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Treatment Tips

Log cabins are manufactured from untreated Nordic spruce - a softwood - so the wood will require treating and painting properly as soon as possible after installation.
Doors and windows should be painted on all 6 sides immediately after installation. 
See 'Doors and Windows' section below for more detailed information.
It is important that your log cabin exterior walls and trims etc. are either painted immediately (once erected), or preserved with pre-treatment and then painted, preferably within a week or so, but within a maximum of 4-6 weeks from installing, with 2-3 coats of a good quality paint or stain.
The products we recommend can be purchased from local decorators merchants such as Brewers, or online suppliers such as Wood Care Direct -
These products are not available at regular DIY stores or builders merchants.
When planning to install a log cabin, make sure you are able to treat/paint immediately yourself, or hire a local professional decorator to do the work.
When planning your budget for the work, remember to allow for the cost of the preservative and the paint!
IMPORTANT! The manufacturers guarantee will not apply to cabins that have not been properly treated and maintained on a regular basis.
Step One: Preservative Pre-Treatment (can be skipped if painting immediately)
Untreated wood will turn a grey colour, and will be vulnerable to rot, decay, mould and insect attack. Using a wood preservative will prevent this damage.
For the exterior walls and trims (not doors/windows) you can use a Clear Wood Preserver which will protect the wood before you paint it. Brands suitable are Cuprinol, Wickes, Barrettine, Sika etc.
This treatment needs to dry for around 2-5 days before painting or staining the cabin.
Wood Preserver is a colourless general purpose treatment for exterior use. It gives a deep penetrating protection to sound wood against decay, mould and blue-staining fungi. The low odour formula has been specially developed with low aromatic solvents to make it more pleasant and convenient to use.
Preservative can be either sprayed on using a garden sprayer, or applied liberally with a brush. Apply uniformly, flooding faces, sides, ends and joints with at least two brush or spray coats. Apply the next coat after the previous coat has soaked in, but before it is dry. In other words, drench the wood in preservative.
Preservative treatment is only the first step. The cabin will still need to be painted as soon as possible, within 4-6 weeks maximum.
Step Two: Painting or Staining
Painting or staining protects the wood from the damaging effects of sun and rain. Paints or wood-stains prevent the UV light from the sun from breaking down the surface of the wood and they also protect against rain penetration.
'Clear' products are not suitable, as they do not protect against UV. There are translucent stains available which have a pigment, and they are available in various wood shades.
The type of product used will also need to be very flexible to cope with the expansion and contraction of the logs throughout the seasons.
Not all types of wood paint/stain are suitable!
Use a product which mentions on the tin or data sheet that it is suitable for use on bare cladding. If it only mentions it is suitable for windows & doors then it probably is not suitable for log cabin walls.
If you are unsure please consult a specialist supplier regarding paints which are suitable for unprocessed smooth bare softwood and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
You will not find a suitable product in your local DIY store!
Products suitable for sheds, fences and outdoor furniture are not suitable for bare untreated wood.
Do not be tempted to 'economise' and use cheap 'garden shades' type of paint. This will cost you far more in the long run, as you will need to re-paint practically every year, and the cabin will not be properly protected!
Good quality paints such as Sadolin Superdec state they will protect for up to 8 years, so they are more economical in the long run.
Good quality paint will also be easier to put on initially, as they will need less coats to get a nice finish. Garden shade types of paint may need many more coats, as the coverage is not so good.
Sadolin paints/stains are available from Decorators merchants such as Brewers, and they come in many colours and wood shades.
We have used Sadolin products on our own cabins, and so therefore we are happy to personally recommend them.
If you require a translucent finish where you can still see the grain of the wood, we recommend Sadolin Quick Dry Woodstain. It comes in natural wood shades as well as many lovely colours.
If you want a more 'painted' opaque look where the wood is fully obliterated, use Sadolin Superdec. This product also comes in a multitude of colours, so you are spoiled for choice!
We recommend water based products which dry quickly and are easy to use. Oil based products usually take 16 hours to dry and therefore can be damaged if it rains before it is dry.
We recommend you treat the outside of your building with 2-3 coats initially.
You should also treat the interior walls of your cabin with a stain or paint suitable for wood.
We have used Cuprinol Garden Shades on the interior walls of some cabins at the display site.
If you don't want a colour inside, there are clear stains such as Protek Royal Interior Wood Finish or Protek Top Coat. (We do not personally recommend these for the exterior).
You could also use oil such as Danish Oil as a treatment for your internal logs.
If you don't treat the inside at all, it is likely to get very grubby if you have children and animals!
Floors should be varnished using a Diamond Hard Floor Varnish for protection if not covering with carpet tiles or laminate flooring.
To be clear, all external bare wood must be treated immediately after installation with a good quality product.
Pay attention to get the paint right into the corners, especially on V profile logs. You may need to use a small brush to work the paint right into any small recesses.
All eaves and apex fascia boards must be painted on all sides and edges. If already installed remove fascia boards as this makes it easier to do the job correctly.
For Lasita Bespoke or Perfect Range cabins, the window battens should be painted front, back, sides, and all edges. This will prevent warping.
All doors and windows must be painted on every surface immediately after installation. No bare surface should remain. If not painted correctly this can lead to swelling and warping.
Remember to paint hidden areas such as underneath the roof boards where they overhang the walls.
Failure to immediately correctly paint your cabin will affect the manufacturer's guarantee.
Doors and Windows  IMPORTANT!
Doors and windows should be painted on all 6 sides immediately after installation.
For the avoidance of doubt this is outside, inside, top, bottom, and both sides!
Remove the doors and windows from the cabin package and store them FLAT in a dry place.
In winter months paint the doors in a garage if available, or move some furniture, lay down a dust sheet and paint them in the house. It may be a little inconvenient, but it will not take more than a day or two!
As the doors are not hung until almost the last job of the installation, you can start installing your cabin whilst the doors are being prepared. Obviously the door and window frames will need to be fitted during the installation, so if you want to paint these first, do so before the installation day!
Please discuss with us first if you wish to paint before or during the installation!!!
Lay doors on trestles to paint. Paint the front, back, sides and top of the door.
As the paint we recommend you use is water based, it will dry very quickly, so you will be able to turn the door over and paint the back side in a couple of hours.
Repeat this for both doors, then repeat the whole process adding more coats. We recommend at least two or three good coats are completed (all sides and edges) before installing the doors outside.
Remove windows and doors from their frames before painting them (only if they are the lift off type obviously!) to allow you to get to all surfaces - front, back, underneath, sides and top to get a proper finish. We do not recommend you to take apart tilt and turn style windows.
If the window is not easily removable, paint with the window fully open, remembering to paint the underneath, sides and top.
Leave the window slightly open to dry well before closing or it may stick to the frame!
Windows which are outward opening (hung on barrel hinges) can be easily removed and painted separately like the doors.
Failure to correctly paint your windows and doors may lead to swelling, warping, or leaking. This may also lead to problems with opening and closing the doors and windows.
General Painting Advice
  •  To protect the wood of your log cabin, you must immediately process them with a wood preservative.
  •  We recommend a weather protection stain/paint that will protect wood from moisture and UV radiation.
  •  Use a product which is designed for bare timber.
  • It must be very flexible to allow for the movement of the wood throughout the seasons.
  • When painting, use high quality brushes and paints, follow the paint application manual and the manufacturer’s safety and usage instructions.
  • You are advised to use good synthetic-fibre brushes for water-based stains, pure bristle for oil based.
  • Never paint a surface in strong sunlight or rainy weather.
  • Always paint the whole way along one log at a time, starting from the bottom or top log and working one by one.   If you use this method you can break off for 'calls of nature' without it looking a mess!
  • Don't worry if the first coat looks a little patchy, this is usually improved by a second coat.
  • Do not paint in sections from top to bottom as you will get a dark area where the sections overlap.
Sadolin Superdec
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Apr 01, 2020

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