LogDoctors use a variety of criteria with our log home staining service in evaluating individual log homes to help educate the log home owner on choosing the correct log home stain product for their log home. The first has a lot to do with what is on the logs already. If the log house has been treated with deep penetrating log home stain, and the plan is to simply wash the logs, there is a fairly short list of oil-based stain products that will be compatible with what has previously been applied.
If your log home has been stained using a surface film-coat system, your options are much larger. Most shallow penetrating oil and oil emulsions are compatible with the film coat systems, but not the reverse. The film-coat systems can be persnickety to what will adhere to the existing stain.
Secondly, location also factors heavily into the type of log home stains we choose. We are a lot more likely to choose a film coat system for log homes that are more in the open and have good air circulation around them than one that is deep in a holler or up a narrow draw or one in a very damp environment. Our experience shows that film-coat systems have a longer life span on log homes that have adequate air movement around them.
There are other factors that go into log home stain choice, including how the dwelling is to be prepped, color to be used, difficulty of maintenance, etc. These discussions can be long and drawn out, and are best discussed on location. Fell free to call us at any time.