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How to Select Exterior Wood Stain Colors

Gary Campbell gives his best advice on the types of exterior wood stain colors to use on your log home. 


Gary Campbell gives his best advice on what type of stain to use on your log home. 



Folks often approach us and ask us,  “What type of exterior wood stain colors should we use on our log house or conventional house with wood siding?” We do have something to say about that.

The lighter the color stain that you choose, the more often you’re going to have to freshen it up. The darker color stain you pick, the less often you’re going to freshen it up. If you’re surrounded by trees and you’ve got shade, the less often you’re going to have to stain it because the sun’s not beating directly down on it. If you’re sitting out in the open with no trees, the more often you’re going to have to stain. So, the color that you choose matters, and whether or not you’ve got shade matters.

We also encourage you to buy NBS 30 and mix that into your stain to help keep the bugs off of the wood. We sell that in-house. And if you’ve got any other questions about maintaining your wood outside, don’t hesitate to give us a call at Reliance Timber.

Old stained wood background

Additional Questions for Wood Stains:

Should You Treat Logs before You Stain?

We say yes! Once your logs are cleaned and all ready to go, apply a borate wood stain to safeguard against any irksome pests. For this to be successful, keep in mind that it must be applied pre-stain!

Should You Apply a New Stain to an old wood stain?

Bare wood absorbs stains the best as you probably already realized. If you are looking to stain your wood a brand new color, be aware that applying a new stain over an old stain may not result in the desired effect. The old stain is going to interact with whatever next stain you are putting on so you aren’t starting from scratch. If applying a new stain, make sure to first remove the old stain. This is crucial.

How Do I Go About choosing the Right Color Wood Stain?

This is all based on your own predilections. The advice we can give, though, is to test a small amount of stain on your wood, let dry completely, and then assess the color. You want to make sure you can fully take in what a single coat looks like when dry. Also, remember that you can always add coats to go darker but you cannot add less coats to go lighter. So, be cautious before slapping on extra coats.

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