Is it Better to Stain or Paint a Fence?

Wood Fences Gets Coat of Purple Stain.

Is it better to stain or paint a fence?

When you have a wood fence, painting or staining can enhance its appearance and help extend its lifespan. Either will help protect it from wear and tear, insects, and rot. But, fence stain is often the better choice because stain gets absorbed deeper into the wood and generally lasts longer than paint. While paint will chip and peel, stain will fade, and just need to be reapplied. You especially want to use stain on cedar, because paint prevents cedar from breathing, and actually may decrease the fence’s lifespan. Staining is just one of many options Raborns Roofing & Restorations provides when it comes to fence repair in Augusta, GA. Find out how we can help by calling (706) 814-3207.

How do you prepare a fence for staining?

Whether you have a new fence or one that is a few years old, one of the best ways to preserve it and ensure it lasts a long time is to add fence stain. Before you go out to buy gallons of stain and brushes, you’ll need to prepare the fence for staining. One question you may have is this: Should I pressure wash fence before staining? The answer is “Yes,” but it’s actually not the first step you want to take. Here’s what you need to do to prepare your fence for staining:

  • Check your weather: Make sure the forecast calls for weather conditions with temperatures ranging from 50 degrees to around 80 degrees over several days. No rain should be in the forecast and ideally humidity will be low.
  • Strip surface: If the fence was previously stained or finished an stain or finish stripper will need to be applied to remove the old stain. 
  • Sand new wood, if needed: Check new wood to see if it absorbs stain well by testing it with water. If you spray a section with water and it beads, you’ll need to sand it with the grain. If the water soaks in, sanding won’t be necessary.
  • Power wash the fence to clean it: Operate the power washer at no more than 2000 psi. A thorough wash will clear away dirt and grime and any remaining old stain.
  • Treat mold or mildew: Spot clean mold or mildew using a mixture of bleach and water.
  • Patch damages to the wood with wood filler: If slats are seriously damaged you may need to replace them, but the filler will do for gouges, chips or cracks.
  • Protect the area around the fence with tape and drop cloths: Any part of the fence you don’t want to stain, you’ll cover with painter’s tape. Use drop cloths to protect plants or other nearby items.

What is the best stain for a fence?

There are many brands of fence stain on the market today. Several consistently get good reviews. Among the top stains:

  • Ready Seal 112 Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
  • Ready Seal 552 Dark Walnut Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
  • KILZ L832211 Exterior Waterproofing Wood Stain
  • Ready Seal 110 Golden Pine Exterior Wood Stain and Sealer
  • Defy Extreme Semi-Transparent Exterior Wood Stain

Which fence stain lasts the longest

There are generally three types of fence stain available, solid, clear, and semi-transparent. Solid stain looks the most like paint, and in tests, lasts longer than the others, around two to three years. Clear sealers last the least amount of time.  

Will fence stain fade

Yes, over time fence stain will fade. Solid and semi-transparent tend to last the longest. All-in-all stains though outlast paint, and won’t show obvious signs of wear like chipping or peeling. 

How many gallons of stain do I need for a fence?

If you want to make sure you don’t have to make more than one trip to the hardware store, you can make a simple estimate of how much fence stain you’ll need. You will first need to measure the length and height of the fence to get the square footage. Multiply this figure by two if you are staining both sides of the fence. You can check the side of the can to see how much each can of stain will cover per gallon and divide that figure into the square footage. 

Can fence stain be sprayed on

You can use a sprayer to stain a fence. You can either use a pump sprayer or airless paint sprayer for best results. While spraying on stain can make the job go faster, you still may need to use a brush to get the stain deep into the wood’s pores, especially if you use a pump sprayer. High-volume, low-pressure sprayers are also good for the job.

Can fence stain be rolled on

Although brushing is still one of the best methods for applying fence stain, you can also use a roller to apply it. Rollers, though, have a disadvantage when it comes to hard-to-reach spaces. For hard-to-reach areas keep a brush on hand.

Stain Gets Applied to a Wood Fence.

Call Us Today

If you need help with fence stain in Augusta, GA, turn to the professionals at Raborns Roofing & Restorations. We offer a complete range of fence repair services including fence staining, so if your fence has faded give us a call today at (706) 814-3207.