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I'm really confused about "sealing" logs vs "allowing to breath". What are you 'sealing' if you still allow moisture in and out of the logs? It's either sealed, or it's not, right? If air can get in and out of the wood, but water can not, you're still effectively sealing in the moisture in. I understand that air can get out, but who cares about air? it's the moisture we are concerned about, right? People paint wood all of the time, and it does not rot beneath the paint because it can't breathe... so why is it so terrible to paint a log? Polyurethane is water repellent, right? But people put poly on every interior surface all the time. Is this bad for the wood? I have a new log home, which is built out of kiln dried eastern white pine. I read a lot about the dangers of painting interior logs because they need to "breathe". But why is there so much focus on 'sealing' and also so commonly coating with polyurethane. Doesn't the "sealing" contradict the "breathing"? I'm looking to paint some of the pine walls to break up the 'wood everywhere' effect. I know this is sacrilege to some folks, but I'd really like to know if I'm going to physically damage my home by applying paint to the interior walls. The exterior will be finished with a proper log finish -- not sure what product yet. Thanks so much for advice.

Latex stains are like Gortex, they allow micro moisture to escape, but will not let rain in.   The chemical make up of paints and oil based stains will not allow this.   Painting the interior isn't that bad since it is not subjected to the weather, although for the best health of the logs you may want to consider using a solid stain for the interior.  It will still look painted.

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