Staining Your Old Wood Fence

Posted on: 24 January 2017

Wood has been used to make durable and attractive fencing for many years. Unfortunately, constant exposure to the elements throughout the years can take a toll on the aesthetic appeal of your home's wood fencing. Adding a fresh coat of stain can be a simple way to restore to beauty of your fencing, but it's important that you take the necessary steps to prepare your old wood fence for fresh stain if you want the end result to be as attractive as possible. 

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you stain your wood fence in the future.

1. Use a power washer to clean your fence.

In order for the stain to be absorbed into the grain of the wood, you need to ensure that all dirt and debris is removed from the surface of each post and rail. This is a process that can easily be accomplished with the help of a power washer.

Using a wand attachment to direct the pressurized water onto your fencing will help you thoroughly cleanse the surface of the wood. Once the fence has dried, you can move on to the next stage of the staining process.

2. Be sure to bleach before applying fresh stain.

Wood fences can begin to take on a weathered appearance over the years. While this weathering is unattractive, it can also compromise the structural integrity of your fence. The grain in weathered wood can be loose, allowing moisture to seep in where it can foster mold and mildew growth.

This mold and mildew can cause your wood fencing to deteriorate if it is sealed into the wood by a fresh coat of stain. Use a bleaching system designed specifically for wood to kill any mold or mildew before you stain. 

3. Check the weather forecast before you begin.

It's essential that you take the time to ensure it will not rain in the days following the application of a new coat of stain to your wood fence. Oil-based stains can take up to 8 hours to dry completely, while water-based stains need a full 24 hours to dry.

Once the stain has dried, you may need to add another coat to achieve your desired color, followed by a sealant to protect the stain from the elements. Exposure to precipitation during the staining and drying process could leave water marks on your wood fence. Be sure that you will have a series of sunny days following the application of your stain to ensure the best results.

Staining your old wood fence can be a great way to restore its beauty. Be sure that you thoroughly wash the wood, bleach away any mold or mildew, and work when no precipitation is in the forecast as you work to restore your wood fence.