Text: Maru Hautala
The treatment of log surfaces for translucent results raises many questions and many people find it challenging to find the perfect shade. For this collection, we have compiled the best translucent interior shades from the collections of white, grey, and greige shades, which have emerged as the most popular hues in Scandinavian interior design.
What considerations should be included in the treatment of log surfaces and how to start reprocessing, for example, an old log that was once treated with lacquer?
The gorgeous natural interior walls of the Honka Ankkuri Home at a Housing Fair have been treated with Paneeli Ässä log wax white hue 1600 from Tikkurila. The interior log walls, window cover strips, and skirting boards are all treated with the same translucent white colour.
Wood loves light treatments
On log surfaces, mostly translucent lacquers, oils and waxes are preferred since wood is a living material and especially because the round and planed logs tend to crack. Transparent preservatives and tints are more suitable to the natural life cycle of wood. Also, oils, varnishes, and waxes do not produce a film on the surface of the wood, leaving the wood free to live after treatment. It is also good to take into consideration that the less treatment agents the wood has on its surface, the more the wood will “breathe”, i.e. it will balance the relative humidity of the air in the room.
The Perfect Translucent White
The starting point for finding the right shades is in testing the shade on the desired wood surface. A beautiful translucent shade of white is found in translucent interior colours on Tikkurila’s chart as number 3466, the Daisy Flower. The shade is not completely pure white but on the surface of the wood, it beautifully refracts the hue to just the right kind of white, while still allowing the natural hues of the wood to pass through.
Finding a neutral, non-yellowing hue for log surfaces can be challenging. Various different waxes work well when you want the most natural result possible.
A brighter shade of white is found on the colour chart under the name Snow, and additional treatments deepen the colour of this purer white. 2 coats of inner shades are to be applied to the surface of the wood, as per the instructions. In order to obtain the desired shade, it is advisable to test the number of layers on a small part of the log. The more layers, the more shrouded the result. A beautiful and harmonious finish can be achieved when, in addition to the walls for example; the window and door trims, as well as the skirting boards, are treated in the same hue as the log wall.
Keep in mind, however, that different wood materials react to hues differently. The same treatment agents on the surface of spruce logs look different than on the surface of pine logs. This is to be taken into consideration if you have more than one type of wood in your site, for example, looking for an even colour and a palette of colours. The pine log and spruce panel on the ceiling may have very different hues with the same shade.
Paneeli Ässä panel varnish and of Tikkurila’s log protection products are specially designed for the translucent treatment of wood surfaces. Tikkurila has its own colour chart for translucent interior hues and it is always advisable to use a slightly tinted wood surface product when completely clear. Wood inevitably becomes darkened by UV radiation, so the slightly tinted product stays fresh on the wood surface for longer.
The natural tone of wood
Many people, especially those in love with the Scandinavian style, are in search of the natural tone of wood. Not everyone wants the effect of translucent paint and some hope that the natural tone of the log is visible, without the yellowing effect.
In this case, it is often helpful to mix bright wax with a pinch of white product. However, in their blends, the proportions must be highly accurate so that the hue remains exactly the same from one surface to another. Keep in mind that pigment-containing products stay fresher for longer periods of full brightness, so when using bright colours it is a good idea to always add pigment if you want to avoid the yellowing effect of the log surface.
Colourless products can be used to treat logs but because of UV light, the wood always darkens. Therefore, even those who are keen on the tone of fresh wood should consider adding pigment to the wax or any other treatments.
Friends of light-coloured, natural wood may also consider spruce as a material; it is a slightly lighter shade of tree than pine and does not turn yellow in the same way as pine. Spruce logs are available in Honkarakenne’s selection logs and are manufactured into all log dimensions.
Become enchanted by different shades of grey
The different shades of grey and greige also work well on the interior surfaces of a log house. In translucent interior hues, even the cold tones receive a bit of warmth as the natural shade of wood always gets its own hue in the end.
The hue 3439 Wool in a chart of translucent interior shades is a beautiful beige colour, 3437 Wild Goose is a cooler grey and 3438 is a light, warm grey. The darker 3465 Stony soil works great when a more dramatic atmosphere is sought.
At the top are electrically produced colour schemes and below is a test painting on the Honkarakenne log panel (pine) with the same shades. On the left is a shade named Wild Goose 3437, on the middle left is Wool 3439, and on the right is 3438.
Treatment of an old wooden surface with translucent paints
Old log surfaces tend to often be lacquered and, therefore, are particularly challenging when completing translucent treatments and various waxes. It is advisable to remove the varnish completely from the surface of the wood before completing the translucence treatment. The disadvantage, however, is that in almost all cases, the surface remains uneven because achieving the removal of the old varnish is very difficult.
For the treatment of old lacquered logs, we recommend covering paint. If over-coating is not to your liking, it may be better to leave the lacquered surface intact and aim to get a fresh look by painting the window frame, ceiling or floor.
A checklist for selecting translucent hues
And at last, a brief summary and tips for using translucent interior hues:
- Always test the log surface for the desired shade, allowing it to fully dry between the layers.
- Shades containing pigment are more resistant to UV radiation and its side effects include the yellowing of the wood.
- Always paint one log at a time in order to avoid any overlapping on the paint borders.
- For the treatment of old lacquered logs, we recommend covering paint.
- Logs can be varnished, painted, oiled or waxed. However, the breathability of the treatment is essential in order to preserve the character of the log itself.