Fence Staining and Painting BasicsYou Should Know


When it comes to beautifying the outdoors of any property, turning your attention to the fence can have a significant impact. Nothing reduces the curb appeal of a home quicker than a chipped and faded fence. Wood that has been allowed to go to seed is ugly and makes any home look like it’s been poorly maintained.

But you don’t need to let your fence affect the look of your home in such a poor manner. Not when you know how to paint or stain a fence that surrounds it. Your fence is an important part of your home’s exterior and you want it to look good. We’re going to help you do just that.

Examine the Fence for Damage

This is the first and most important thing you need to do is first make sure the fence is still in good working order. A damaged fence is not something you want to paint or finish. This is only important to do if the fence has been up for a while, exposed to the elements for years. New fences shouldn’t have any damage so you won’t need to do this step if you are installing it brand new.

But for those fences that have seen the worst punishment that Mother Nature can dish out, check for soft spots, loose joints, functionality issues that prevent the fence from doing its intended job. Anything that might demonstrate that your fence is in disrepair. Fix these problems before you proceed with painting or staining it.

Cleaning Your Fence

The best way to get your fence clean is with a power washer. Any fence company in Chesterfield will tell you the same, because the pressure that comes with power washing a wood surface can be highly effective at creating a whole new texture where the paint or stain can really adhere to the wood. The high velocity of the water peels away the top layer of dead wood cells, leaving a pristine new surface that is ready to absorb your paint or stain so that it bonds properly.

The Basics of Staining

So, when you’ve cleaned the fence and allowed it to dry for about 24 to 48 hours, you’re ready to stain it. You want an oil-based stain for better results. Apply it to the extent of the surface in liberal amounts. No need to be stingy about your stain, add as many coats as it takes to get the appearance you want. The more coats you apply, the better off your fence will be against moisture and the natural elements surrounding your home.

Lay it down in long, even strokes and allow it to absorb fully. Be sure the first coat is dry before you add another on top of it for best results. You want the stain to soak into the wood for complete absorption.

Next Up, Varnish

Even more protection for your fence, a layer or two of varnish can be critical for keeping moisture from ruining the surface of your fence. But as you may have guessed, you want to allow your stain to dry fully before you apply the varnish. Feel free to add more than one coat so you can get the look you want on your fence as multiple layers will bring about different aesthetics.

The Basics of Painting

Here is a tip that you may not have considered, for those of you who installing a new fence. Paint it first. Don’t wait until you put it up. Painting the fence when it’s still lying down is much easier because you can paint the entire surface of every component without missing any hard to reach places. A fence that is painted before installation looks a lot better. You can get to all of the areas that are covered up by other components and even paint the ends of the posts and boards, where the open-ended grain can allow for moisture to sneak in.

Priming Your Fence

After you’ve cleaned the fence and allowed it to dry, time to add a layer of primer to your fence. You won’t do this over an existing layer of paint, but instead bare wood. Make sure you are using a high-quality primer to really make your fence look good. Apply multiple coats if necessary but be sure not to skip this step as you paint your fence.

One Section at A Time

The biggest mistake that first timers make is their approach to painting the fence. You don’t need to do the whole thing all at once. Take it in steps. One section at a time will make sure that the paint job looks even and consistent from one end to the other.

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