Creating the log cabin look inside is possible by building an interior wall with logs or log siding. A truly rustic log cabin decor is easy to build with modern techniques, log accents, and using easy-to-order log cabin siding. A well-applied log cabin siding wall, either outside or inside the house, will be hard to distinguish from the ‘real thing’.
Frame an interior log cabin wall (or the house) with 2”x4” or 2”x6” studs. Insulate if you are working on outside walls and cover with either plywood or oriented-strand board (OSB) as a sidewall sheeting. Be sure to use six nails in the field and eight along the seams when you are nailing the sheeting.
Cover outside walls with a house wrap. If you are only remodeling an inside wall, you can nail the siding to the studs and do not need to use sheeting.
Now, you are ready to install log siding on either an inside or outside wall. This description of creating the log cabin look is limited to adding log cabin siding to an interior wall.
The job of applying log siding is made easier with tongue-and-groove material. However, you will want to finish all window and door trim as well as vertical corners before attaching the siding. Siding comes in various sizes from 2”x6” to 3”x10”.
Learn more about efficient cabin windows on our cabin design pages.
Read any manufacturer’s directions, then cut and install the vertical corner logs and attach the corner pieces to the studs securely. Make sure to measure and leave the right amount of space between the corner log and both the floor and ceiling (typically half an inch).
An alternative to using log siding for the corners is to use flat sawn lumber, such as 2" x 6" or 3" x 8". Then the horizontal log siding can butt directly into these corner pieces.
Measure carefully before cutting the foundation log. This is the bottom log in the siding. It should fit snugly between the corner logs. Use shims to keep it off the floor. Usually this spacing is half an inch, but the basic idea is to keep the logs from direct contact with moisture.
Make sure the tongue of the tongue-and-groove is on top (and not on the bottom) and use a level to make sure that even if the floor slants, the foundation log is perfectly level. Nail the bottom course of log siding into the studs, putting at least two nails into each stud.
Measure between the corners and cut the second piece of log siding. Lay it on top of the foundation log and tap the groove onto the lower tongue using a block of wood and your hammer. Be certain the fit is tight and the upper log is level.
Use a nail gun to drive 2½-inch nails at both ends of the log at a 45-degree angle, entering just under the tongue, so the next log hides the nail holes. Add nails at least every 24 inches and into studs as possible. Continue adding logs in this manner.
If your wall is longer than the length of your siding logs, cut the logs so as to stagger the seams between the logs. Fill visible screw holes with a wood putty of the same color as your log siding. When the wall is done, add a matching baseboard.
Creating the log cabin look is easy using log siding either inside or outside. It’s simply a matter of measuring, cutting and attaching the log siding properly.