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Raw vs Pre-Stained Pickets

The world just keeps getting more convenient. You can turn down your thermostat with your telephone, order laundry detergent with a click of your Amazon Dash button, and buy gourmet dinners in the frozen food section of your supermarket. And if you choose pre-stained pickets, you don’t even have to stain your new fence.
People often ask us if pre-stained pickets are a good idea. Well, they’re not all bad. But convenience comes with a price.

Pros of Pre-Stained Pickets

If you’ve ever worked with stain, you know how messy it is. It drips on everything and is hard to scrub off. Depending on the weather, it may or may not dry in the time the label promises. You stress over keeping your dog, your cat and your toddler from tracking stain around your house and yard or, worse, ingesting it. Pre-stained pickets subtract all this mess and worry from the equation.
Coverage is more uniform on pre-stained pickets. Since the entire picket is dipped in stain, it gets in all the hard-to-reach places.
Stain is not especially expensive, but it’s nice to avoid yet another added cost. With pre-stained pickets, the stain is included in the price.
picket fence

Cons of Pre-Stained Pickets

The biggest disadvantage of pre-stained pickets is that they often haven’t been allowed to fully cure before being stained. Ideally, wood should have one to three months of natural drying time before applying stain. If stain is applied to insufficiently dried wood, that fence will be at risk of warping before its time, and will probably need to be re-stained in a year or two. Any company that tells you it applied stain to fully dried wood should back that promise up with a solid warranty.
Another problem with pre-stained pickets is that stain can mask flaws in the wood. Whether you’re hiring a fence company or doing a DIY project, the guys and gals putting up the fence need to see where the wood is good, and where cracks or knotholes weaken a board.

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Call in the Experts

If you’re still not sure about pre versus post-staining, or you’d rather trust the whole job to the experts, give your friends at Buzz a call. When it comes to boards, we know winners from losers. And we love making our customers feel like winners with beautiful new fences.