Staining a fence is an excellent way to enhance your landscape or preserve wood. The steps in fence staining are simple and there are plenty of choices in stain color, from very light and natural, to dark and earthy. Consider the following tips for the best results and an attractive fence.
Weather is important
Warm, dry weather is necessary to stain a fence properly. The ideal temperature range is between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But slightly cooler or warmer temperatures may be acceptable, if there is no rain in the forecast and little moisture in the air.
Make sure the fence is dry
The fence should be completely dry, including any posts. Stain will not penetrate as well if the surface is damp. Allow the fence to dry for at least 24 hours, after a light rain. Otherwise, it may take an additional 24 hours.
Choose the right brush or roller
If you’re not using a sprayer with a compressor, using the right roller or brush can make the job easier. Choose a roller with a medium nap, to apply the first soaking coat of stain. This coat will penetrate the wood, so apply a generous amount of stain, but don’t use so much that it takes days to dry.
Allow at least 24 hours for the first coat to dry. Then, apply the final coat, which will give the fence the desired color. Usually there is no need to apply a clear varnish. The stain will provide enough protection for several years. If desired, you can apply the stain again in a few years, for a fresh look.
Choose the right stain color
Choosing the right color for fence staining will depend on the landscape and the look you want. Darker stains tend to provide a more rustic look. Lighter stain colors tend to give the fence a more natural look. Light stains can provide a good contrast to landscape with plenty of trees, including evergreens and pines.
Determine how much stain you need
Buying enough stain for the project is simple, if you keep this simple tip in mind. One gallon of stain will typically cover about 200 square feet. You will need to know the fence height and length, to determine the amount to be covered. Double the amount of stain if you plan on staining both sides and allow some additional stain for fence posts and caps.