Staining a Cedar Fence

When you decide to stain your cedar fence you naturally want a stain that will let your fence look its best, require as little maintenance as possible and give you a color that you can live with.  Many homeowners find the process of staining intimidating, here are a few thoughts on choosing the best fence stain brand for a cedar fence. The first thing you need to do is choose an oil-based stain. Be very careful on this count as both water-based, gel, and latex stains are available, but neither of them absorb as well as the oil-based ones do. They also don’t do as good of a job at offering your fence UV or water protection, which are the primary reasons for staining a fence in the first place. From there a lot depends on how you’d like the wood to look and how much maintenance you’d like to do on the fence. Transparent stains require the least maintenance by far. These stains will also preserve the natural beauty of the wood, allowing the grain to show through. They may fade a bit but they will last for some time. Semi-transparent stains will let the wood grain show through, but not some of the finer details. They’ll last a little longer than the transparent stains do. Opaque or solid stains tend to need replacement every five years or so. A solid stain visibly fades in 3-5 years. However, if you are concerned about having a certain color for your fence then this may well be the way to go, as you can get creative with blues, greens, golds, roses, grays, and other colors. Don’t worry if the stain says it’s a “deck” stain. You just need to be sure that it’s a good oil-based stain rated for exterior use. When you stain your fence be sure to add two coats of stain as this will help it last longer. You should also be sure to follow our guidelines on staining a wood fence to achieve the very best results. Remember, if you install a cedar fence it will need 5-7 weeks to dry in the sun before it will be ready for any kind of staining or treatment. Ignore this rule and it simply won’t matter what kind of stain you purchase because the results will not be what you hoped for! Remember to consider your location, whether or not your fence is in full or partial sun and other factors when choosing your stain.