Restoration Possible: All I Could Think is What Have I Gotten Myself Into?
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Restoration Possible: All I Could Think is What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

It Started with a Dream. A young boy and his dad. Hours spent tucked away together fishing the trout streams of New Hampshire’s quiet woods. In those quiet woods, a dream took root in Nicholas Martin’s heart. As he and his father fished, they would imagine and dream together of one day having a cabin of their very own to visit.

Sponsored by Sashco Sealants


Nicholas Martin Home Restoration | New Hampshire

Restoration IS possible. Download Sashco's restoration guide here.

In 2012, an old, 1940’s cabin built from wood harvested on the very property Nicholas had spent so many years visiting became available for purchase. The old cabin was terribly rundown and, in Nicholas’ wife’s opinion, seemed more like a nightmare than a dream come true. The amount of work the cabin would require in order to be habitable, much less their dream cabin, was daunting. Nicholas wondered, could a novice homeowner with no log home restoration experience manage such an overwhelming project? Despite the tattered condition, Nicolas knew he could not pass it up.

Homeowner Insight: At our first visit to  the cabin, all I could think was, “What have I gotten myself into?”

What Did I Get Myself Into?

The initial euphoria Nicholas felt was tempered slightly as he began to realize the size of the project he’d just taken on. The rustic little dream cabin was in serious need of TLC after years of being boarded up and uncared for. The home was badly deteriorated on the exterior with significant rot, completely black walls covered with mold, and a leaking roof. Inside, things were no better. The interior was completely infested with mice and carpenter ants, along with a completely rotted out floor.

Wisely, Nicholas knew one thing for certain: before he ever touched his new cabin, he needed to thoroughly research how to refinish such a severely deteriorated log structure.

The Transformation Begins

Nicholas knew that he wanted to do the bulk of the refinishing work himself, but understanding just what that required would be one of the most important steps in the restoration process. Research and education provided Nicholas the “know how” he’d been searching for. He was confident and ready to begin transforming his tattered cabin into the getaway of his childhood dreams.

First up, a new roof! The first priority was to keep more water from getting into the cabin.

Second, get rid of rot. Nicolas wanted to be sure he thoroughly addressed the rot issue. He was not willing to skimp on this important step. He decided to hire an expert to reface the rotten logs.

Application Tip: Some refinishing work is more technical than others. Severely rotted logs may require an expert to ensure safety, structural stability, and a lasting repair.

With a strong foundation in place, it was time for an aggressive blasting method using glass media to get down to bare, sound wood. An Osborn® brush eliminated any wood “fuzz,” and checks were filled with Backer Rod and Sashco’s Conceal®. Nicholas’ cabin was already beginning to look years younger. Properly prepped, the cabin was ready to be stained.

Homeowner Insight: “I immediately began researching the finishing process like crazy. I wanted to do it right, because if I missed a step I’d be the one to have to live with it. As I researched, Sashco® products and  Transformation Stain® just kept coming up as the best — not just for good looks, but also for the best protection.”

The Stain Decision: When in Doubt, Go Dark!

The cabin’s transformation was well underway. Now it was time to make one of his most important decisions. After prepping the cabin so thoroughly, Nicholas was very particular about which stain he would use choose to protect his dream cabin. He spent hours researching stain with two ultimate requirements in mind — beauty and, more importantly, protection. His research kept pointing him back to two things:

  1. Dark stain provides better protection
  2. Transformation Stain® Log & Timber provided both stunning beauty and unparalleled protection
Ultimately, Nicholas decided on Transformation Stain® Log & Timber in Red Tone Dark. With a mildewcide added, Nicholas brushed on three coats of stain.
Application Tip: It’s true — darker colors tend to last longer because they  have more pigment to prevent UV degradation. Thoroughly brushing stain into the logs is also necessary to get proper penetration of the stain, which improves durability.
Homeowner Insight: “I was shocked at the results after media blasting. It was a truly amazing and effective improvement I could see right away.”

For more more tips and tricks, download Sashco's restoration guide.

The Happy Ending

So, you might be wondering, was Nicolas’ big risk on this small cabin worth it? Did the childhood dream come true? We’ll let him answer for himself.
“Oh my gosh, I love it! My wife went from being nervous to sleep there to asking when we could go back. We go as often as we can. I believed the cabin could get better, but I never dreamed it could get as good as it is.”
How could a cabin that seemed almost unsalvageable exceed Nicholas’ expectations? They say, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Nicholas combined the “will” with a commitment to education, solid research, and proper application techniques, and it resulted in his dream cabin. That will, education, and high-performance products worked in concert to make this intimidating restoration project possible.
A dream between dad and son over the casts of fishing poles is now the place where real life memories are being created. 
Homeowner Insight: “Transformation Stain in Red Tone Dark was the perfect choice. I can’t believe how beautiful it looks. There was a huge difference between the first and final coat. It ended up so rich and glossy looking. I sent a picture of the finished product to the previous owner and he couldn’t even believe it was  the same cabin.”

Restoration IS possible. Download Sashco's restoration guide here.

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