Why Use A Coating On Wood

It is tempting to look at a fresh cut piece of lumber and think that it should go straight into the wall of a home. After all, how could it look any more beautiful? From safety concerns to the aesthetics of the home, there are several reasons to coat or finish wood used in a log home.
Moisture Damage Prevention

Wood is extremely sensitive to water.  Even after a piece of lumber is dried and water is removed, the lumber can swell up again if it is exposed to water. This causes wood to warp, crack, swell or shrink in ways that are dangerous for your home. If the wood in your door is exposed to water, it may swell and become too big to close properly. Wood in floors that absorb water may crack or buckle, making for unsafe conditions. 

Wood Aesthetics

Fresh-cut wood does have a beautiful look to it, but a well-applied coating can enhance the color and grain of wood. Unfinished wood will quickly look dry and dull, with a rough texture. Finished wood will look sleek, shiny and warm, with depth to the grain. 

Types Of Wood Coating

Wood and log homes can be remarkably diverse, and because of that, there are plenty of types of wood coatings. When choosing a wood coating, there are some factors to consider, such as the type of wood, where on the home the log will be, durability, and the style. Different types of coatings will achieve different results. 

Wax Coatings

Much like waxing a car, you can wax the wood on your home. Wax coating is easy to use and apply and it will produce a nice shine on the log. However, wax finishes often need to be reapplied and provide minimal protection. 

Wood Shellac

Shellac is like a shell that provides good protection from the elements and most solvents (except alcohol, which can be used to remove it.) This type of coating rarely requires reapplication, but the application technique can be complicated. 

Oil Wood Finishes

Oil wood finishes are often used to highlight the grain of the wood, but provide little protection.  Adding more coats to the wood will provide more protection. 

Polyurethane Varnish 

This is a relatively safe coating that provides strong protection against most forces. However, it can be a little tricky to apply and often requires a 30-day curing period. 

Conversion Varnish 

This is a hard, durable glossy finish, and is generally applied using specialized spray equipment. 

Nitrocellulose Lacquer 

This is a hard, durable, glossy finish that provides good protection and strong durability. Note that this coating contains several toxic solvents in the mixture, so it is best applied by a professional wearing a protective mask. 

When To Use Wood Coatings 

There are two scenarios for when you would apply coating products to your wood and log home during construction or during restoration. In both scenarios, the coating product is used to enhance and protect the wood long term during your projects. 

Wood Construction

Using coating products during construction is one of the best ways to prevent future damage to your wood home. Products such as Lovitt’s P-Wood preserver are used to treat framing, subfloors and exposed wood, preventing deterioration caused by water damage. Other products, such as wood cleaners and brighteners prepare interior and exterior logs for staining after the log shell is erect. The last step is a finish that seals the wood surface on interior and exterior logs, trim, ceilings, siding and decks.

Wood Restoration

Some older log homes may not have been properly sealed when they were constructed, or the finish may have worn off over time. When restoring a wood or log home, you will want to re-do the wood coating to continue to protect your home for many years to come. To help preserve wood, use a product that removes stains, darkening, mold and contaminants from the surface of the wood before recoating. This will help bring back the natural beauty of the wood and shield it for years to come. 

Ready To Start Using Top Quality Coating?

Are you ready to start your wood finishing project? Whether you are a seasoned professional or a first-time renovator, the team at Lovitt’s has all the supplies and knowledge you need to get your project started. Contact our team today for information and products for your wood or log home construction and renovation needs.