How to Stain a Fence? 10 Easy Steps

A fence is simpler to stain than you may expect. It is simple and fast to learn how to stain a wood fence, and then you can enjoy the advantages that it provides for your home or business by following the methods outlined below. As a result of following these stress-free fence staining recommendations, your fence will look lovely after the job is over, but you’ll also enjoy spending time outside while working on it.

Whatever the age or condition of your wooden fence, a simple and affordable touch such as a stain may enhance its appearance. In addition to improving its look, applying wood stain to the slats will help to extend the life of your hardworking outdoor structure.

Work with a semi-transparent oil-based stain meant for external use to get long-lasting, professional-quality results. These stains have a subtle color that well complements the underlying wood’s natural patina. As an added benefit, they include formulations that limit the spread of mildew and rot, as well as protect the wood from exposure to UV radiation.

It takes as little as a weekend to refinish your wooden privacy wall with simple cleaning materials and this uncomplicated lesson on how to stain a fence—and you’ll be able to enjoy the advantages of your new fence right away because it is less labor-intensive and more durable than paint, the stain is a wonderful alternative to painting. Here’s how to stain a wood fence the right way.

The majority of fences are painted or stained, however, paint is a mixed blessing in terms of appearance. There are few things as beautiful as a newly painted fence or as unsightly as a fence that has begun to peel. Investing a significant amount of effort in the preparation, painting, priming, and refinishing of your fence every five to seven years is a given if you intend to paint it. Prior to applying exterior paint, it is important to prime the bare wood with the highest-quality primer you can find. An external semi-transparent stain is a labor-saving alternative to painting.

What Is the Best Fence Stain to Use?

Semi-transparent stains are the most lasting, and if they fade, you can typically brush more on top without sanding or scraping the surface of the wood. With this stain, you’ll be able to see some grain as well as some color on the wood surface. It is only necessary to replace your coat every 5 to 6 years.

Here are two examples of distinct sorts of stains in different situations. One example is a clear finish applied to cedar. With this stain, you’ll be able to see the majority of the grain and none of the coloring. Every two years, you’ll need to re-apply a fresh coat of paint. The second kind of stain is a solid body stain. This one has a lot of coloration, which completely conceals the grain. Every four years, you’ll need to reapply for a coat to keep it looking as good as new.

Is It Necessary to Stain a Wooden Fence?

Alternatively, you may leave redwood or cedar unfinished and let it age naturally to a mellow, silvery gray color over time. If this is the case, apply a clear wood preservative to the fence once a year to prevent it from splitting and breaking.


  • Brush with a stiff bristle
  • a hose for the garden
  • Wood stain with an oil base
  • Wood sealant.
  • Power washer, bucket, bleach, and rubber gloves are all required.
  • Painter’s tape is a kind of masking tape.
  • Drop cloths.
  • Paintbrush with natural bristles
  • Stain stripper for wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Sanding block
  • a paintbrush or a pan
  • Paint roller Cover for a paint roller
  • The use of a paint sprayer

You can enjoy the advantages that it provides for your home or business by following the steps outlined below:

STEP 1: Determine the most appropriate day (or days) for your project.

Consider the weather forecast for the week before staining a wood fence and choose a day with temperatures ranging between 50 and 80 degrees, low to moderate humidity, and no precipitation predicted in the following 24 hours. If you’re feeling downhearted about your prospects, keep in mind that “good things come to those who wait.” Extreme cold or dampness may cause the wood stain to take longer to cure, whilst the other extreme can cause the wood stain to dry too rapidly, leaving unsightly lap marks on the fence as a result of the drying process.

STEP 2: Clean the fence well and allow it to dry before continuing.

Cleaning the wood on your fence is a straightforward process. Prior to staining your fence, clean it well with a wood cleaner such as Premium Deck Cleaner. It is essential that the wood cleaner be applied in an equal and homogeneous manner throughout the wood. Additionally, make certain that you adhere to any safety instructions while using the wood cleaner in order to keep yourself and others safe. After using the cleaning solution, scrub the area well with a soft bristle brush or mop to remove all of the dirt and filth.

Cleansing the fence using high-pressure spray water from a garden hose is the second step in the method (or using a power washer). This will remove mild to moderate dirt accumulations and finish the task started by the wood stain remover, which was to blast away any old varnish from the fence if any. Using a power washer, use low-powered equipment with no more than 2,000 psi of pressure. So that the wood slats do not get weathered or damaged. You will need to wait for the wood fence to cure before proceeding to the next stage, so plan accordingly.

STEP 3: Preparation of the wood prior to painting

You may need to strip or sand the surface of your fence, depending on the existing state of the structure.

Finally! After preparing and curing the wood, it’s time to learn how to stain a fence correctly. This is a simple operation. Done Application, using a brush, roller, or hand-pumped fence stain sprayer. Regardless of the method, apply an equal coat of wood stain over the whole fence surface. Cover the whole surface. If the stain is blotchy or puddled, use a brush or roller to the damaged areas as quickly as feasible.

Permit the Stained Wood Fence to Rest for a While

Taking time to let a stain dry is an important stage in the staining of a fence. It is a normal recommendation that you relax for at least 24 hours. It is necessary to rest for up to 48 hours depending on the humidity and weather conditions in your location.

Starting with a fence that has already been stained or finished?

Using a stiff-bristle brush, scrub the slats to release any old varnish or finish remover that has accumulated on them. This will help to remove any upright wood fibers that have formed during the staining process.

Are you interested in learning how to stain a new fence?

The water test ensures that the stain penetrates the wood: Spray a small section of the fence with a garden hose. Water beads on the slats should be sanded gently in the direction of the wood grain. However, the fact that water penetrated the slats indicates that your wooden fence might quickly acquire stains.

STEP 4: Spot-treat mold or mildew in the afflicted area using diluted bleach.

Make a solution of bleach and water in a bucket and use it to clean any mold or mildew deposits that you discover on the fence. Apply the bleach to the slats with a garden sprayer while wearing rubber gloves. Allow the bleach to penetrate the slats for a few minutes before washing the fence clean with a high-pressure spray nozzle or power washer. Always be sure to let the wood cure fully before proceeding with the project.

STEP 5: Fill in any gaps or defects in the fence slats using wood filler.

Using wood filler you can repair chipped, gouged, and fractured fences. Fix any damaged slats as needed.

STEP 6: Take measures to avoid discoloring nearby plants and fence sections.

Spry - Stain a fence

You may use painter’s tape to protect areas of the fence you do not wish to stain. In the same way, you should cover the surrounding plants at the foot of the fence with drop cloths.

STEP 7: Continue by staining the fence slats with the appropriate color.

Roller - Stain a fence

To stain the slats, use a brush, roller, or sprayer to apply the stain.

A natural-bristle brush is the most effective tool for allowing the oil-based wood stain to penetrate the slats of a wooden fence. Dip the tip of the brush into the stain container and then paint any horizontal slats of the fence from left to right with the stain. After that, make your way down the whole length of each vertical slat, starting at the top and ending at the bottom, always retaining a moist tip. Stain one to two slats at a time to avoid the formation of lap marks. Once you have reached the bottom of a slat, stain the end grain with a dark stain.

Choose a roller cover with a medium nap for maximum saturation of the stain, if you’re using one; otherwise, use a brush. Paint in sections of two to three feet, back-brushing or re-painting over any exposed areas left by the previous stroke using the biggest brush possible to eliminate streaks. A thin, uniform coating devoid of lap lines and streaks will let the stain penetrate difficult-to-reach grooves and nooks.

Spray Paint-on-a-Fence
Stain a fence

Apply color on the fence using a sprayer after staining it with a roller.

STEP 8: Allow the stain to dry completely before applying extra coats as required.

Once the whole fence has been stained, allow it to cure according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Additional layers of stain may require to get the desired level of color depth and saturation. One application should be plenty for a fresh wood fence or one that will be sealed in addition to being painted.

STEP 9: Apply a final layer of sealant to complete the task.

While a high-quality stain will protect your fence from everyday wear and tear, sealing it will help prolong the finish’s life and your fence’s overall lifespan. Apply a single layer of clear, weatherproof sealant using a brush, roller, or sprayer for the best results. Back-brush unsealed grooves and recesses with a broad brush as quickly as possible to obtain a consistent look. Allow the sealant to cure fully before using it.


Remove the dirty drop cloths and painter’s tape from the slats. You’ll have a fence that looks like it was just installed!

Final Thought:

Staining a fence is easier than you think. How to stain a wood fence is easy to learn. An inexpensive stain may improve the look of any timber fence, regardless of age or condition. Applying wood stain to the slats would not only improve their appearance but also help them last longer. These stains have a delicate hue that beautifully accentuates the natural patina of the underlying wood.

They also protect the wood from UV rays and inhibit the growth of mildew and decay. Basic cleaning supplies and this simple instruction on how to stain a fence will restore your wooden privacy wall in only a weekend, and it is less labor-intensive and more durable than painting.

Stain is a wonderful alternative to painting. Here’s how to stain a wood fence the right way. Painting your fence every five to seven years requires substantial preparation, painting, priming, and refinishing. Prior to applying exterior paint, it is important to prime the bare wood with the highest-quality primer you can find.

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