor-Flexx is ideal for use on mortar between stucco, concrete, bricks, and stone, or stucco repairs. (more…)
We know renovating a home is a lot of work, especially on a home that was built in the early 1900s! But Michelle Colvin and her husband, Casey Colvin with Heritage Roofing & Contracting, were up for the task. Discover how Mor-Flexx caulk helped revitalize a beautiful historic home.
Logs are in constant dynamic motion. That's why there's Log Builder®, the sealant made for log structures. Stretches up to 500% of original size, while still maintaining tenacious adhesion to the wood.
It's Music to the Eyes Symphony works in harmony with the unique character of your logs and wood to reflect an atmosphere or cozy warmth and elegance while creating and scuff-resistant and durable surface that's easy to dust.
Maintenance Made Easy Now that Capture® Log Stain is applied, it’s time for Cascade® Clear Topcoat to bring out the depth and character of your unique woodgrain while protecting it against moisture, mildew, and algae. Predictable and affordable routine maintenance with Cascade throughout the years means your home stays protected and beautiful. Easy!
Rot, weather, insects, fungi all pose a serious threat to your logs. Protect your investment—treat your logs first to make them last. Tim-bor® helps protect your home from the costly damage caused by rot and insect infestation.
Bugs don't stand a chance
Easy to mix and apply
Prevents decay fungi
Costs 5 times less than glycol-based borate products