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Applying stain to your wood fence goes much deeper than aesthetics. It is the best way to ensure that your wood is protected from the sun and rain and capable of standing for years to come. Regardless if you have just installed a brand new fence or are trying to refresh the shabby, aged barrier around your lawn, take these top tips for staining a wood fence into consideration to showcase your home’s curb appeal.

Do a perimeter check

The first step is power washing your fence to remove loose dirt and eliminate as many stains as possible. Prior to power washing, be sure that any close garden plants or container gardens or fence ornaments have been removed. It’s easy to get carried away with your sprayer and accidently break your terra cotta herb garden.

Eye protection, sunscreen and a hat

Proper eye protection is best, but your sunglasses should be on at the very minimum. Tiny flakes of wood stain and old paint will be shearing off your fence once you start spraying. It’s easy to forget to protect your face, arms and head from the sun’s rays, especially when the backspray of water is keeping you cool. You are going to be washing for a while so be prepared. Stay hydrated by keeping cool water to drink on hand. Expect to be soaked at the end of this endeavor unless you have waterproof gear to wear, such as a rain suit for running.

Get rid of the grime

As already stated, cleaning your fence is step one. Even if your fence has devolved into a drab grey, fret not. Using the right kind of power washing technique can quickly restore your wood’s original glow. Opt for a pressure washer that offers 1500 to 2000 psi. This is the best pressure to ensure that you won’t accidently decimate your boards. Avoid the higher psi models as those in the 3000 or 3500 psi range can unintentionally do more harm than good. Be sure to pick up 15-degree and 25-degree spray tips from your rental location.

Spray technique

Begin spraying with the wand tip approximately 18 inches away from the fence. Slowly sweep along the length of the boards, moving slightly closer during this process. Use the 25 degree tip to start out and once you perfect your technique, try the 15 degree tip to move faster.

You will know you have the correct set up if the power washer’s spray leaves the wood grain slightly rough and raised along the smooth fence boards. If you see long splinters of wood vacating, you might want to tone it down a notch. Pay extra attention near any knots as old stain and paint can often settle in these areas.

Let the fence dry thoroughly

Give your fence at least 24 hours of drying time to ensure that it will take up the stain evenly. You may need 48 hours or longer of drying time if you are in a humid or cooler climate to allow it to evaporate to the core. Check the weather forecast to ensure that you will be applying stain during a period of dry weather.

Repair broken boards

  • Replace damaged or broken boards, refasten loose boards
  • Countersink any protruding nails
  • Use corrosion resistant screws instead of nails to fix separated pieces
  • Inspect gate and use a turnbuckle support to repair any sagging

Applying the stain

A medium nap paint roller and a 4 to 6 inch brush is ideal for soaking up the stain and adequately coating the fence. Use continuous strokes the length of the board to ensure even application. Use the ridges on your paint tray to squeeze out excess stain to avoid dripping all over your grass or patio. Work with a 3 foot section of fence at a time, first using a roller and then brushing afterwards to ensure you get the edges. Really press the stain into the wood. If the wood is super thirsty it will require more stain. Let the wood soak up as much as it needs to in order to form a barrier.

Mildewcide and ultraviolet inhibitors

Read the labels prior to deciding on your stain. Look for mildewcide to inhibit fungal growth and ultraviolet inhibitors to slow down sun bleaching.

Semi-transparent stain vs. solid stain

If you are preserving a new wood fence, or love the natural grain in your wood, semi-transparent oil stain is a great option. If you prefer to match your fence to your trim or simply want a splash of color in your life, consider the many choices from a solid stain. When you’re done, you will have a totally rejuvenated fence that is ready to beautify your home for another handful of years.

If you determine that your old fence is simply too damaged to restore or you don’t have a fence at all and want one for aesthetics and security, contact Seacoast Fence & Home. We provide top-quality workmanship using the finest materials and your satisfaction is guaranteed. Contact us today for a free price quote on a new wooden fence for your home in Jacksonville, St. Augustine or the surrounding area. Call 904-274-4700 or use the form on this page to get in touch. We look forward to hearing from you.