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Log cabin showing its age

I have a 135 year old log cabin that has been painted several times and the logs that have been laying on a rock foundation is showing deterioration on the bottom log. I would like to know anything about a product that would act as a filler that could be painted over. There is also peeling on the bottom of some siding that is on another side of the cabin. It doesn't look like there is any danger of the logs giving way, but it is unsightly.

Re: Log cabin showing its age

I don't know much about log cabins, but can the low log be replaced?

Re: Log cabin showing its age

When that bottom log starts to go, there isn't a lot you can do, especially if it is a round log. If it is a square log that is dovetailed at the corners, you have more options. Since this cabin is 135 years old, it is clearly not made form "manufactured logs", that means each log is a custom fit and can't be replaced like they do with manufactured log homes.

However, I would first suggest that you treat any exposed wood with a Sodium Borate solution like Boracare or Timbor mixed in antifreeze. This will stop further rot and kill any mold on the wood. It will also drive out any termites and carpenter ants.

The if all you need is some spot filler, then good old Bondo will work. That the stuff you find in auto body shops for cheap repairs on small dents in cars. Its a little tricky to work with at first so do a couple of small practice patches on some scrap wood until you get the hang of it. You can get it at any auto parts store.

Re: Log cabin showing its age

I've done a little thinking since yesterday, the Bondo will have a problem, as will anything else you try to use. The logs have a big factor of shrinkage and even shape over the seasons, so the bondo will separate from the wood.

You could use the Bondo in the summer, then in the winter, when the wood shrinks the most, use a flexible caulk between the filler and the log. Then paint over it. For a flexible caulk, use a chinking compound.

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