Blog text: Maru Hautala, Interior Deigner
The natural colour of logs provides a beautiful backdrop for Scandinavian decor and many people do not want this valuable and unique material to be hidden by paint. Opt for earthy textiles alongside the log tone — timeless black provides an excellent contrast with log surfaces. In this post, you will find tips on maintaining the natural tone of wood.
Due to the beautiful light tones of logs when they leave the factory, many house builders wish that they could retain the natural colour. Unless they are surface treated, logs soon yellow and their beautiful light wood colour becomes history. So it is worth treating log surfaces fairly quickly, to achieve the smoothest and shiniest possible end result. If the logs have been left for several years without treatment, sand them a little to bring the wood’s lighter tones out before applying surface treatment.
Protect log surfaces with a light touch
Why do logs have to be treated? Wood should always be protected with surface treatment to keep it clean and naturally vibrant. Wood changes, shrinking or expanding as moisture levels change. The right, breathable surface treatment will also protect the surface from damage caused by this and keep the wood beautiful for longer.
Colourless or colour treatment?
As a rule of thumb, when choosing a product and tone, the lower the pigmentation, the weaker the UV protection. Because sunlight yellows the surface of wood, UV protection and a light pigment are advisable. So I recommend protection with a touch of light pigment if you want to prevent yellowing. Colourless waxes and lacquers deepen the wood’s own tone, whereas toners prevent the wood from darkening.
Various waxes are excellent for adding tone.
Maru Hautala, Interior Deigner
Waxes are breathable and most often contain natural waxes. A waxed surface repels dirt and water and is easy to clean. Certain manufacturers also have products designed for conifer wood that prevent yellowing of the surface and contain strong UV protection. Uviwax by Osmocolor is a product of this kind. However, with Uviwax the problem is that two layers are recommended, which adds too much pigment for my taste. When using traditional wood waxes, you are free to adjust the number of layers: one layer is often sufficient to achieve a natural log shade.
You can also mix waxes from the same manufacturer. If the shade is too opaque, add a little bright pigment to find the perfect shade.
Remember to test paint
It is difficult to give ready answers to how to find the perfect treatment, since we all have individual preferences. You should always try out the shades on a piece of the right material. If there are no log pieces left over from the building site, you could test paint a wall section hidden behind fixtures, for example.
When test painting, remember that the tones are affected by lighting. Waxes too tend to look more opaque at first, then lighten somewhat after drying. Always allow the products to dry fully before making a final assessment.
Below you will find a few tips on tones, in which I include the relevant pigment. A bright, tint-free version of each product is also available.