Painting Exterior Of A Log Cabin

Paint Exterior Of Log Cabin

After assembling my log cabin, the next major job was painting the outside. I spent a fair bit of time researching the different exterior paints. Below, I’ve listed the paints I ended up using and the lessons I learned when painting a log cabin.

Best Paint For Log Cabin Exterior

After some research and discussions with a guy at my local decorating centre, I decided to use Sadolin Superdec paint. 

The reasons I went with Sadolin Superdec paint are:

  1. Good Reputation – Sadolin has a good reputation for producing high-quality paint that is made to last.

  2. Easy To Apply – The guy at decorating centre said that the Sadolin Superdec paint is one of the easier paints to apply. I’m not sure how hard ‘difficult’ paints are to apply, but I found the Sadolin Superdec went on very easily, with little effort

  3. Colours – I was looking for paint colours that had a bit of a traditional, Farrow & Ball type look, which the Sadolin Superdec paints have. There are 48 different colours to choose from.

  4. Self Priming & Undercoat – There’s no need to apply a primer or undercoat paint before using the Sadolin Superdec paint

The major downside of Sadolin Superdec paint is that it is expensive.

Preparation Before Painting The Exterior Of A Log Cabin

Before painting the outside of your cabin, I recommend following the steps below. The information below is relevant to new log cabins that have not been previously painted or treated in any way

  1. Look for cracks and holes in the wood that need filling
  2. Check for wood knots that need a primer to cover them
  3. Check for sap leaking out and clean off
  4. Check for rough bits of wood that need sanding down
  5. Brush the cabin to get rid of sawdust and loose dirt
  6. Wipe down areas that have got dirty

Due to a number of factors, I was unable to paint the outside of my cabin for 5 months after I had assembled it. This meant the wood had been exposed to the sun and started to ‘grey’. Because the wood had started to ‘grey’, it was suggested to me that I sand the wood before painting.

Sanding down all the external wood was going to be a massive ballache, so I didn’t bother. Fortunately for me, it doesn’t appear to have caused any problems. I painted the cabin two years ago, and I haven’t had any paint-related problems.

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Painting The Outside Of A Log Cabin

Using A Roller To Paint A Log Cabin

I tried painting my cabin using a roller, hoping it would be quicker. However, where the  planks of wood slot together, there’s an indent where the roller doesn’t apply the paint very well. I had to use a paintbrush to apply paint where the roller missed.  

It was quicker to use a large paintbrush to paint the outside of the cabin than a roller and paintbrush. 

Roller Doesn’t Apply Paint In Grooves

Using A Paintbrush To Paint A Log Cabin

  • If you’re tempted, like I was, to buy the cheapest paintbrushes, don’t. The more expensive paintbrushes apply the paint better and don’t shed bristles.

  • I ended up using three different-sized paintbrushes: very large, medium and very small.

  • Dedicate paintbrushes to a single colour of paint. Don’t use a paintbrush with more than one colour even after it’s been cleaned. 

  • Be sure to get paint in all the nooks and crannies. No wood should be exposed to the elements.

Wait For The Paint To Fully Dry Before Reapplying
It can be tempting to start applying the next coat of paint as soon as the previous coat feels dry when touched. However, if you try to apply another coat of paint before the previous coat is fully dry, it will give a bad finish or peel off the previous layer of paint. Be sure to follow the instructions on drying times

Don’t Use Normal Masking Tape
Use tape to protect areas that you don’t want to get painted, such as windows. I started off using the ‘normal’ cheap masking tape. However, I found that it didn’t offer great protection from paint, which would seep under the tape. Also, the longer you leave masking tape in place the harder it is to remove. I found that Frog Tape worked much better. The downside to Frog Tape is that it costs quite a bit more than ‘normal’ masking tape.

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More Paint Than You Think
On a tin of paint, there is usually information on how much area the paint will cover. I found that the estimated coverage area was considerably more than I was able to cover. I recommend buying more paint than you think you need. 

Multiple Thin Layers
With water based paints (like Sadolin Superdec) It is better to apply multiple thin layers of paint than fewer thick layers of paint. 

Conclusion: Painting Exterior Of A Log Cabin

Painting the outside of a log cabin is an extremely boring job in my opinion. It takes absolutely ages to do, especially all the edging. The fact that you also have to apply multiple coats of paint makes it a really painful job.

Hopefully, the information I’ve provided above will help make painting a log cabin a little less painful.


Frequently Asked Questions:
Painting The Exterior Of A Garden Log Cabin


Should I Paint My Log Cabin?

Whether you paint your log cabin or not is entirely up to you. If you don’t paint your log cabin, you will need to treat the wood with something to protect it.

Do I Have To Paint A Log Cabin Straight Away?

No, a log cabin doesn’t have to be painted or treated straight away. The guy who sold me my log cabin said that the cabin could go months or even years without being painted. 

What Paint To Use On Log Cabin?

I recommend that you buy good quality exterior wood paint. Don’t use cheap paint that you would use for things like garden fences. A good quality paint will penetrate deep into wood offering the best protection.

Can You Paint The Log Cabin Exterior

Yes, you can paint the exterior of a log cabin

Best Paint For Log Cabin Exterior

I used the Sadolin Superdec paint on my log cabin. Which I found easy to apply and after two years the paint still looks good and hasn’t peeled or bubbled anywhere.

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