Fence Stain and Sealer – What to Use and When to Use It

A fence stain and sealer enhance the appearance of a wood fence while protecting it from UV rays and moisture damage. Choosing the right product depends on your personal preferences and environment.

Choose a day with calm conditions and avoid applying when winds are high. Instead, use painter’s tape and plastic drop cloths to protect areas such as lawn ornaments, rose bushes, and brick walkways from being stained.

Clean the Fence

Before staining your fence, you must clean it thoroughly. This step is necessary to ensure the stain will adhere to the wood and provide maximum protection. This can be done using a power washer or a brush. Power washers can damage the wood, so it is vital to use gentle pressure.

It is also essential to use a wood brightener before staining. This will remove dirt and debris from the wood built up over time. It will also help to balance the pH of the wood so that the sealer will attach correctly.

Once the fence is cleaned, it is ready for staining. If you are using a sprayer, it is recommended that you wear a mask and protective gloves. It is also a good idea to work in small sections. This will prevent the stain from drying too quickly and causing uneven coverage.

If you are using a roller or brush, it is essential to apply the stain evenly. Start atop the fence and work your way down, covering all areas.

Apply the Stain

After your fence has been cleaned, inspected, repaired, and sanded, it is time to apply the stain. Before you start, however, examine the wood for any nails, screws, splinters, and other debris that need to be removed or sanded down. This will help prevent any potential problems with the application of the stain.

When it comes to applying the stain, there are a few different methods you can use. You can choose to use a sprayer, roller, or brush. Choosing the correct way for you will depend on your preference and the space you’re staining.

Sprayers are ideal for large areas because they can quickly cover much ground. They are not, however, suitable for tight corners where overspray can be a problem. In addition, when using a sprayer, you must wear safety glasses and a dust mask to avoid getting any product in your eyes or lungs. It’s also a good idea to wait for a day that is not too hot or windy.

Allow the Stain to Dry

Once the stain has dried, you can enjoy your beautiful fence. Depending on weather conditions, you should reapply the stain every two to three years.

Staining a fence is messy, so be sure to have plenty of plastic drop cloths to protect plants, rose bushes, and lawn ornaments near the fence. Old vacation t-shirts and jeans work well for this job because you will likely get a stain drip or two on them anyway. And don’t forget to wear chemical-resistant gloves.

Before beginning, inspect the wood for any broken pieces that need repair. Doing this initially can prevent many problems, such as flaking and peeling. If you’re unsure if the fence is ready for staining, do a water test by dropping a few drops on the surface. The wood is dry enough for staining if it absorbs within a few minutes. If it beads and does not absorb, you should allow it more time to dry.

Apply the Sealer

Apply a second coat of stain after the first has dried, following the application instructions on the product. When applying the stain, be careful to use slow, even strokes. Use a brush or roller to get into corners and between the slats. Be sure to follow the product instructions for rinsing and clean up.

Many wood stains come with a combined sealant to help keep moisture away from the fence and prevent mold, mildew, and rot. This adds an extra layer of protection to the wood that could otherwise be susceptible to moisture damage, especially with older or untreated wood.

All exterior wood, including fences, should be cleaned before applying any stain or waterproofer. Cleaning helps remove dirt, mildew, and other discoloration that can detract from the beauty of your wood. Stains that include sealant also help protect the fence from moisture and harmful UV rays. Choose a stain with a high level of UV protection to ensure your fence will look great for years to come.