Your new wood fence will have a longer life and look more attractive if you stain it periodically. Staining may be a lot of work, but if you don't enjoy painting, you can hire a fence staining contractor to do the job. Here's why staining a wood fence is important and how it's done.
Why Your Wood Fence Should Be Stained
You don't have to stain your fence. You can let the fence become weathered and develop a silver or gray patina if that's the look you like. However, you may notice fences that turn gray or silver also develop problems with warping, splintering, decay, and aging. Part of the reason for fence aging is exposure to UV rays, and another part is exposure to rain and moisture.
Stain protects wood fencing. It acts as a coating that blocks UV rays and keeps out moisture. This helps your fence have a longer life, stay in better shape, and need fewer repairs. Plus, staining the fence maintains the natural wood color and prevents oxidation that turns the fence gray and makes it look old and worn out.
When You Should Stain A Fence
Talk to your fencing contractor about the right time to stain a new fence. You may need to wait several weeks to allow the new boards to dry before you apply the stain. Once you've put stain on the first time, you'll want to keep up with applying stain throughout the life of your fence. The fence staining contractor will recommend a schedule for staining your fence based on your local weather conditions, but you may need to have it done every few years.
How A Fence Is Stained
If a silver or gray patina has already formed, you can remove it by pressure washing the fence. Even if your fence already has stain and you don't need to remove the gray surface patina, the fence still needs to be washed, and possibly scrubbed or sanded to remove surface imperfections before staining it. Then, the fence has to dry out completely before the stain is applied.
It's also important to choose a dry day with mild temperatures as applying stain when it's too humid, too hot, or too cold could affect the finished appearance. Before the stain is applied, the contractor may put down drop cloths to protect plants or border mulch from the stain. Fence stain can be applied with a brush, roller, or sprayer. The contractor might apply more than one coat of stain depending on the condition of your fence, or they might apply a stain followed by a sealcoat.