How to Stain Your Wood Fence

Coating your fence is a great way to elevate your home’s exterior and add curb appeal. Applying stain to a wood fence not only makes it look beautiful, but it also helps protect and preserve the wood. It’s a fairly simple DIY, but there are some important steps you won’t want to skip if you want it to last.

A freshly painted fence looks great, but it will likely start to chip and peel after a few years, and the wood will have to be scraped, sanded and primed before being repainted with a durable exterior paint. If you are prepared to invest time into repainting your fence properly, make sure you use a high-quality exterior paint. Alternatively, using an exterior stain is much less labor intensive than paint, and instead of chipping and peeling, it will simply begin to fade, making touch ups less “urgent”, aesthetically speaking.



Woodluxe Exterior Stains

The all-new Woodluxe Exterior Stains from Benjamin Moore will be available for purchase in-store or online by April 4th. These premium, all-weather exterior stains use advanced formulas to protect and beautify exterior wood surfaces. Available in four opacities and in water-based or oil-based formulas.

The Best Stain for a Fence

Oil wood stains work better than water-based stains on softwoods, such as pine and cedar, because of the wood’s high absorption rate. Water-based stains can end up looking uneven and blotchy due to softwood’s larger pores that easily absorb water.

For those looking to achieve a beautiful stain finish on their fence, Preserva Oil Stain products are top of the line. They provide beautiful finishes and varying levels of durability, all without the peeling or flaking typically caused by water-based stains.

Before setting out to stain your fence, there are a few things to consider. For starters, choosing your desired finish and level of durability is key. Preserva products offer four finishes to choose from.

  1. Preserva Transparent Timber Oil: This finish is translucent, allowing you to see most of the wood grain and requiring a re-staining every 2-3 years.

  2. Preserva Semi-Transparent Oil: This finish provides the next step up for grain coverage, as well as slightly more durability.

  3. Preserva Semi-Solid Oil: This finish shows less grain than the Semi-Transparent, but is one step closer to being a solid cover, offering the second to most durable level of protection.

  4. Preserva Solid Oil: This finish shows little to no grain, and provides the highest levels of durability with a re-staining needed only every 5+ years.

How to Stain a New Fence

Once you have decided on your desired finish, it is time to get to work. If you have a new fence, your process will be much different than if you have a fence needing to be re-stained. To stain a new fence, follow these steps:

  1. Preparing your fence for stain:

    1. Check the weather before starting this DIY! The stain will need up to two days to dry, so you want to make sure rain isn’t in the forecast.

    2. Lightly sand your new fence (optional): For the best application, even new fences need to be sanded. Using 80 grit sandpaper will open up the wood’s pores and provide the most consistent finish.

    3. Wash your fence: Regardless of whether you have sanded your fence, it is important to wash it to remove stains from mildew, mold, algae, fungus, and moss and leaves. Krud Kutter House Wash is a bio-degradable cleaner and brightener, that will bring the wood back to its original state and best prepare it for the stain. Krud Kutter also dissolves stains from dirt, oil, grease, bird droppings, tree sap, and acid rain. Preserva also has a Renewer & Cleaner that cleans and brightens old, weathered, or dirty wood surfaces. Preserva Renewer & Cleaner is 100% organic and contains no acids, corrosives, or bleach. When washing your fence, avoid furring up the wood by using low pressure (no more than 2,000 PSI) on your power washer or garden hose.

  2. Protect your surrounding area:

    1. Tape off any areas that you don’t want stained, such as hardware, and put down drop cloths to protect your landscaping, and anything else you don’t want stained.

  3. Use a paintbrush, paint roller, or paint sprayer to apply the stain.

    1. You may way to test out your chosen stain color before coating your entire fence, just to make sure you like it!

    2. Apply with the grain of the wood using a nylon or polyester brush. If you use a roller, use a medium nap roller. Make sure you use even coats and clean up any drips. Paint from top to bottom to avoid drips. All Preserva products require only one coat, making it easy to achieve your desired look in minimal time.

Re-staining an Existing Fence

If you are looking to re-stain your existing fence, the process will look different. First and foremost, the fence’s existing product needs to be determined before moving forward with your re-coating. To determine the product on your fence, wipe a small section of the fence with a rag soaked in denature alcohol. If the coating comes off on your rag, it is safe to say it is a latex stain. If it does not come off on your rag, it is likely an oil stain. Keep in mind that if a latex product was used on your fence, it is critical that it is completely removed prior to applying Preserva Oil products to your fence. Depending on the existing coating, your preparation for re-stain will look different. Be sure to contact a Ring’s End coating specialist to learn about the process needed to achieve your desired look.

Enjoy Your Freshly Stained Fence!

Now you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor for at least a few years before having to refresh your fence again. Preserva Timber Oil is a great, high-quality option that is not too difficult for homeowners to use on their own. You can stop into any of Ring’s End’s 20 locations for product and project advice and expertise. We will make sure you have everything you need to get your home’s exterior looking great!