How to Treat the Interior of a Log Home


A log home needs all interior wood treated over the years to preserve the wood and prevent rot, according to the USDA Forest Service. Shop for non-discoloring, low-toxicity oils, stains and varnishes and research which is best for the type of wood your logs are made of. Treat the wood to keep your log cabin interior in tip-top and sparkling shape.

Things You'll Need

  • Dusting broom and rags
  • Wood planer (electric)
  • Wood scraper or convex wood scraper
  • Wood gouge
  • Log cabin chink
  • Log interior oil and varnish
  • Inspect the interior walls of your log cabin for any flaws or damage. Clean with a broom and dust with rags.

  • Plane and scrape any UV damage or flaws in the logs with a planer. Get as much as you can with that, but if it doesn't allow you to cut close to the top or the bottom of a log, use a wood scraper. If cavities in the log have discoloration, use a convex wood scraper to get it out of the holes, or use a wood gouge.

  • Chink the walls with log cabin chink from the hardware store, carefully following chinking instructions.

  • Treat the walls with oil or varnish. Stain can be added to the oil if desired. It's important to research the type of wood your logs are made of and consult a professional to learn the correct type of stain, oil or varnish to use. In general, three coats of varnish are sufficient. According to the USDA Forest Service, a soybean-oil or safflower-oil-based varnish works well.

  • Maintain the interior with additional coats of preserving varnish or oil, as recommended by the USDA Forest Service. Inspect cracks for mold or rot.

Tips & Warnings

  • Call in the professionals for repairs involving rot or mold.
  • Wear protective gloves and safety goggles when working with an electric planer or wood tools, stain, oil or varnish. Crack open windows and turn on a fan for ventilation.
  • Some preservative stains or varnishes may not do the job; check with a professional at the hardware store before purchasing them.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images
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