Is it OK to paint a log cabin or log home?
I see painted log homes all over Texas. Usually a painted house is a sign that someone was overwhelmed by log home maintenance. It is commonly used as a short cut to properly staining or fixing log rot. It seems to cover the rot and problem areas for the time being. Painting logs is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Paint will seal the logs up so well that they will hold water for days. This accelerates rot to a whole new level. Standard siding and dimensional lumber do not have these issues as much with paint. They are more likely to drain and dry quickly. Once an imperfection at the top allows water in, it has no where to go. See our blog "turning your log checks out" this article plays into how over caulking your downward facing checks, causes a similar condition.
The most common place to see painted cabins is during pre purchase inspections. Thick paint hides rotten areas from bank inspectors and potential buyers. Owners trying to sell will often do this because of the prohibitive cost of doing it properly. When I order replacement logs on a painted cabin, I usually order about double the amount of log rot I can see.
The image below is of a corner but it gives a good cross section view of what is happening. Its impossible to completely seal 100% of all the upward facing checks. As they develop leaks, even slight hairline leaks, water begins to collect at the bottom behind paint. Then there is no where for it to drain and dry, feeding rot causing organisms.
Guild Log and Timber offers all types of Log home restoration services. Check out our youtube videos. You can also see whats happening on the job by visiting our Facebook.