To get a quality stain job the wood surface must be clean and dry. Pressure washing is the most effective way to remove dirt, mildew, pollen and stains. A simple rinse job is not sufficient. Enough pressure must be applied to remove all of the debris and mill glaze to allow for anchoring and penetration of the stain. One problem with pressure washing is that water may be forced into the interior of the home.
If you are re-staining your home because the present stain has failed, it must be removed. Sometimes a stripper can be used to remove the stain. Strippers can be dangerous to the applicator and the landscaping. The stripper must then be removed with pressure washing which could force the stripper itself into the home causing damage to interior finishes.
After the logs have dried (moisture content not over 19%) you may notice a fuzziness on the log surface. This is called felting. If it is extreme, it may need to be removed before staining can proceed. Sanding may be necessary to give you a good surface to apply the stain.
The best method for preparing a wood surface for stain is media blasting. The media used is either ground corn cob or ground glass. This method is capable of removing old finishes and leaves an excellent surface to stain. The finished surface is textured but smooth. This allows the logs to absorb and anchor the stain. Be advised that the stain color may appear darker on a media blasted surface. Media blasting is a dry method of prepping and will leave a layer of dust on the logs and sometimes inside your home. Some applicators blow or dust the surface off before staining. Log Home Services always recommends pressure washing after media blasting.