Should You Chink or Stain Your Logs First?

Published on | Log Home Chinking Log Home Stains | Weatherall Company, Inc.

When building a log home, there are many important decisions to make during the building process.

Some of those decisions involve chinking and stain — finding the right product, choosing the color you like, and making sure you apply chinking and stain correctly.

But should you chink or stain your logs first? 

Chinking and Staining: Which Comes First?

In most cases, staining should come first.

Stain is a thinner liquid, so it’s absorbed and sticks to the wood better than chinking.

Most chinking materials will accept stain, and the stain can also cover dirt, dust or grease, allowing the chinking to adhere better to the wood.

If you stain over your chinking, keep in mind that the color may be different, as chinking absorbs stain differently than wood.

Find out how to clean your logs before you stain >

Let the stain set for two to seven days before beginning the chinking process — especially when it comes to oil-based stains, as the grease can linger for days or even a couple of weeks. Allowing the stain to set will also make it easier to clean the chinking material from your house logs.

It’s best to do both the staining and chinking when the temperature is between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Choose Chinking and Stain for Your Logs 

When you’re looking for chinking to purchase, remember the following tips:

  • The chinking must be compatible with your log home stain.
  • Chinking should come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer, and make sure you buy from a reputable brand such as Weatherall.
  • If you’re using a chinking contractor, make sure they’re comfortable with your chosen material.
  • The chinking material should have a one-hour UL fire rating if you’re using it on your garage wall.

When shopping for stain, consider the following:

  • 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.
  • Buy stain that is designed for log homes. This is important because not all stains can weather the elements like a log stain.
  • The log stain can be water- or oil-based, but it’s best to purchase a high-end product. It’s a larger investment up front, but it will save you time and money in the long run.
  • The stain should be compatible with some type of exterior clear finish. This will make maintenance easier and more budget-friendly.

Find high-quality chinking and stain materials for your log home >