Should You Paint Or Stain A Wooden Fence?

Posted January 11, 2021 to Before You Buy: Tips, Advice, Checklists.

Tags: Fences

A wooden fence gives a home such a cozy feel. It’s definitely the most popular type of fence for our customers in the Triangle. To best protect the investment of a wooden fence, homeowners should stain or paint it.

Here’s some information on painting and staining fences:

Paint: Paint can be a good choice for fences. Because paint is opaque, it will protect the wood very well. While white is the most popular paint color for fences, in reality, there are many more paint color options than there are stain options. However, paint tends to chip and flake off because it stays on the surface of the wood. It also hides the wood grain and lighter colors can make dirt or grime more obvious. Be sure to allow pressure-treated wood to dry out sufficiently before painting, which can take months if it was treated immediately before installation.

Stain: Stain is very popular for fences, mostly because it allows the wood grain to show through. Stains range from very sheer to fairly opaque. The heavier stains are great if you’re matching old and new pieces of fencing, which is especially handy after repairs. Different types of wood will accept the color differently, so be sure to test colors you’re considering and not rely solely on swatches. Just as with painting, staining must be started only after pressure-treated wood dries out. You can tell by sprinkling water on a board and observing whether it beads on top of the wood or sinks right in. When it sinks in quickly, you’re good to go!

HOA and municipal restrictions: Some people live in communities with guidelines from their HOA on fencing. Even some municipalities have restrictions. Always check to see if there are any guidelines that affect the choice of finish for the fence.

Is paint or stain better for a fence? The answer depends on the owner’s preference, the condition of the fence, and local limitations. Sierra Structures can help with your fencing needs. Contact us today.

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