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What are the differences between the log home staining products?

Transformation, High Sierra and Capture/Cascade stains have many similarities, but the differences include:

  • Basically, a different “look,” which provides more aesthetic choices to the user. Transformation, being oil-based, tends to allow more of the grain to show through, while both Capture Log Stain and High Sierra, being water-based can cover up a bit more of the grain.
  • Capture Log Stain is more flexible than both High Sierra and Transformation.
  • The three stains have different polymers in their formulas.

Why is Transformation the stain of choice for rainy and humid climates?
It is generally true that for rainy, humid climates (like the coastal areas of Washington and Oregon), an oil-based stain performs better than water-based stains. The reason is because when log surfaces remain wet for long, sustained periods of time, this unrelenting wetness can have a more negative affect on many water-based resins than oil resins, which are generally much less sensitive to sustained moisture exposure. When the wetness is more intermittent, then water-based stains can often perform as well or even better than oil-based coatings.
Despite this, we have many customers in humid rainy climates that have been very successful using our water-based Capture Log Stain / Cascade stain and our High Sierra stain. As always, excellent surface prep and proper wood moisture content prior to staining is critical.