Authorized Canadian distributor forfrom Saskatchewan to Newfoundland  

Perma-Chink News


Check here for upcoming events

Frequently Asked Questions about log homes and Perma-Chink products

Photo Gallery

Perma-Chink newsletters
PCS quarterly newsletter is available for you here



To print this newsletter in Adobe Acrobat pdf format Click here

In this issue

Interior Wall Finishes

By Vince Palmere

When it come to interior finishes the first question to address is why can’t our Lifeline exterior finishes be used on the inside of a home as well. The most important reason is that our exterior finishes contain components like mildewcides that should not be used in confined living spaces. It’s not that they are dangerous or toxic, it’s just that there is a small percentage of people who are sensitive to these types of chemicals and we as a company want to do whatever we can to create a healthy living environment for all of our customers.

Since our interior stains do not contain these components, we are able to make Lifeline Interior at a lower cost than our exterior products and we pass these savings along to you, our customers. That’s why Lifeline Interior costs less than any of our exterior stains.

Why Finish Interior Walls?
The first obvious answer to this question is because most people want the look of finished wood inside their homes. People typically do not leave plaster or drywall bare and exposed. They cover it with paint or wallpaper. It’s the same for a log home. Most people want the interior wood surfaces to look beautiful, not dull and dingy. But an interior wood finish serves other purposes as well.

Bare wood is a great absorber of odors. Cooking, pets, fireplaces and other household activities generate odors that penetrate into bare wood. Pretty soon a log home with interior bare wood walls can begin to smell. However, this odor absorption into the wood can be prevented with the application of an interior finish.

In the past many interior finishes were oil-based (some still are) and, until they are completely dry, the smell of the solvents is almost unbearable. Most quality interior finishes are now water-based but some still have a lingering odor. Our interior finishes are formulated to be as odorless as possible. That’s one advantage we have over many competitive products.

Another reason for applying an interior finish is that bare wood is very difficult to keep clean. Dust and dirt get into the nooks and crannies and the pores of the wood and become very difficult to remove. A smooth finish helps keep dust from sticking to the wood and makes the surface much easier to keep clean.

Preparing Interior Walls
Like any of our finish systems, our interior products need to be applied to clean surfaces. It is quite upsetting to have your finish applied over a footprint or a smear of dirt on your living room wall. Cleaning an interior wall can be a bit of a challenge, especially if the home is occupied. But it still needs to be done. Many people sand the interior walls smooth. That works but the wall should always be washed down after sanding to remove any sawdust and dirt. Vacuuming or wiping the wall with a dry cloth is not good enough. The only cleaning product we recommend is Log Wash at a rate of two cups per gallon of water. Use a sponge to apply the Log Wash solution to the wall. Allow it to remain on the wall for a few minutes, then using another sponge or wet rag and a bucket of clean water, wipe the Log Wash solution off. Frequently rinse out the sponge or rag and change the water in the bucket whenever it becomes cloudy. It’s better if the wall is rinsed down twice. Allow the wall to dry before applying the first coat of finish.

The first coat of finish applied to the bare wood surface is essentially a priming coat. That is it seals the wood and prevents absorption of subsequent finish coats into the wood. If you want to retain the natural color of the wood and do not want a colored stain, Prelude Clear Wood Primer is an excellent product to use as the first coat. It is less expensive than Acrylic Gloss or Satin and it already contains UV Boost. However, Prelude is a primer so it should never be used as the finished surface. Subsequent coats of interior Acrylic Gloss or Satin are necessary to provide the protection and desired features of an interior finish.

Lifeline Interior
We have a fairly broad range of colors of Lifeline Interior that are actually extended by Interior’s application directions. For our exterior finishes like Lifeline Exterior and Ultra-2 when we say that they require two coats we mean two coats. However, one, two or multiple coats of Lifeline Interior may be applied without a problem. It all depends on the color you desire. If after applying one coat of let’s say Light Natural, you are satisfied with the color, you can stop there. If you want a deeper color another coat can be applied. It’s the color that’s the driving force for Lifeline Interior, not performance.

Acrylic Gloss and Satin
Although Lifeline Interior can be used as a final finish, topcoating it with Acrylic Gloss or Satin is highly recommended. It’s the slick Acrylic topcoat that makes the finish much easier to keep clean. The number of applied coats is up to you. A deep lustrous finish may require three to four coats. To obtain a really smooth finish, once the first coat is dry give it a light sanding with 180 to 220 grit sandpaper, wipe it clean and apply another coat. There is no need to sand between additional coats.

We often get asked if it is necessary to use Prelude or Lifeline Interior before applying Acrylic Gloss or Satin to bare wood. The answer is, no it is not necessary. Acrylic Gloss and Satin can be applied to bare wood. However, since Acrylic Gloss and Satin cost more than Prelude and the first coat ends up acting as a primer, the price of the complete finish system ends up more expensive than it needs to be. In addition, UV Boost should be added to the first coat that’s in contact with the wood while Prelude already has UV Boost in it.

Applying Interior Finishes
Just about everything that pertains to applying exterior finishes applies to interior finishes as well. Always mix any finish well before using it! Inadequate mixing is one of the main reasons we get calls about blotches or color differences. Using an airless sprayer along with back-brushing is the best method to use for applying Lifeline Interior and Acrylic Gloss and Satin however they can be successfully applied using a brush or pad. Just remember thin coats are better than thick coats when it comes to all Lifeline finishes.

Back to top

Energy Seal

By Vince Palmere

Although Perma-Chink Systems is rapidly becoming recognized as a premium stain manufacturer, we really built our reputation on our line of chinking and sealants. So what are we talking about when we refer to sealants? As they relate to log homes, sealants are those materials that are used to seal gaps, cracks, nooks, spaces, seams, joints and other areas where air or water can penetrate into the home. Most people call these materials “caulk” but we try to refer to them as “sealants” to help differentiate high quality products from cheap caulks that can be bought at any hardware store. Plus, several of our sealants do not fit the conception most people have of a typical caulk.

Getting back to basics, sealants are plastic-like compounds that typically come in tubes or pails. Once applied and allowed to dry and cure they may stay soft or turn hard depending on the type of product used. If you look around you’ll see all kinds of sealants in use. The windshield of your car is held in place with sealants to prevent water from getting inside. There’s a bead of sealant around your bathtub to keep water from seeping under the tiles. All of your windows have sealants around the glass to prevent cold air and rain from getting into your home.

So why do people use Perma-Chink sealants? First and foremost, to keep water, air and bugs out of places where they don’t belong; second, for their attractive appearance; and third, for their reputation of lasting longer and performing better than competitive products. It should not come as a surprise that log homes are a bit difficult to seal up. When you stack logs on top of one another to make a wall, the logs do not naturally fit tightly to one another so there are usually gaps that have to be sealed to prevent air and water from getting inside. That’s what Energy Seal is designed to do.

Energy Seal is a textured acrylic polymer sealant that provides a long-lasting and resilient seal for any style of log home. Since logs constantly twist, turn, swell, expand and shrink, gaps may appear between logs or between the logs and window and door frames or other areas of the home. These gaps retain moisture and allow the seepage of air and water into the home. Energy Seal eliminates these gaps by forming an air and water tight barrier over them.

There are two reasons that Energy Seal is textured. First, it allows the surface of cured Energy Seal to remain looking “flat.” It does not have that shiny look common to most types of caulk. This allows Energy Seal to blend in with the surrounding stained wood. Second, the texture allows Energy Seal to better accept a stain so that it can virtually disappear on a wall. Here is a tip; if you plan to stain over Energy Seal use a color that’s just a bit lighter than the stain you plan to use. It’s much easier to cover light colored Energy Seal with a darker color stain than it is to cover dark colored Energy Seal with a light colored stain.

Applying Energy Seal
Applying Energy Seal over old caulk is never a good idea even if it looks like the caulk is still adhering to the wood. Although it can be time consuming and somewhat difficult, old caulk should be removed for several reasons. If a caulk no longer adheres to the wood it may be due to moisture getting under the caulk creating rot. The old caulk must be removed to properly treat and seal the wood so the new sealant does not fail. Wherever possible, Energy Seal should be used along with Backer Rod or Grip Strip. If backing material is not used, there may not be enough room for the Energy Seal to expand and a crack may appear across the joint. Backer Rod should be used even if the joint is narrow. The width of the band of Energy Seal may end up a bit wider than you expected but the integrity of the seal will be maintained.

Before Energy Seal is applied, the surface must be clean, dry and free of oil, wax or anything else that will interfere with the adhesion of the Energy Seal. Energy Seal can be applied out of a tube or a bulk loading gun. The most important factor is to keep in mind when applying Energy Seal is to apply enough material over the Backer Rod to maintain a thickness of approximately 3/8 inch over the crown of the rod after tooling. If Energy Seal is applied too thin it may split along the center and if applied too thick it may pull away from the top or bottom logs.

Once in place, Energy Seal may be tooled smooth with a trowel or putty knife. Spraying a light mist of water on the surface will make tooling a lot easier and will result in a smoother surface. If masking tape is used to protect the surrounding wood be sure to remove the tape while the Energy Seal is still wet.

On a warm, dry day, Energy Seal may be stained after three hours of drying. However, it may take two or more weeks for Energy Seal to completely cure depending on its thickness. The thicker Energy Seal is applied, the longer it takes to completely cure.

To protect recently applied Energy Seal from the weather, a loose covering of plastic film will prevent it from being washed out of the joint until it cures enough to withstand a heavy rain. Typically a week or so is sufficient.For more information about Energy Seal, give us a call and request a copy of our Log Home Sealant Application Guide or check out our web site at

Back to top

Energy Star Certification

Big Bear Rustic Log Homes has achieved Energy Star certification on the model home in Harrison, Maine. Anthony Rauseo, Big Bear’s general manager, said this is the first round logs log home to achieve the Energy Star certification and the first round log home builder to become an Energy Star Partner.

The home is about 5,000 sq.ft. would only consume $1,700 in oil per year, which is one-third the amount that the normal house this size would consume. The energy efficiency rating for this home exceeds any stick-frame house ever evaluated by Energy Star.

Rauseo said that the most important was choosing the right materials. There is 110,000 pounds of dead-standing timber in this house and Perma-Chink Systems products were chosen to finish it. The exterior walls are finished with Lifeline Ultra-2 Cedar and the interior is Dark Honey. "Not only did we seal the outside with Energy Seal but we also put two lines of Energy Seal between every log during stacking and we also used Stack-n-Seal in the saddle notch corners", said Anthony.

Back to top

Log Home Shows

By Dirk Christian

Perma-Chink Systems proudly attends all of the major log home shows in the US and Canada. Whether you are planning your dream home or maintaining an existing log home, there’s no substitute for the personalized attention you will receive with a visit to the Perma-Chink Systems show booth.

Most people planning a new home have many questions about the care and maintenance of their future home. Fortunately, low-maintenance solutions are available today. At the log home show you can learn about these solutions in a face-to-face consultation with an experienced Perma-Chink Systems representative.

Maintenance or restoration advice is also available for existing homeowners. Bring along your photos, plans, etc. for step-by-step project assistance from an experienced representative.

Literature, catalogs, application guides and newsletters are just some of the resources available at the booth. You may also attend a detailed, forty-five minute seminar on log home care and maintenance. Actual wood samples with all the colors of premium Lifeline Ultra-2 stain and Lifeline Advance topcoat are on display at the Perma-Chink booth. Free samples of all Perma-Chink products are also available upon request. Samples are always shipped right to your door – free of charge.

For do-it-yourselfers, a visit to the Perma-Chink Systems booth offers an opportunity to see the application of Stains, Finishes, Chinking and Sealants first hand. Find out just how user-friendly the products are – and try your hand at staining and chinking yourself!

Need a contractor? Referrals are available for independent contractors who work with Perma-Chink products from coast to coast. Don’t miss an opportunity for a personalized consultation. Stop on by the Perma-Chink Systems booth at one of the upcoming log home shows for answers to all your log home care and maintenance needs! See our schedule on page 8, or visit our website

Back to top

Martha's Dream Home

Last year we received a call from Jay Malthaner, Director of Good Neighbors Home Repair about an old log home in need of repair. Good Neighbors is a Christian Ministry that helps people in need with fixing up their homes. They had never tackled a log home before and came to us for help and advice.

The home is located in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania and was built sometime before 1840, making it a truly historic structure. It is currently owned by Martha Brown, a retired Philadelphia policewoman and it has been in her family for many years. Martha grew up in this home and although she is now over 75 she always dreamed of restoring it. Actually she did not always know that she lived in a log home. Sometime before Martha was born the exterior of the logs were covered over with siding and the inside walls were plastered. A number of years ago during the course of making some repairs she discovered the log walls. Over the years Martha has done what she could to bring her home back to its original appearance but her age and financial situation limited what she could accomplish. That’s when Good Neighbors Ministry stepped in to lend a helping hand.

Rather than try to give an evaluation of what needed to be done by phone, we visited the home in August 2006. From a distance the home looked to be in pretty good shape considering its age, but a closer inspection revealed a number of problems including some decayed areas and gaps in the old mortar chinking. Water was leaking into the home in several locations and the home was just about impossible to keep warm during the winter months. In addition, the old wood timbers were becoming quite porous and water was penetrating into the wood. If there had ever been a stain applied in the past, it was long gone.

We agreed to help Ms. Brown and Good Neighbors with both technical advice and product. The Kennett Square Rotary Club at Longwood volunteered to supply the workers and much of the equipment required to complete the restoration of this historic home. One of the primary objectives in completing a project of this nature is to not change the visual characteristics of the structure. The local Historical Commission in particular was interested in maintaining the home’s exterior look. Old, historic structures present a challenge during restoration but Perma-Chink Systems products can meet that challenge by updating a structure’s physical protection while retaining its aged appearance.

You can see from the pictures that there is not much visual difference between the before and after images but now Martha’s home no longer leaks air and water and the logs will be protected from decay and the weather for years to come. Some of the Perma-Chink Systems products used in this project include Shell-Guard RTU, M-Balm, E-Wood, Light Gray Perma-Chink, Slate Gray Energy Seal, Light Gray Chink Paint, Check Mate, Wood ReNew, Log Wash, Prelude, Stone Gray Lifeline Exterior and Lifeline Advance Satin.

We are pleased to have had the opportunity to participate in extending the life of this rare and historic structure and appreciate the time and effort put forth by Good Neighbors Home Repair and the Kennett Square Rotary at Longwood. If anyone would like to make a donation to Good Neighbors to help continue their work you can send it to Good Neighbors Home Repair Ministry, 205 East State Street, Kennett Square, PA 19348 or give them a call at (610) 444-3000. We can assure you that your donation will be put to good use.

Back to top


D o n' t M i s s O u t
Application Workshops Fall 2007

  • September 8 Muskegon, Michigan
  • September 22 Sevierville, Tennessee
  • October 20 Saugerties, New York
  • October 22 Ontario, California
  • November 3 Redmond, Washington
  • November 10 Stevensville, Montana
  • November 17 Rifle, Colorado

If you would like a referral to an experienced contractor to perform an inspection, contact your nearest Perma-Chink Systems office.

If you like to request a copy of our newsletter for your friend, relative or neighbor, please call us, send an email to

Back to top

Copyrighted 2006.

Website Calico Communications & CG