Should You Chink or Stain Your Logs First?
In most cases, staining should come first. It alleviates the problems of discoloring the chinking when stain is applied after the chinking is installed.
Water based stain provides a better bond to the wood than oil based stains. This is because the chemistry of water based stains is similar to most chinking products on the market and helps to provide a cohesive bond to the wood.
If you stain over your chinking, keep in mind that application may be tedious because of the constant effort of working the stain over the chinking to avoid drip marks in your stain job. This occurs because the stain doesn’t absorb into the chinking as well as it absorbs into the wood.
Let the stain set for two to seven days before beginning the chinking process — especially when it comes to oil-based stains, as the residual oil on the surface of the logs can linger for days or even weeks.
It’s best to do both the staining and chinking when the temperature is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure the log home stain is compatible with your chinking material. This will ensure that the chinking gets proper adhesion and can perform properly.
The log stain can be water- or oil-based, but it’s best to purchase a high-end product that has a warranty and that meets the manufactures application guidelines. It’s a larger investment up front, but it will save you time and money in the long run.