Chinking & Caulking Application Tips

Your logs are going to move and sooner or later you are going to need to seal them. Follow the tips below to make this job easier and keep mother nature where she belongs—OUTSIDE. Please contact us at 1.800.490.3695 with any questions.

  • Apply log home chinking or log home caulking after a compatible stain has been applied for best adhesion and the least amount of labor.
  • Always use backer rod. Try Grip Strip Backer Rod or Closed Cell Round Backer Rod.
  • Use a spray adhesive for smaller rods or a dab of sealant to help hold the backer rod in place.
  • Start at the top of the wall when chinking or caulking in order to avoid leaning your ladder into your finished joint.
  • Inexperienced contractors should start in a closet. Masking tape can be used above and below the joint during the "learning process," and by the time you're done, you'll be ready to tackle more visible areas.
  • Apply only as much material as you can tool in 10 minutes.
  • Use a trowel or spatula that is close to the width of the finished joint size.
  • Use a follow plate with a bulk loading gun.
  • Wet the trowel only and not the chinking to prevent the material from running.
  • After smoothing material to the proper thickness then wet the surface and tool to the desired finish.
  • Occasionally check the thickness of your sealant with a toothpick.
  • Avoid application in direct sunlight. No blisters.
  • Protect freshly applied material with plastic film or white tarps if rain is imminent during the first 24 hours.
  • Avoid applying material in cold or extremely hot weather.
  • Use a wet rag to immediately wipe up runs and drip marks.
  • Only apply chinking or caulking to wood that has moisture content of 23% or less. Too much moisture can cause joint failure.
  • Only apply sealants on logs that are between 45° and 90° and not in direct sunlight.

What do I need for chinking or caulking projects?

Assemble all of your equipment, tools and chinking materials together at the job site. Know where the electrical and water supplies at the site are located and be prepared with proper hoses, cords, etc. A secure, temperate area should be used for storage of the chinking. DO NOT FREEZE and do not allow materials to become overheated. If you are using a hand or air-powered caulking gun, check it for proper working condition. If you are using a battery-powered gun, have an extra battery pack available. If you are using a commercial pump, check it for proper working condition. Extra pump parts, such as stator, rotor, nozzles, and hoses and other maintenance parts will help avoid costly delays. Be sure to carry several heavy duty extension cords and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for operation of the pump.

  1. Chinking pump and/or bulk-loading caulking gun(s)
  2. Tool Pouch
  3. Clean, lint-free rags for wiping down log surfaces, for spills, runs, and cleanup
  4. Sharp knives suitable for trimming backer-rod
  5. Cardboard box or table for holding backer-rod while adhesive is applied
  6. Spray adhesive (such as 3M™ 77) for installing backer-rod
  7. Spray bottle for ‘release agent’
  8. Isopropyl alcohol – combine with 50% water for ‘release agent’ mixture (label for precaution)
  9. Masonry margin trowels of appropriate sizes (1/2” to 2” most commonly used)
  10. Spatula for scraping pails
  11. Sheets of heavy plastic or canvas to protect job site from spills and inclement weather
  12. Backer-Rod in appropriate sizes, or other backing materials
  13. Adequate quantity of chinking/caulking