There are two things you need to do with your cabin. You MUST use a preservative first, and then use a stain or wood colour for UV protection.
We would recommend using either Sadolin or Sikkens, as they are high quality, and have a wide selection to chose from.
Generally speaking, the more you pay, the better the product, but do shop around.
Whatever you use, make sure:
1. It is a preservative, and not just a paint 2. It must have at least a small amount of pigment to provide sun protection. 3. It must be a waterproofer (many preservatives do not contain any waterproofing)
Whatever you do, don’t just use regular paint on your cabin. It will not allow the wood to breathe, and it doesn’t stretch, so it will soon ruin your wood.
It is just a log cabin though, so any good quality wood treatment will ensure a longer life.
As the wood is in individual pieces, you can take the opportunity to paint it with preservative inside and out before you put it together if you like.
Step by step
Ok, so lets get a little technical, and show you a few products that you might like to use.
Lets jump straight in and tell you right now, that you can wait for a while before you have to worry about the wood. Even if it’s raining when you have been putting your cabin up, as long as it has dried completely, you can treat the wood when you’re ready. So a few weeks won’t hurt it.
This is the most important part, and like anything in life, there’s a huge ammount to chose from. You can buy preservative that also has colour / UV protection in it, so all you need to do is add a clear finish over the top, but generally speaking, just get a good preservative, and then use woodstain/UV protection afterwards.
A cheap preservative will still do the job, but you’re better off buying something that is high quality. Also, if you are going to use water based paint or stain on top of your preservative, don’t use water repellant preservative, or it won’t adhere properly.
Again, you get what you pay for. Do NOT use cheap products. You need something that will really get into the wood properly, and the cheaper paints and stains simply won’t do that. The stain needs to be able to deliver penetration, 80-100 microns or so, and you just don’t get that often in Homebase and Jewsons etc, sorry.
We have found that products like Ducks Back and Cuprinol Garden Shades, although fine, don’t really last. And that’s what you want, something you don’t need to worry about.
It might be worth talking to some people that know what they’re doing. In our experience, Brewers and Wood Finishes Direct seem to really know their stuff, and can point you quite quickly to what you’re looking for.