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How to Care for Your Log Furniture

Porch Swings for the Rustic HomeLog furniture is becoming more and more popular, not just in cabins and resorts but in homes and apartments as well.  The natural rustic look of log furniture is very popular because the look is soothing and relaxing.  Finishing log furniture can change the appearance slightly but it is still going to look like the same beautiful rustic log piece that it did before.  Finishing your log furniture will benefit you in the long run.

We recommend finishing your rustic furniture because wood is a porous material.  It will easily absorb the oils and dirt in our hands leaving stains on your furniture.  Hands get dirty very easily, no matter how many times a day they are washed.  Dresser handles, door handles, footboards, anything that comes in contact with your skin can stain requiring you to wash the unfinished log furniture regularly to keep the stains from becoming permanent.  A finish on the log furniture will prevent oils and dirt from absorbing into the wood.

Outdoor Log Furniture

Northern White Cedar (Outdoor Log Furniture) and Western Red Cedar (Arches & Arbors) are some one of the most sought-after woods for many outdoor uses.  It is a fine grained durable wood, naturally pitch-free and resistant to rot and insects.  These qualities combine to make cedar a top choice for carefree living.

Before you start in making a choice of finishes, decide what effect you wish to achieve.  One of the positive characteristics of cedar is its ability to accept a wide range of finishes.  Although it does not require finishing for protection, a properly applied finish will enhance the beauty and life of a cedar piece.

  • Untreated Pine: Finish outdoor pine furniture as quickly as possible.
  • Untreated Cedar:Left untreated, Both Western Red and Northern White Cedar will weather to a beautiful soft silver-gray color similar to driftwood.  See the following picture for an example of weathered Northern White Cedar.

Although untreated cedar is natural and pleasing, it must be understood that cedar wood is a porous material and, over the long term, will need care to minimize surface problems.  In many cases where untreated cedar sits in a damp or shaded area, the wood may become discolored with mildew.

How To Clean Your Unfinished Log Furniture

A 20 percent solution of household bleach in water with one ounce of detergent per gallon will usually remove the stain.  Even after years of exposure, cedar can be refinished to a bright, clean appearance with this solution.  A high pressure water sprayer will also help to remove the weathered color effects.

Finishing Your Log Furniture

  • Stain Finishing: There are a wide variety of penetrating stains, many of which retain much of the wood’s natural color and texture while adding a protective element.  For outdoor use we recommend the outdoor stains/finishes that include water repellent additives, mildew inhibitors (mildicides), and UV inhibitors.  Penetrating stains go into the wood without forming a surface barrier so avoid the problems of blistering and peeling of painted surfaces.  They work well on wood with knots and deep surface texture.
  • Paints: Before deciding to paint cedar, it must be realized that the natural color and grain of the wood will be concealed.  If you choose to paint, apply the product according to the manufacturer’s directions for the best protection and good service.  A good alternative to paint is a stain that has been pigmented with the color you want.  This will give the look of painted cedar log with the protection of an outdoor finish.

Outdoor Log Furniture Finish Options

You have the option of ordering the Contoured Comfort and Nature’s Twist log furniture pieces with an outdoor finish on our website:  Woodland Creek’s Log Furniture Place.  When you do so your pieces of log furniture will go through a multi-coat finishing process.  This in-depth process will insure that all parts of the logs are coated with our outdoor stain/finish.  Our outdoor stains will protect the wood against harmful UV rays and have an anti-mildew agent built in.  As with all outdoor stains and finishes, the outdoor stains will need to be reapplied over time.  Depending on the weather/climate the stain could last one year to five plus years – it varies with all the different climates the log furniture could be in.

You may use any type of outdoor sealant to refinish your furniture as desired.  The outdoor stain/finish that we use has been pigmented with a slight color to provide a finish that brings out the natural highlights of the cedar wood.  Here is an example of our Contoured Comfort 4 ft Love Seat, Coffee Table, and Rocking Chair made by our co-owned factory Lakeland Mills, Inc finished in our cedar tone finish:

Pine log outdoor furniture should be finished as soon as possible to ensure a long life out of the wood as pine does not have all of the characteristics that cedar has.

Indoor Rustic Furniture Care

Indoor log furniture that has been finished needs virtually no extra care. Just a dusting as needed.  If you would like to keep your rustic furniture unfinished we recommend washing the wood regularly with a mild wood soap to keep dirt and oils from the skin from permanently staining the logs and wood.

Feel free to contact us with any questions.  Our toll free number is (877) LOG FURN (564-3876).

This article has been written for Woodland Creek’s Log Furniture Place and for my blog.  It is not authorized to be copied and used on any competitor website without a link back to us.

  • Kathy

    I have purchased a used pine log bed set. It has been stained darker than I prefer, would I be able to strip the stain, or because of it being pine, I won't be able to lighten the wood?