One of the steps that you have to keep in mind to maintain a wood fence is staining. The regular stain will keep the look of the fence even when it’s exposed by the harsh weather condition. Moreover, staining can also slow the mildew to grow on the fence which makes it way more durable.


But, you have to choose high-quality stain which can give a lasting result. The one with oil-based formula is the best option that you can find in the market. Besides giving a gorgeous natural look, this kind of stain also protects the fence from the damage caused by harsh weather condition, mildew, mold, and other natural matter.

If you are a handy DIYer, you can stain the fence all by yourself at home by using basic tools and easily-available materials. It’s a more affordable option that you can consider than hiring a pro just to stain a wood fence.

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Below, we share a basic tutorial that you can definitely try at home about how to stain a fence! You can apply the tutorial on whether to stain a new fence or update the old one!

How to Stain a Fence | Simple Tutorial

Pick the Best Day to Stain

Before we get to the preparation of all materials and tools, you have to carefully pick the day to stain the wood fence. The day should not be too hot or cold since it can disrupt the staining process which leads to the bad result. A day with extreme hot temperature can dry up the stain too fast which will give the ugly marks on the slats and wen it’s too cold the drying process can take a longer time due to the extreme moisture.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use the weather forecast app on your phone.
  • Check out the days when the temperature is between 50 to 80 degrees, with low to moderate humidity.
  • Remember, you will need at least a day or two to let the stain perfectly dry, so make sure there will be no precipitation for at least the next 24 hours.

Get the Woods Ready

If you are staining a new fence, you have to make sure that the woods are ready to absorb the stain. You can test the absorbent ability of the woods by following these steps:

Prepare these tools:

  • Garden hose
  • Rubber gloves

Follow these steps:

  • Spray a small area of the fence lightly by using the hose.
  • If you see the water beads on the woods, you need to sand the woods. Remember to follow the direction of the wood when you sand it.
  • Repeat the first step until the water successfully penetrates the wood. It means that the wood is ready to absorb the stain.

For you who want to renew the stained or finished fence, you just need to apply the stain stripper to the fence. Then, use the stiff-bristle brush to remove the old varnish and peel off the wood fibers.

Clean the Wood Fence

The next step it cleaning the fence thoroughly. This step works to remove the dirt and old varnish on the fence.

Prepare these tools:

  • High-pressure spray nozzle
  • Garden hose

Follow these steps:

  • Blast the slats by using the garden hose with the high-pressure nozzle.
  • Let the fence dry completely.

As an alternative, you can use a power washer for this step. Set the power washer at its low-powered mode or at 2,000 psi maximum.

Remove the Mold or Mildew

Of course, you can’t let the mold or mildew to stay on your fence. Therefore, when you spot them, you have to remove them immediately.

Prepare these materials:

  • Bleach
  • Water

Prepare these tools:

  • Garden sprayer
  • Bucket
  • Rubber gloves

Follow these steps:

  • Dilute the bleach with water in a bucket.
  • Wear the gloves, then add the diluted bleach to the garden sprayer.
  • Apply it to the slates, and let it set for a few minutes.
  • Rinse the slat by using high-pressure spray nozzle.
  • Let the fence dry completely.

Repair the Slats

Some slats may experience cracks, chips, or gouges when you are about to renew the stain of an old fence. To get the best result, you can repair those damages with wood filler.

You just need to fill the necessary part of the wood with the filler. However, if the damage is too bad, you need to replace the slats.

Apply the Stains

Now, you can start, applying the stain to the wood slats. For the best result, use a natural-bristle brush to apply the oil-based stain. The brush will help the slats to absorb stains.

Prepare this material:

  • Oil-based stain

Prepare these tools:

  • Natural-bristle brush

Follow these steps:

  • Dip the tip of the natural-bristle brush into the stain can.
  • Coat the horizontal slats from left to right and the vertical one from top to bottom.
  • You can stain up to two slats at one time so you won’t leave the lap marks.
  • Let the fence dry as instructed by the stain manufacturer.

Add More Coats If Necessary

This step is optional, you can actually apply a single coat but you can give some more as you desire. Basically, a new fence only need a single coat, the additional coat can be applied until you get the desired finish.

Apply a Coat of Sealer

Another additional step which is so worth to consider is applying a sealant. It can help the stain to look vibrant longer and protect the fence from any harmful elements much better.

Prepare these materials:

  • Weatherproof clear sealant
  • Brush

Follow these steps:

  • Apply the sealant – only a single coat – by using a brush.
  • Back-brush the recesses and grooves that left unsealed quickly with a wide brush.
  • Let it dry completely.

So that is the easy tutorial about how to stain a fence that you can try right away when the summer comes. Once you master it, you can restain the fence whenever necessary all by yourself.