How to remove paint & stain from log cabins

Written by kaye wagner
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How to remove paint & stain from log cabins
Restoring traditional log cabins requires removing paint and stains. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Traditional log home builders generally seal them to prevent wood rot but rarely paint or stain them. If you want to remove the stain or paint from a log home you will need to use chemical solvents. You can choose to sand the log cabin but this would ruin the rustic and natural finish of the logs that log cabin owners and enthusiasts find desirable.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Goggles
  • Dust mask
  • Dust sheets
  • Pump Sprayer
  • Paint stripper
  • Paint scraper

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  1. 1

    Lay dust sheets around the outside of the house. This will prevent the chemical solvents from damaging the grass and other plants around the home.

  2. 2

    Put on gloves, goggles and a dust mask to protect yourself from the paint stripper fumes.

  3. 3

    Pour the paint stripper into a pump sprayer.

  4. 4

    Spray the paint stripper over the entire surface of the painted and stained log home.

  5. 5

    Let the paint stripper sit for 24 hours or according to the manufacturer. During this time, keep children and pets away from the log cabin. As the stripper works you will notice the paint slowly peel away from the wood.

  6. 6

    Gently scrape the paint off with a plastic paint scraper. Use plastic so that you don't gouge the wood.

  7. 7

    Repeat the process if there is another layer of paint or stain that is still visible.

  8. 8

    Rinse the entire home with clear water and let it air dry completely.

Tips and warnings

  • Chemical-based strippers dissolve the paint but they are toxic and require you to use respirators, gloves and goggles. Water-based strippers are non-toxic and they loosen the paint's hold on the log cabin so that you can scrape it away.

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