• Last Updated:
  • Apr 21st, 2017 5:22 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2009
523 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto

Staining a fence

I'm a first time home owner looking for advice on my fence which I believe is brown pressure treated wood. I really want to preserve the natural wood "look". Is the best way forward to stain it with a transparent stain? What's a good brand to use?

Also, the fence is about 1 yr old. What are the steps involved with prepping the fence prior to staining? (ie. cleaning, sanding, etc)

Thanks!
14 replies
Newbie
Apr 18, 2017
4 posts
1 upvote
The easiest way to stain a wood fence is to use a low-pressure paint sprayer. This eliminates the need for sponges and brushes and allows you to apply an even coat every time—not to mention, it can be a lot faster.

However, if you don’t think you’ll have much use for an electric sprayer and don’t want to shell out cash to buy or rent one, there’s nothing wrong with using a good old paint roller. While it’s not the easiest way to stain your fence, it is still effective.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2009
523 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto
Ashlylallen wrote:
Apr 19th, 2017 5:08 am
The easiest way to stain a wood fence is to use a low-pressure paint sprayer. This eliminates the need for sponges and brushes and allows you to apply an even coat every time—not to mention, it can be a lot faster.

However, if you don’t think you’ll have much use for an electric sprayer and don’t want to shell out cash to buy or rent one, there’s nothing wrong with using a good old paint roller. While it’s not the easiest way to stain your fence, it is still effective.
Thanks for the advice. I have quite a lot of fence to cover so I will definitely look into the sprayer route. I suppose I'll need more paint compared to a roller?
Member
Oct 14, 2007
347 posts
32 upvotes
Use a cleaner and brightener. Restore-a-Deck 2 in 1 is supposedly a good system.

if you use a transparent stain, expect it only to last 1 year (maybe 2). The more "solid" a stain in, the longer it will hold up. The problem is that once you use a solid stain, you will need to remove the old stain before you can reapply a new one.

You can use a sprayer, but you will still need to back brush. This means that the sprayer is only good for apply the stain, you will want to use a brush to go over each section you do to make sure the stain is worked into any hard to reach areas.

The whole process will take a couple days (you can do it in 1 if it's a hot day and you start early).

Vertical stained pieces will wear better than horizontal pieces.

The top stains in my opinion.
TWP 1500 and Armstong Clark

Unfortunately, I don't think they are available in Canada (if you go to the states you can bring it back).

The formulations you see at the big box stores are different and don't perform as well. They are all low VOC compliant.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2392 posts
591 upvotes
Paris
I use transparent wood protectant and I find the better stuff lasts 3 years on horizontal surfaces (the deck) and about 5 on the vertical surfaces (fence and railings).

I use a Wagner sprayer and do not back brush at all. Yes you use more protectant (like twice as much) but you also finish in half the time. So what are you more concerned with... Your weekend time or money?
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Sr. Member
Oct 13, 2014
918 posts
356 upvotes
Somewhere, ON
^^^^^ What brand are you using? I have yet to find one that lasts 3 years.
“When you marry the right woman, you are ‘complete.’ If you marry the wrong woman, you are ‘finished.’ And, if the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are ‘completely finished.'"
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2009
523 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the replies guys. I'm still not clear on the following:

1. I've seen products such as https://www.lowes.ca/exterior-stains/ol ... 46297.html which is a "clear sealant". Is this equivalent to a "transparent stain"?

2. Does a semi-transparent stain need to be removed before reapplying a new coat?

3. Are oil-based stains generally recommended over water-based stains?

I was originally leaning towards a transparent/clear sealant/stain/protectant( are they all the same?) as I wanted to maintain the natural wood colour. Now I'm not so sure due to longevity concerns...
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2392 posts
591 upvotes
Paris
rcmpvet wrote:
Apr 19th, 2017 1:26 pm
^^^^^ What brand are you using? I have yet to find one that lasts 3 years.
Olympic stuff from Lowe's. My parents turned me onto it. But then with a sprayer I probably put on twice as much as with a brush.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Deal Addict
Jan 25, 2007
2392 posts
591 upvotes
Paris
VertigoM wrote:
Apr 19th, 2017 8:39 pm
You mean this?

https://www.lowes.ca/exterior-stains/ol ... PID=749547
Not the stuff it was. Been a few years since I used it. Kept a can so I could buy it again. Will take a pic. Def came in a tin can.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 26, 2002
5654 posts
258 upvotes
BC
I used this to stain my pt wood fence. I decided on the semi transparent so it wouldnt look painted, and it lasts longer than the transparent. I did it 3 years ago and the fence looks great, water beads up on it. I've bought more to do my oak barrels last year and this year I'm using it for my wood Adirondack chairs.

The solid colour lasts longer if thats the look you want.

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.behr ... 68976.html

My fence was about 2 years old and I never did any prep, just put it on, and it looks great.
That's my 2cents worth
[OP]
Sr. Member
Aug 18, 2009
523 posts
51 upvotes
Toronto
Keelie wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 12:50 am
I used this to stain my pt wood fence. I decided on the semi transparent so it wouldnt look painted, and it lasts longer than the transparent. I did it 3 years ago and the fence looks great, water beads up on it. I've bought more to do my oak barrels last year and this year I'm using it for my wood Adirondack chairs.

The solid colour lasts longer if thats the look you want.

https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.behr ... 68976.html

My fence was about 2 years old and I never did any prep, just put it on, and it looks great.
Would you happen to have a pic of the fence? I'm interested to see the colour
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 26, 2002
5654 posts
258 upvotes
BC
VertigoM wrote:
Apr 20th, 2017 10:57 am
Would you happen to have a pic of the fence? I'm interested to see the colour
This was a pre mixed colour we picked.
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That's my 2cents worth
Member
Feb 4, 2010
300 posts
74 upvotes
Is staining a fence just aesthetic purposes or to maintain structure integrity?

I was wonder why it's typically suggested to stain decks, but not fences ... if they're both made from wood why you wouldn't have the same maintenance?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 26, 2002
5654 posts
258 upvotes
BC
Jazmina wrote:
Apr 21st, 2017 1:54 pm
Is staining a fence just aesthetic purposes or to maintain structure integrity?

I was wonder why it's typically suggested to stain decks, but not fences ... if they're both made from wood why you wouldn't have the same maintenance?
We bought PT wood so it would not need any stain or paint, so we thought! It started going an ugly colour and getting some black marks from being wet, and some of the ends were splitting.
That's my 2cents worth

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