What is the Real Cost to Stain a Log Cabin?

January 4, 2022

From bare log staining to maintenance stains and top coats, what does it all mean? What will it cost me as the homeowner? We will break these down here in the quickest way possible to get you up to speed on what to plan for.

Let’s talk fresh logs. These logs have been selected for restoration and since have been media blasted to expose a fresh surface. Now we have sanded them down and filled in the cracks, it’s time to apply the initial coat of stain. This stain application will really use up the stain. The wood will be sucking up this coat and a thick, even application is needed at this point. On average, this will require around 15-20 gal per 3000 sq ft, depending on the stain and wood. A second coat is also applied at this stage, but your stain usage is approximately half on this coat. Let’s call this 30 gallons for a freshly refinished or brand-new stain log application on a 3000 sq ft log home. These same numbers are also practiced when we are applying the first layer of stain to a new log home build.

Maintenance Stains prevent your base layer of stain from deteriorating. These applications should be 2 to 3 years apart and carefully inspected for problem areas in between. These maintenance stains will be a one coat application and usually come in around 15 gal per 3000 sq ft as a general rule of thumb.

Lastly is a top coat. We always promote the usage of a top coat, as this extends the life of the stain below while enhancing color and improving the clarity of the finish. These top coats apply to your home almost like a clear coat on your vehicle. A clear coat fills in microscopic pigment holes and unevenness in your stain. You are also going to reap benefits such as a strong smooth finish enabling it to attract less dirt and grime, shed water better, and make it easier to wash down at the end and beginning of the year. The general rule in this market would be 5 gallons per 3000 sq ft.

With stain prices ranging from $50-$110 a gallon this decision can be hard to navigate alone. As you sit down with your design/consult team from Mountain Media Blasting we can discuss the pros and cons of stains and find a fit for your budget and project. For the good of this article, we are going with a mid-range $80 stain on a 3000 sq ft house for a new log application. Stain will come in right around $1600. Now the national average to apply log home stain in the nation currently sits around $1.30 a sq ft, so with labor costs you are coming in around $3,900. A top coat with application we do for $500. Leaving you with a grand total of $6000. While these prices vary greatly on scope of work, condition of logs, as well as the choice of stain this is a great base to go off of. Remember when choosing a Log Home Care and Maintenance Team, some may boast cheaper prices, however their long-term goal is not to provide expert care and continued protection we strive for. We are glad you are here researching your next project, and we hope to soon put your log home under our capable and detailed watch.