Staining vs. Painting Wooden Fences
October 13, 2016
Stain or paint? If you’re staring at a faded and weather-worn fence, or have recently installed a new one, you’re most likely asking yourself that very question. Here are some things to keep in mind as you begin your research.
Make the Initial Investment
Regardless of whether you’re going with paint or stain, the price difference between a cheap and quality product may seem daunting, but paying a little more will end up costing you less in the long run. Cheap paints and stains may begin to fade and peel within a year, especially when exposed to extreme weather and rain.
Prep the Surface
If you’re choosing to stain then all you have to do is clean the surface with a pressure washer (on low as to not mark the wood), then allow the surface to dry out completely before applying the stain. For paint you would have to use an oil primer to first seal the wood if it has not been painted before. If it has been painted, then it needs to be sanded as thoroughly as possible before applying the paint.
Pros and Cons
Paint looks great when first applied, takes less coats to cover, and is much easier to work with than stain. However, the prep time is more labour intensive and paint peals rather than fades over time, meaning it needs much more maintenance.
Wood absorbs stain much more than it does paint, so it can seal and enhance the natural look of the wood for a more rustic look. Traditionally, you would have to go with paint to get the real vibrant colours, but now there are all sorts of new stain products that come in a large variety of colours.
To conclude, paint is immediately attractive while stain is long lasting. So, if you’re looking to seal up your fence before the weather takes a turn for the worse, make sure you consider the long term benefits of stain in addition to the immediate satisfaction of paint.
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