Staining a Wooden Fence vs. Painting One

The image of a home handyman painting a wooden fence is almost iconic, but painting a wooden fence doesn’t always offer the best results.

Instead, we recommend a good oil-based stain.

Why paint or stain a wooden fence at all?

Natural wood is indeed beautiful, especially when it’s new. Nevertheless, wood is wood. Even the highest quality wood is prone to rot, sun damage, and insects when it sits outside unprotected. 

Always remember that the primary purpose of staining or painting a fence is to protect it. Everything else is secondary. We recommend staining the fence at least once a year.

When you stain the fence, you can just pressure wash it and reapply the stain every year. When you paint it, you’ll have to scrape and sand until all the peeling paint is gone, pressure wash it, and then repaint the fence. You might have to do that twice a year. 

Stain is definitely the big winner if you want to reduce your “honey-dos.”

Why stain instead of paint?

Wood doesn’t absorb paint very well. When you paint wood, you end up with a big mess, sometimes in less than a year. Paint chips and peels, especially in harsh weather.

Plus, paint is often so thick that it hides the wood grain, making your fence look cheap and unnatural. You’ve invested in a gorgeous, real wood fence. Why not show off the wood?

What kinds of color options are available with stain?

Many people believe they can only use “woody” colors if they choose a stain. While it’s true you’ll find more options in natural colors, you can also find pink, blue, green, gold, purple, and red wooden stains. If you like natural colors, you don’t even have to go crazy; you can just use a transparent or semi-transparent stain instead. 

While you might not have as many options as you might have if you’d gone to paint, you’ll generally have enough to support nearly any kind of garden decor you want to create. Just make sure you talk to your HOA first—many of them get uptight about certain colors. 

Ultimately, the lady out front measuring your grass may have more of a say in what color your fence ends up as than the availability of your colors, which means you lose the major advantage of going to paint anyway.

Do you need a replacement fence?

Eventually, wood fences succumb to the elements even if you take good care of them.

When that happens, consider choosing us as your wooden fencing installation company. We use high-quality wood and our building expertise to build long-lasting wood fences you’ll be proud to have on your property. Ready to get started? Contact our office today!