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!

Annual Care Tips for Your Wooden Fence

Wooden fences need TLC if they’re going to continue to look amazing. At a minimum, they need annual care in the summers.

Wood is wood—even the best wood is prone to rot, mold, mildew, and grime. Protecting wood from moisture damage and mold is the goal of most of our summer care.

Here are the steps you should take as soon as the weather gets warm.

Annual Inspection

Summer is the ideal time to check the entire fence. You should check for sagging fence posts, leaning fence posts, and general damage. 

If you need a repair, it’s a good time to contact us. Depending on how the fence was built, we may be able to replace a panel or a post without replacing the entire fence.

Pressure Washing

Pressure washing can help your fence look brand new. You’ll be removing peeling paint or old stain. You’ll be blasting grime, mold, and mildew away. The entire process will seem like it ought to come straight out of an episode of Oddly Satisfying. 

Start by creating a cleaning solution. Add ¼ cup of bleach and ¼ cup of laundry detergent to your pressure washer tank for every gallon of water in the tank. 

Choose a 25-degree tip to avoid damaging your fence. Smaller tips can cut the wood, and larger tips won’t be very effective. 

Now you can spray, working in long lines from top to bottom. You want to be careful to follow the grain of the wood. Once you’ve sprayed every plank, sweep the bottom of the fence to catch any lingering debris. 

If you find particularly stubborn stains, add the brush attachment to your fence to scrub them away. 

Staining or Painting

Either staining or painting can protect your fence, but we don’t recommend painting. Paint tends to peel over time, and it doesn’t hold up as well in Houston’s wet, humid, hot weather. 

A good oil-based stain will help your fence remain moisture-resistant. You’ll still get to choose from a wide variety of stain colors, and you’ll bring out the natural beauty of the wood.

Finish your stain with a good sealant to add an extra layer of protection. 

Is it time to replace your fence?

Wooden fences really only last 7 to 10 years, even if you have the best-built fence in the world. If your fence is getting old, it may be time to replace the fence entirely.

If so, reach out to Lone Star Fence. Our team will help you custom-build a gorgeous new wooden fence for your property.

Either way, contact us! We’ll be happy to go over your options and to give you a quote.