How to Stain a Wood Fence 5/5 (3)

by Deck Stain Help

Updated February 2020

How to Stain a Wood Fence

We at Deckstainhelp.com offer tips for more than deck stains. In this article, we offer our insight on how to tackle a fence staining project when it comes to prep and stain application. We always appreciate your input, so feel free to leave a comment below with pictures of your fence stain projects.


Wood fences are an excellent way to increase curb appeal and add privacy to any yard. They come in many sizes and designs but one thing remains constant, wood fences need to be protected from the elements if you expect it to last. Staining a wood fence will help enhance its natural beauty along with providing adequate protection from water and sun damage.

How to stain a wood fence is easy if you follow a few simple steps. First and foremost, a wood fence should be free of any dirt, grime and/or mildew. The best way to achieve a clean dirt free surface is to pressure wash the wood using a wood cleaner. A scrub brush can also be used if a pressure washer is not available. If there is any old failing stain on the fence then you should use a wood stripper instead of a wood cleaner. The stripper will help soften the older stain as well as loosen up any dirt and contaminants. Washing the wood fence is then done in the same manner using a pressure washer or scrub brush.

Once the wooden fence has been cleaned it should be rinsed with fresh water. While the wood is still wet, apply a wood brightener according to the directions. This will neutralize the harsh cleaners that were used and help the new stain penetrate better. After coating the wood fence with a brightener it can then be rinsed once more with fresh water before being allowed to dry for several days.

Once the wood fence has dried it is time to apply the stain. Staining a wood fence can be tedious work but using the right application tools can help. To apply a wood fence stain use a brush, roller, stain pad, or sprayer. The garden type sprayers can work well as well as an airless sprayer. It is important not to over apply any type of wood stain. Doing so can jeopardize the performance of the stain. In this case, more is not always better. Apply stain until the wood will not absorb anymore then wipe away or back brush the excess. To eliminate lap marks try staining one board at a time from end to end before moving to the next one.

Always protect areas and surfaces that you do not want to get the stain on especially if you are using a sprayer. Cover any nearby windows, concrete surfaces, and so on to protect from spills or overspray. In general terms, a wood fence stain will last several years before needing maintenance. Once it does need some attention, a light wash and recoat are all that will be needed.

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Fra Na
Fra Na

We have a fence that has only been up for 6 months. Do we need to use cleaner and brightener first or can we just go over it with brush and/or power washer to remove dust that may have accumulated?