enter image description here I saw this example in a how-to page of sashco company!. I'm wondering how all the samples have a lighter and darker shade. Is it a double applying of the same product on it's right side?

And how can I apply a similar transition on a piece of wood. Is it sufficient to tape it off, is this why it has a dark line like if it had a cut. What kind of tape to use then?

  • 1
    All I see is cigarette butts.
    – Matt
    Oct 5, 2015 at 10:50

3 Answers 3


I'm with Sashco, the company who posted that picture. Yes, the prepped sections were taped off in order to clearly mark where the different prep methods were done. After all prep was done, a very narrow groove was cut into the wood before the new stain section to help delineate it a bit more. All of the logs start on the far left with sun-damaged wood with existing stain on it. In addition, all logs on the far right show two heavy coats of the same exact stain in the same color applied by brush. All work was done on a single log wall. The prep is what happens in between and what makes all the difference on the final appearance.

From top to bottom, the prep methods are: 1) Media blasting with crushed glass media alone (no finish sanding). 2) Media blasted with crushed glass media, followed by finish sanding with Buffy Pads (Sashco version of 3M non-woven pads). You can make out a faint line in between the media blasting and the Buffy pad sanding. 3) Power washing, followed by finishing sanding with Osborn brushes. You can make out a faint line between the power washing and the finish sanding. 4) Power washing alone (no finish sanding).

Our goal was to show log home owners how different prep methods affect the final outcome of their stain. They will often choose to sample the stain on some scrap piece of wood from around the house. When the real home staining starts, after all prep is done and they're now applying stain with a sprayer, they find that the color is much darker than their sample. It's why we wrote that blog post and preach "PROPERLY sample" everywhere.

That said, for sure - you can use these different types of wood prep to get the "ombre" stain look that is popular these days. Just don't do it on a full home unless you're really daring and on the cutting edge of log home style. :-)


It looks to me as though whomever did this just stuck the end of the piece into a can of finish, one end at a time. If you were to dunk the end into the finish, allow it to sit for a short period of time, then pull it out, it would provide the nice even line you see. Allow the excess to drain off, then do the next piece. There wouldn't be too much of a difference in the level of the finish, so each piece would have roughly the same amount of finish on the end. Then let it dry and do the other end with a different finish. The center on some of the pieces looks like it has a different finish ... the top two pieces looking like they don't have any finish at all (natural).

The same process could be used on the bottom two pieces with different levels of finish. Best part is, no tape required. You'd probably find that with tape, the finish would bleed under it anyway because of capillary draw of the wood.

The "cut" on the right side of the wood looks exactly like that ... a cut. Something which was applied after or before. If done before, it could have been a reference line to dunk the wood down to in the finish.

  • 1
    thanks for the answer! The company sashco replied themselves on how they did their samples.
    – dodo 89
    Oct 5, 2015 at 14:54
  • @dodo89 - No worries! I'm glad you got your answer ... from a real authority! Oct 5, 2015 at 22:19

Their website says:

Different Wood Prep Methods

Not only does the type of wood affect how the stain will appear, different preparation and application methods will affect the final result. Power washed logs, hand-sanded logs, and media blasted logs will all soak up the stain differently.

The image below illustrates how wood prep affects the final stain. From the top:

  • Media blasted logs (no finish sanding)
  • Media blasted logs, finish sanded with Buffy Pads
  • Power washed logs, finish sanded with Osborn®brushes
  • Power washed logs (no finish sanding)

So what they're demonstrating is something any good woodworker discovers: if you're staining, sanding to an excessively fine grit can actually reduce how much stain the wood absorbs.

I don't know whether these were dunked; masking can produce a pretty sharp lins, and the apparent cut toward the right end of each log would help keep the dark stain from bleeding pas that point.

Yes, I believe this is showing at least two different finishes at the two ends, with unfinished to compare it to. I'm saying "at least" because the third down has another clearly visible line at the middle. I can't account for that unless they were also showing sanded vs. unsanded or something like that.

When in doubt about how an effect was achieved, the best place to start is usually the folks who produced that piece, if you can find them. Companies in particular like to know people are looking at their websites!

  • thanks a lot for the answer, it is very helpful and I followed your tip.
    – dodo 89
    Oct 5, 2015 at 14:52

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