During the Summer, we got a new fence installed – over 100 linear feet of fencing, to be exact. We had a local fence company install the fence, but we were a bit surprised when we realized it was bare wood that was installed. We had
thought assumed it would be a nice dark wood, but we got blonde cedar and it needed some color… and some extra protection from the elements!
So we set out to stain the fence. It took a lot longer than expected, and it was more expensive than expected, but overall I’m glad we did it ourselves. We saved money over having the professionals do this work and we learned so much in the process so I’m sharing some tips with you here on how we stained that fence!
There’s no reason to be intimidated by the process of staining a wood fence. It’s actually an easy, straightforward process and it beautifies a property so much. Since stain penetrates the wood so much better than paint, it requires a lot less maintenance over the long run.
Tips for Staining a Wood Fence
Before Staining the Fence:
1. Buy a quality staining brush or paint roller to apply the stain. We used a roller and it worked very well. If you’d like an even more professional result, then you may use a pump sprayer.
2. Make sure you learn the right technique: Always back-brush to ensure an even application. Apply the product following the grain of the wood. Always work from the top to the bottom.
3. If you have had any rainy weather in the last few weeks, make sure you let the fence dry out. Try to aim for a 2-5 weeks of dry weather so the wood can be fully dry before applying stain. When we applied our stain, we got lucky that there was a dry spell for a few weeks beforehand and afterward!
4. When selecting a day to do the staining, check the forecast for current temperature ranges. The temp should be no cooler than abot 50 degrees F. Ideally, you’ll also have several dry days after your project so that the wood can stay dry.
5. Get plenty of drop cloths, or large plastic sheets, to protect the grass/ground underneath and around your fence from any stain drips.
6. Select the right stain. Oil-based stains will last a longer time and it ages beautifully. Water-based stains tend to be more affordable and have less fumes associated with them.
7. Get protective gear before you begin. You will need a mask, protective eye goggles and gloves.
Applying the Stain
1. When applying the stain, make sure the fence is clean and dry. Also, make sure it has been lightly sanded before you begin.
2. Use large, up and down brush strokes to apply the stain to the wood fence. Try to stick with one board at a time. If you have a large amount of area to cover, you may need to divide it into smaller sections that you tackle on different days.
3. Apply up to three coats of stain (if necessary) to achieve the final color and protection you’re looking for.
After the Staining Project
1. Don’t get water on your newly-stained fence for several days or a few weeks. Ideally, you will have picked a time to do the staining so that rain is not an issue.
2. Check your work in a few days to make sure everything has dried in evenly and whether you need to do any touch-ups.
I hope these tips have helped you with your staining project. Whether you’re staining a fence or any other large wooden structure, these tips will helpfully guide you through a smooth & successful staining project!