Everything You Need to Know About Staining Your Fence

Let’s be honest, although your fence is an important aspect of your home or property, it’s not one of the most exciting, which is why fences are often neglected by their owners. So if your fence is looking less than lovely, it’s time to think about treating it to a couple of coats of wood stain.

Take a moment to think of the benefits that your fence provides: it offers you privacy from the outside world, it helps keep your home or business secure and, when looked after, it can add an attractive finishing touch to the exterior of your property and to your neighborhood in general.

Because most fences are made of wood, they are vulnerable to damage by pests, bugs and birds. And of course, all year they are exposed to whatever the elements wish to throw at them. That’s why it’s important that you establish a maintenance routine and get into the habit of periodically checking your fence for signs of wear and tear. By proactively looking after your fence you will ensure that it not only looks good, but serves its purpose too.

Your fence doesn’t have to suffer this constant barrage from wind, rain and snow, or come under constant attack by carpenter ants and termites, because painting or staining can offer a great deal of protection. When a fence is properly stained (or painted), the coating creates an effective barrier against Enemy Number One: moisture. But how often do you need to stain your fence? That really depends on where you are located, and your local climate. It is safe to say that if you live in a dry region you’ll be able to get away with less frequent maintenance, but if your area experiences a lot of rainfall throughout the year then your fence will need to be coated on a more regular basis. To determine whether your fence is in need of a staining, try checking for beading – this is when rainwater soaks into the wood, instead of forming droplets on the surface.

Whether you’ve decided that your fence needs to be re-stained, or you just fancy giving it a fresh new look, there are a few things to consider. Firstly will you choose to stain or paint your fence? To learn more about the pros and cons of each, read our blog post about Paint versus Stain here.

Next you need to decide what color you’re going for. If you want to choose something bright and bold, do bear in mind the local laws that govern exterior decoration. The last thing you want is to have your heart set on your favorite shade of sunshine yellow, only to have it vetoed by the powers that be. The good news for lovers of wood stain is that there is a wide range of color options; standard wood brown is no longer your only choice. You’ll find shades of everything from the lightest sand to the darkest oak, and everything from pale gray to deep sea blue.

Picking a hue based on your personal preferences is, of course, important, but you also need to take into consideration the style and color palette of your property. Look at the color of your brickwork, roof and/or sidings, as well as woodwork. Achieving an overall harmonious effect may be a little more difficult than you initially think.

One other thing that you must take into account is whether you share any of the fence with a neighbor. Of course, you are free to paint your side of a dividing fence any color you like but, if the fence shares any surface area with an adjoining property, you will need to be careful. Obviously you don’t want to upset the people next door by making decorative decisions on their behalf, but nor do you probably want to create a jarring impression by staining your half of the fence deep navy blue while your neighbor’s side is bright white.

Staining your fence is something that will add real curb appeal to your home and create a more favorable impression of your home in general. Plus proactively maintaining fences, and other wooden structures, will give them greater longevity and protect your investment for years to come.

If you have any questions about local laws governing the use of color in a public space, or would like advice on choosing the perfect stain for your fence, talk to the team at Sharper Impressions Painting today. We’re always happy to help!