Staining VS. Painting Your Fence

A fence is an important part of your yard and home.  It keeps your land secure, gives your home privacy and, with continued care, it can give your space some great curb appeal.  

To protect this investment and keep it in good condition, proper care, maintenance, and attention are required. By staining or painting your fence, you can protect your fence from bugs, rot, and can lengthen its life.

How Often Should You Paint or Stain Your Fence?

Keeping your fence properly stained or painted protects it from moisture, the suns harmful rays, and insects and bugs.  A barrier, like a paint or a stain, is necessary for protecting your fence from these damaging elements.  These elements are what determine how often your fence should be stained or painted.

Fence experts say painting or sealing every two to three years should be enough.  However, if you live in a rainy area, a sunny desert with little shade or the fence often gets wet because of sprinklers you may need to paint/stain your fence more often.  

If your painted fence has cracks, chips or signs of wear, it is time to repaint your fence. If water sitting on your stained and sealed fence no longer beads up on the fencessurface and is now soaking into the fence, its time to re-stain and seal it.

Paint or Stain?

Some people prefer stain over paint and others swear by painting.  It really is a matter of preference. Both create a barrier and protect it from weather, critters and normal wear and tear.  

Depending on the quality of paint you choose, painting your fence may be less expensive. However, if you paint, you may need to repaint more often depending on the weather in your area.  Also, keep in mind, you will need to sand the old paint off before you can repaint your fence.

Choosing to stain your fence may feel like the more expensive route, however, keep in mind, its an investment.  Depending on the external elements, staining is a less frequent job than painting.  When it comes time to do the job again, you dont need to sand off the old stain, as it just fades over time.  

Things to Remember

  • Check the weather!  Make sure the weather is forecasted to be dry and between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.  Avoid painting or staining your fence when precipitation is in the near future, as it needs time to dry thoroughly.  Also, avoid windy days to prevent dirt, sticks, and other debris from adhering to your freshly painted/stained fence.  
  • Determine what materials you already have and what you still need.  Its a pain to have to leave mid-project to grab another bucket of paint.
  • Hire a friend.  Many hands make light work and a good time!
  • Make sure your paint/stain is good quality.  Make sure you like how it fades/ages.
  • Prep the area and make any repairs necessary before the painting party begins.
  • Always use protective gear for yourself and anyone else participating.
  • Have fun!