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Stained Fence

What could be more beautiful than bare wood, the way the good lord made it? Unfortunately, the beauty of a naked wood fence fades fast—you’ll notice differences after one season in the elements. At Buzz, we believe we can improve on nature with a good coat of stain. Just think of it as waterproofing to stave off the ravages of sun, snow, dirt and rain.

Paint vs stain

The first question many a proud fence owners asks is should I paint or should I stain? Both provide protection from weather. Both are fairly easily to apply. But the two materials have notable differences.

First of all, stain is much thinner than paint. Second, stain soaks into wood while paint sits on top.

While both have pros and cons, a lot comes down to aesthetics. Paint is opaque and comes in more colors. If you’re looking to recreate your favorite pink and purple Barbie dream house, paint is your material. Paint is usually more expensive and may require primer. But it dries much faster, which is good for homeowners who leave things to the last minute.

Stain doesn’t chip, so you won’t constantly have to touch up that lilac coat. Instead, you’ll have a more rustic look in a natural color. Depending on the type of stain,  the wood grain may still be visible.

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Types of Stain

Okay, you’ve decided stain is the way to go. But you still have more choices to make. Stain comes in several types:

·         Oil stain – If your fence was previously stained with oil, you’ll need more oil to cover it. Oil can also be applied over surfaces that were stained with latex.

·         Latex stain – Favored for its color retention, easy cleanup, and the fact that you can apply it to wet surfaces.

·         Semitransparent stain – This type of stain really shows off your wood’s natural look.

·         Solid stain – This is more like paint, obscuring the natural wood grain. Sometimes comes off when wet, so don’t lean against it.

Applying stain

Stain requires optimal weather conditions, with a rain-free, sufficiently warm forecast over the next two days. Don’t stain if the temperature is below 50 degrees.

Clean your fence and let it dry completely before staining. You can treat weathered places with bleach if necessary. This will kill mildew spores and prevent them from spreading.

Rough surface paint rollers are the best way to apply stain. It’s also possible to brush it on. Most stains require one or two coats. Read the label to be sure.

After staining, let that fence dry for two days. Don’t touch it. Keep pets away. Put up a scarecrow if necessary. Give that fence some space.


Sorry, your work is not over yet. A stained fence requires regular maintenance. Plan to apply a new coat of stain every three years.

Still have unanswered stain questions? Or about fences in general? Call your friends at Buzz today.

Ready for a new fence