Fence StainingTreat your fence right for years to come
Why does staining help?
Staining your fence is your first line of defense for your investment. Just letting a fence go grey is natures way of depleting the natural oils in the wood making your fence more susceptible to permeation of water and sunlight. Fencestain is comparable to a fence as sunscreen is to our skin. For example a clear stain is like putting on tanning oil where as a dark coloured stain is similar to putting on Spf60 Sunblock. The sun damage that happens to a fence is severe as well as water damage from the rain. Rain will cause mold and mildew and rot, but the sun will cause any type of lumber to age prematurely as well as many other symptoms such as sever splitting or checking, warping, cupping, twisting, greying. Many more clients are staining and protecting their new fences than ever because it is proven to extend a fence’s life exponentially.
Is this for everyone?
Staining and protecting fence’s, decks, sheds, siding and for every type of outdoor woodwork as well from home owners to commercial clients, strata’s and developers. Pressure treated wood needs to be stained as well as cedar, pine, spruce and so on. Fence’s are primarily made of cedar wood and pressure treated bases and posts which all need protection.
What is the procedure , what do you do? How long does it take?
Staining needs to be done in fair weather to dry wood. The stain can be sprayed, brushed or rolled onto your fence, deck, shed, pergola, outdoor furniture and so on. Staining is a long process for the first application and requires more stain than reapplying to already stained products.
Some common mistakes when trying to protect your new fence:
- Painting the fence. Paint in commonly mistaken for solid stain. IF you want a solid colour or to colour match you will need to have a quality solid stain colour matched and applied correctly.
- Staining a fence that is too wet, dirty or not prepared properly. Some fences will need to be washed or sanded prior to sealing, staining or protecting it.
- Pressure washing a fence to blast off old stain, paint or dirt can be severely damaging to wood. Proper care should be taken when pressure washing should used as well as using a good quality fence or deck wash applied with a brush a lightly scrubbed. A pressure washer may now be used to pressure spray the fence of and clean the surrounding area. There are many great quality environmentally friendly products available.
It is time to stain a fence when:
- It has never been stained or protected before
- The existing stain is fading
- The fence is absorbing water or mildew and moss are present
- The fence is grey or going grey
The benefits of staining your fence are:
- A fence that is stained will stay looking great throughout its life as well as make any wood last longer. Many fence’s show weather damage within 2 – 3 years of installation such as water staining, going grey, sun damage such as splitting wand warping from uv damage.
- A nicely stained fence will add curb appeal and make any property visibly appealing. One run of fence can have as much square footage as the side of a large house. It is a very large surface to leave unprotected.
- One benefit of staining a fence is value. Extending the life of the fence just by applying stain is a value added situation just like keeping the oil changed in your car.
How can home owners do it?
Staining can be done by us or the home owner. (either way we just prefer that our hand built fence is taken care of) A new perimeter fence stained on both sides can be 3000 square feet or more. You will need to stock up on brushes rollers and necessary painting supplies to get started. You can rent a sprayer at any home center but will be limited to spraying water or latex based stains as they do not want to contaminate their machines with oil based products. We apply oil based stains to most of the fences we stain because it offers superior protection, unless the client is looking for a colour match we will use a colour matched solid stain.
To get started staining your fence you will need to calculate your fence’s square footage to determine how much stain you will need to purchase. Measure the lineal footage. Fence length x fence height x 2 = your square footage. A 100’ fence 6’ tall has 600 square feet per side x 2 = 1200 square feet. The fence needs to be stained on both sides if you’re staining it for protection.
Can I stain only one side of my fence? Yes you can but it does not offer any protection on the other side but will keep your side looking great for the life of the fence.
Next you will need to decide how you want to apply the product you have chosen. The three main methods of application are:
We use a combination of all three. If you choose to spray check with your home insurance to see if you are covered for damages from over spraying. Over spraying is what happens when the wind blows the staining onto surrounding surfaces such as your neighbours new house or convertible.
When spraying your fence you will need:
- Paint sprayer
- Extension cord
- Several pails or clean buckets
- Tarps or poly
- Drop sheets
- String or rope
- Nails and hammer or staple gun
- Paint thinner for clean up
- Brush and roller
- Tray and extension pole
- Latex gloves
Start slowly in a corner or inconspicuous area to practice. Never spray from the ground up as you will blow dirt and debris onto the surface and have to start over. Have a brush, roller and rags ready to take care of runs, drips and uneven areas. Paint sprayers can have up to 3000 PSI (pounds per square inch of pressure) so care should be taken when using these machines. Make sure to pay attention to the weather, you will never want to spray in even mildly windy conditions. If the wind picks up you will need to stop spraying and wait for the wind to stop or keep applying by hand until it is safe to spray again.
Cover all areas evenly and be careful not to let the product dry before completing an entire section. It is important to keep a wet line or edge.
Some products can be reapplied the same day such as our oil based stain that is a wet on wet application process while some products require up to a 48 hour waiting period for proper adhesion and curing.
Now you have to properly clean out your spray machine, hose, nozzle and spray tips if you plan to reuse the machine ever again. Stain and paint dries and clogs all tips and guns if not cleaned properly.
What types of staining do you provide? Different colors?
We provide several types of staining from transparent, semitransparent oil stain to solid hide colour matched latex stains. Please feel free to contact us for more details. Almost any colour is available.