Can You Stain a Fence by Starting at the Top or the Bottom?

Fence stains improve the beauty of your weapon, and thus the curb appeal of your property. Most stains also waterproof the wood so you can protect and enhance your wood fence at the exact same moment. Staining should always be implemented from the top to bottom as this allows you to avoid lap marks and clean up drips.

Choosing a Stain

Most homeowners choose stain over paint since it’s more forgiving, lasts longer and doesn’t cover up the wood grain — blot actually seeps into the wood. Use those that contain wood preservative and water repellent along with the pigments, indicates the University of Wisconsin Extension. Frequently, it is simple to tell when it is time to blot a fence since the color is faded, but when you are not certain, you can merely splash some water on it. If the water quickly soaks into the fence rather than beading up on it, it is time to apply more blot.

Preparing the Fence

Before you even start applying the stain, you have to ready the fencing — and this means cleaning it. Knock any insect nests, sweep the dirt away and then use a stiff brush to get the stubborn stuff off. Sometimes, using a power washer will make the job easier, but don’t spray it too near the fence as some power washers are powerful enough to harm the wood. In case you have mold or algae growing on the fence, you might need to use a cleaner made to kill it. Directions will vary depending on the manufacturer, but in general, spray the algae or mildew with the cleaning option, allow it to sit on the mold or algae for about 15 minutes, remove it with a stiff brush, and then rinse thoroughly. Be sure to safeguard your eyes and hands when utilizing the cleaning option.

Applying the Stain

It can take up to 3 times to get a fence to completely dry after cleansing, but after it is, you should start staining it. First, protect your eyes with goggles, along with your skin with gloves, long sleeves and pants. Apply the stain on a warm, still day. Begin at the top of the planks and work your way down. Do not do more than two boards at a time. A pad is usually the best way to use the stain, according to Thompson’s Water Seal website, but a sprayer is fine as long as you back-brush it immediately afterward. Back-brushing method to go back over the stain with a brush or roller so as to push it in the nooks and crannies of this fence — places a sprayer may overlook. A brush is also proposed for applying the stain to the sides of the planks and in tight corners.

Later Staining

Staining should be done about every two to three years. In the meantime, take good care of your wood fence by keeping vines and other crops from climbing onto it — these can leave marks and can greatly weaken the wood — and by scrutinizing it carefully every three or four months. Throughout the inspection, remove any termite or wasp nests, brush dirt off and make note of any boards which need replacing.

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