How to Care for Interior Log Walls

Published on | Log Homes | Coleman Kelleghan

Properly maintaining your log cabin wall will make your home a beautiful, relaxing place where you want to spend your time. Unfortunately, a lot of people don't know how to care for interior log walls. Follow these three tips to keep your interior log walls as attractive and healthy as the day they were built.

Stain Your Interior Log Walls to Protect Them

Untreated wood will degrade over time. If left alone, it will rot to the point where it falls apart and turns into mulch. This process helps forests stay healthy by using dead trees as food for new plants. While it might make forests healthy, you don't want the process destroying your walls. Staining your logs will protect them from the rotting process. Some people like to use a log home stain that changes the wood's color. Weatherall makes a UV Guard Wood Finish that comes in a dozen colors. If you prefer the natural color of your interior log walls, use Log Guard Interior Clear. Two to three coats will protect your wood and prevent it from yellowing.

Keeping Your Interior Log Walls Clean

Staining will protect your interior log walls, but it won't keep them clean. Over time, dust, smoke, and grime can build up on your walls. You'll need to know how to clean them properly to eliminate this problem. If you just need to remove a small amount of grime for your log walls, you can use a product like Murphy's Oil Soap. Use a sponge to apply a small amount of the oil soap to your walls. After you have applied the soap, wipe down the walls. You may need to scrub some areas harder than others. Washing your walls regularly (about once per month) will prevent them from accumulating dirt and grime. As long as you stick to a schedule, it's easy to keep walls clean.

Restoring Walls that Show Signs of Age

Log walls that show significant signs of age (stains, discoloration, and the like) probably won't respond well to a cleaner. If that's the case, you will need to remove the upper layer of the wood. That means sanding the walls to reach the healthy wood underneath. Fine grit sandpaper is usually sufficient for removing wood stains. You can usually do this by hand. If the stain is deep, though, consider using an orbital sander to make the job easier. If you locate any mold while sanding, you can kill it by applying vinegar with a clean brush. After you have removed the upper layer of the wood, you'll need to restain the area to protect it from degrading again. Log homes need regular maintenance to keep them in top condition. Luckily, most of the maintenance and cleaning is easy. You can finish the job within a day. Remember that keeping your interior log walls clean will help protect them from damage. Regular cleaning is one of the most effective ways to prevent stains and rot.

Image via Flickr by vastateparksstaff