5 Tips For Staining A Fence

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Thinking of staining a fence? Here are the lessons I’ve learned and 5 tips for staining a fence. Read on for the stain fence how to.

The state of the fence when we moved in.

When we first moved into our house we were so focused on the interior, like finishing our fireplace remodel, bathroom tile, and kitchen breakfast nook . Our son was a busy toddler and during his naps I would carve out time to do some outdoor projects. I started to work outside when the weather turned warm and it was a nice escape for me to decompress.

Before I could start the fun stuff, I had to clean up our demolition debris. I made piles for hauling and had to comb through the grass to make sure nails and screws were picked up. I wanted a usable yard for that busy toddler I mentioned above!

The team who painted our house exterior was very nice and they power washed this fence when they washed our house. This removed all of the moss and dirt you see above. It made a HUGE difference and that is why it is my first tip!

1. Power wash your fence before staining.

If you are you are wanting to stain a new fence, you may not need to power wash. To stain an old fence however, will need a thorough scrubbing. A power washer can remove grime effectively and quickly, so you can get to staining in less time.

2. Check the weather report before staining.

The first time I did any fence staining was in the summer and it was dry and warm. The second and third time I did fence staining, the weather was a bit more unpredictable as it was late winter. I made sure to check that we had a stretch of dry days with temps that met manufacturer’s instructions.

Luckily, Seattle is mild compared to other parts of the world. Although I am a wimp and think the winters are too cold, they are nothing compared to mid-west or northeast winters!

Wet humid weather can mean longer dry times, whereas very hot weather can lead to streaks from shorter dry times.

3. Use a paint sprayer to stain your fence.

I know, I know I am not using a paint sprayer in this photo. Learn from my sore wrists and hands ha ha.

This is a section of fence we had to replace after a snow storm took down one fence panel. Since it isn’t a huge area, I used a brush that we had on hand.

Truth be told, we haven’t actually used a sprayer on our fence. But, we have one more long length of fence to replace and I definitely plan to use a sprayer on that part.. Brushing a fence can be so tiring on your arms and hands!

4. If you have a new fence, test if it is ready for stain.

Many online sources will suggest to wait one to two months before staining a new wood fence, depending on wood type.

Confession time.

When we had to replace the one panel after the branch fell on it, I did not wait that long.

What can I say? I am impatient.

I did test the wood before I started the staining. If you apply water or stain and it beads up, you need to wait longer. If the wood absorbs the water or stain, you are good to go.

5.Read wood stain instructions before buying.

Read the label of your wood stain to read about things like recommended temperature and dry time.

Thanks for reading! Hope you found these tips helpful! Hope you visit our casa again soon

Check out more of our outdoor projects!

Try out a DIY Easy espalier trellis.

Speaking of fences, you have to see how a picket fence was upcycled and repurposed.

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  • D D on Apr 24, 2022

    Your fence looks fantastic!! After all that hard work why string greenery to grow all over the fence?

    I was told years ago that greenery growing on fences and bricks is not good. It can deteriorate the wood and bricks.

  • Jeanette Elizabeth Jeanette Elizabeth on Apr 24, 2022

    Looks sanded?

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