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Paint vs. Stain for Wood Fences
KNO Woodworks
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Paint vs. Stain for Wood Fences

Let's say you just installed a brand-spanking-new wood fence for your backyard, or maybe you have a front yard picket fence that needs a little TLC. Regardless of the situation, staining or painting your fence should be a priority to give the wood a barrier of protection from varying elements.

But which one is best for you? Let's look at the pros and cons of staining or painting your wood fence to help you decide what's best for you!

Option 1: Painting Your Wood Fence

Good old paint is helpful for many facets of homework, inside and out! Let's cover some benefits and drawbacks you'll receive from painting your wood fence.

Achieving a professional finish means doing the job correctly, and while you might be considering just slapping on a coat of paint, this will not get you long-lasting results. Your very first step should always be preparation, so make sure you remove anything that will come in contact with the fence, like an overgrown lawn or weeds.

Once everything has been removed, prep your fence by cleaning and removing old paint from the pickets so you don't end up with a messy finish. We recommend using a pressure washer to blast off stuck residues, check for damage, and replace any components that might fail down the road. 

Now comes the best part: adding the paint. Rollers and sprayers were great, especially for larger areas and using a paintbrush for smaller details. Apply from the top to the bottom, then let it dry for at least a few hours before retouching or adding a second coat.

The Advantages of Painting a Wood Fence

The great thing about painting your wood fence is the vast number of customization options that come with it. The variations of color you can use are endless as long as you choose exterior paint for the job. 

Go with the classic white for your picket fence out front. Maybe you want your privacy fence to blend in with the trees and shrubbery. Either way you slice it, the color paint you desire exists!

Painting your wood fence protects against the elements, including the sun, wind, and rain, for years after application. 

You won't have to worry about reapplying a new coat of paint for up to five years, so annual maintenance is not a big issue!

The Potential Downfalls of Painting a Wood Fence 

Painted wood fences will flake and peel over time, causing unflattering patches on your wall and allowing moisture to seep into those areas. Additionally, painting your wood fence is more expensive than staining and time-consuming. So, if you decide to paint your fence, go with a trusted professional.

Option 2: Staining Your Wood Fence

Like painting, staining your wood fence offers both positives and negatives.

Staining is a great way to extend your fence's lifespan, and similar to painting, you need to follow the right steps for professional results. 

If your fence already has a stain on it, start by sanding or stripping the surface and thoroughly inspect any areas that might need repair. Follow up with a thorough cleaning and allow it to dry before starting the application process.

For those with a brand-new fence, be sure to do a water test before starting. Lightly spray a small section with a garden hose; if the water can penetrate the slats, your wood fence will absorb the stain. Otherwise, sanding it in the direction of the grain will open the wood enough to soak up the stain.

Stain is temperamental, and we recommend that it be applied between 50 and 80° when there's no precipitation expected for at least 24 hours and the wood is completely dry. 

It can be applied with a brush, sprayer, or roller, and once the first coat has dried, you can apply additional coats if you're looking for a specific depth in color. Follow all this up with a sealer for a long-lasting finish, and make sure you fill in any recesses and grooves so the end finish looks cohesive.

The Advantages of Staining a Wood Fence

Staining your wood fence is pretty straightforward and less expensive than painting. All you have to do for prep is scrap the old paint and get staining! Wood stain does not crack or peel like paint and lasts longer before a reapplication is needed.

The Potential Downfalls of Staining a Wood Fence 

Depending on the state of your wood fence and the general climate at the time, staining may require more than one coat. In addition, staining offers far fewer color options for you to choose from.

Contact KNO Woodworks for Trusted Fence Work in MN

KNO Woodworks is a premier contractor in Minnesota and an expert in fence installations and repairs, and we have preferred contractors for any fence painting or staining projects you have planned. 

When you need various fencing options and solutions in the Minneapolis area, trust KNO Woodworks. Start your project online or give us a call at 612-226-5172 today!

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