There are many ways and materials available to build log cabins. The best combination of a true log cabin look, economy, speed, and ease of construction is with log siding. Many owners use log siding on both the outside and inside while others install siding on the exterior and paneling on the interior walls.

In making the final decision, think about your favorite interior rustic décor. Study the benefits of both log siding, paneling, their associated trims for the walls, and stain colors. Consider pine flooring to finish off each room for a traditional log cabin feel and coziness. The following ideas should help you narrow down the choice for a lifetime of enjoyment.

Wood paneling for walls

Do You Have a Favorite Interior Décor in Mind for Your Log Cabin?

What have you seen in log cabins or log retail stores that appeals to you? Is it the shape of the wall materials, their colors, dark knots? Did you like the wainscoting with logs, paneling, or drywall? Light fixtures, furniture, decorations, exposed beams, mantels, and fireplaces are some of the many items you will need to choose for decorating your cabin.

Think about the historical period you like best such as pioneer, colonial, civil war, turn-of-the-century, western Americana, or modern era. This choice determines both the exterior and interior appearance and the type of both wall materials and décor. Be firm in your initial decision because it will be difficult for the contractor to change plans in the middle of the  cabin’s construction.

The Benefits of Interior Log Siding

Log paneling for walls

It’s time to choose between log siding and paneling for your interior walls. Log cabin siding provides a few noticeable benefits to think about, including:

  • You get the full log look without the full log price.
  • Its added thickness provides more insulation than paneling.
  • It displays the traditional log cabin appearance.
  • Log siding can be combined with paneling or drywall for a different décor style.
  • There is literally ‘zero waste’ because of its tongue and groove/end-mating design.
  • This material can be installed by homeowners with basic woodworking skills.

Log siding can be stained virtually any color and finished off with a clear coat of a durable product. If you don’t want to stain the siding, you can apply a non-yellowing clear coat that will last for generations.

The Benefits of Interior Pine Paneling

Pine Log Siding

Some cabin owners prefer pine paneling for their walls and ceilings. Knotty pine or cedar paneling also provides a set of benefits to consider:

  • They cost less for the same amount of square footage.
  • Cedar has added color to enhance the décor.
  • Paneling is lighter and easier to install and log siding.
  • There is also literally ‘zero waste’ because of its tongue and groove/end-mating design.
  • Pine and cedar paneling can be used for ceilings instead of drywall.

Like log siding, knotty pine and cedar paneling can be stained any color and covered with a clear coat. If you want to preserve the wood’s natural colors, knots, and grain more clearly, then finish with a clear coat.

“The best combination of a true log cabin look, economy, speed, and ease of construction is with log siding.”

How Various Trims Fit Into the Décor Picture

Log trim for the exterior and interior walls is typically larger both in width and thickness than interior trims. You can choose their sizes to create the level of rustic living preferred.

Cedar Log Siding

Paneling Trim Knotty Pine Base and Casing                             

Knotty Pine Base and Casing

Our 2 x 4 D-Trim and 2 x 6 D-Trim are also suitable for wall paneling when you want a ‘heavier’ look. You also have the options of staining the trim the same color as the log siding or paneling or contrasting colors as your desire.

Pine Flooring Works Well with Either Log Siding or Paneling

Your log cabin can’t look any better than when you lay knotty pine flooring in all or most of the rooms. Dress up your floors with unfinished 4”, 5”, or 6” wide planks in equal or random lengths. A second amazing option is 6” wide prefinished planks that are expertly finished with a clear coat. All flooring is end-matched (tongue and groove on all four sides) for fast and easy installation.

Let us know if you have any questions about installing log siding versus paneling or any of our fine log cabin building products.

References and Resources: