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Staining a fence

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  • #261033

    Hi all, just a question, Ihave a 6 foot privacy fence around our back yard, Ineed to know when it the best time to restain, and do Ihave to sand down the old stain, its transparent stain, Ilive in Canada so right now its winter and cold, any suggestions please Thanks

    #261043
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    If you’re sure it’s a transparent stain, you don’t have to sand first.

    Personally, I would wait until spring. The new stain probably won’t adhere very well in the low temperature.

    I hight recommend Sikkens products for deck and fence staining!

    Btw, is the fence PT lumber or cedar?

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #261045
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    I would do it as soon as it starts warming up in the spring . It is better to do it before it gets too hot .

    #261046
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Sounds like a lot of work to me, I have a 6′ cedar privacy around my place too and haven’t touched it in over 20 years. Yeah it looks like it too LOL…But I’m not into that yearly maintenance thing, Heck I’d rather put new boards on it every 10 years or so…Good Luck

    #261051
    crotalusco
    Pro
    west bend, wi

    agreed on a little warmer and dryer

    #261054
    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Moderator
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    But make sure it is nice and dry before you stain, Moisture in the wood will just work to push the stain off of the wood as the weather changes.

    #261070

    Thanks @jponto07 yeah I know about the weather part and in the spring, and it is PT lumber , it is about 200 feet long all together , I bought a sprayer for it so I would not take me all summer , lol @cranbrook2 yes thanks for that. And thank you for all the other posts.

    #261071
    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    Thanks @jponto07 yeah I know about the weather part and in the spring, and it is PT lumber , it is about 200 feet long all together , I bought a sprayer for it so I would not take me all summer , lol

    Did you buy a garden pump sprayer? It will make the job fly. I generally use a 1/2″ roller after I spray the stain on to smooth out any inconsistencies.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
    Instagram

    #261075

    @jponto07 yes I did buy a sprayer, and it is actualy for stains and other tasks like that. I posted a picture of the fence, Thanks again.

    #261076
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    I have a 500 ft fence and it would cost a fortune to stain it every 3 – 4 years . I`ll let it go natural grey instead .

    #261080

    @cranbrook2 Carp thats alot of fence. looks great . I guess I could see your point I have 2 sides to do so, I have not done the calculation yet , but I am assuming I could be looking at easily 300 $ to 400 depending on the price of the stain. believe me would rather put that money on some L boxes lol , Nice place , I saw some of them bird resorts you make , AWESOME, I say resorts because they are nicer than some homes I see.

    #261109
    cranbrook2
    Pro
    Belgrave, Ontario , Canada

    @cranbrook2 Carp thats alot of fence. looks great . I guess I could see your point I have 2 sides to do so, I have not done the calculation yet , but I am assuming I could be looking at easily 300 $ to 400 depending on the price of the stain. believe me would rather put that money on some L boxes lol , Nice place , I saw some of them bird resorts you make , AWESOME, I say resorts because they are nicer than some homes I see.

    My neighbours aren’t friendly enough to let me stain their side of the fence even if I wanted too 🙂

    #261112

    I remember an old friend told me once the best neighbor is a good fence. I am lucky no neighbors to my left and none behind , just to my right but they are very nice.

    #261158
    Doobie
    Moderator

    I highly recommend Penofin for staining. It’s been around for decades and has a great reputation. I came to discover it by it being mentioned so many times by pros on the Festool Owners Group (The “FOG”) over the years when the subject came up as to which product to recommend that is non film forming for various outdoor applications along with another brand of deep penetrating oil called Mesmers, but Mesmers is not nearly as readily available/found here in Canada.

    I used the Penofin Red Label product which I found was available thru a Ben Moore store nearby. I’ve used it to stain a cedar fence, so you may want to look at their product for PT lumber if what you are dealing with is PT lumber.

    http://www.penofin.com/wood-stains/ultra-premium-red-label-wood-stain

    PT Lumber Penofin product…

    http://www.penofin.com/wood-stains/pressure-treated-wood-stain

    What I like about Penofin is that it should last from 3-5 years before it needs a refresher application which will be simple and it even allows me to change colors down the road as well if we chose to, although it is recommended to do a color test first when switching to a different tint.

    The initial application requires extra steps to ensure a proper application to new or older woods, but provided you re-stain before it greys, future applications are easy-peezy imo.

    Like all painting and staining, the proper prep and application method is paramount to get the desired results. An initial Brightener product was needed to be used which opens the pores of the wood and removes surface oils and allows a deeper penetration of the oil. While some may think this is one of those ancillary steps just to sell you additional product, I did test samples and really found a difference in doing this step. The Brightener was not expensive as it came in crystal form that you mixed with warm water, placed in a garden pump sprayer, let stand for 20 mins, and then wash off with a garden hose. It’s basically an acid and really does remove surface oils and mill glaze for a deeper penetration of the product. On older woods that have greyed, it may a different prep/product solution and involve some brush scrubbing.

    Penofin’s toll-free customer service is top notch as well. The reps know their product and can answer any questions you may have. They will even send you out free samples upon request.

    Not sure whether this applies to all their products, but with the Penofin Red Label, it advises to not apply when the wood is “Hot” and also not below 45 F. I used a pump sprayer to apply the oil also which you simply let sit for 20 minutes to allow the oil to penetrate and wipe off any excess with rags. It’s a lot simpler than it sounds, again, the key is following the instructions. I used a moisture meter I bought at Lee Valley for $30 to make sure the wood was dry enough to apply the oil which they recommend be 15% or less moisture content.

    In my research, I discovered that most big box store stains and such are crap. One other product that a lot of people seem to recommend is Silkens. Lots of happy Silkens users out there although I do not have experience with myself and never took a strong look at them as I had read others who have tried all and they sided with the Penofin or Mesmers products over Silkens, so I never really investigated them myself.

    Good luck!

    #261322
    bethepro
    Keymaster
    Mt Prospect, IL

    @Doobie, excellent primer on fence staining. In 10 years as a painting contractor we did miles of fence. If you can’t just let it gray, then here are simple steps.

    1) Powerwash it with a wide angle tip to remove most of the loose stain that may have stayed on the surface and not penetrated the PT lumber.
    2) Let dry to 15% or less moisture
    3) gently wire brush the surface to expose the maximum amount of surface area for the oil based penetrating stain to hook onto (not rough just a light brush removes stubborn areas and also opens up the surface a little bit)
    4) After spray applying the stain, let is sit for 20 minutes and then backroll the surfaces with a good quality thick nap roller and brush out any areas where the fence meets the fenceposts (or any areas the roller can’t hit) You can also use a hot dog roller for tight areas. This is the key step, as it pushes the stain into the grain and you get a much better and longer lasting finish.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,

    jim

    Email us at bethepro@bethepro.com

    #262879
    Doobie
    Moderator

    Thanks Jim! This is my first fence build as well and its staining and I really considered and investigated all I could as it was for myself. I’m essentially an anal woodworker and strong analytically type. I like the description of my mod-us of operand I as ” I don’t leave the driveway til I feel pretty good all routes are clear and that the lights are all green”. lol. Basically, things get done right, but it takes me forever to get them done. (Shame on me)

    One of the things that is so obvious now, when you are dealing with outdoor versus indoors, there’s the elements! They are a battering ram of sorts on everything out there, especially in my climes of having full seasons. And trying to dissect info in books and on the web, you have to deal with advice that could otherwise be misleading for those of us who are in true four season locales.

    When I built my fence, I actually built it with drainage in mind. Took some extra effort, but I believe my fence will last a real long time. Water is the main enemy. Design its structure to ward it away, the fence lasts way longer.

    #262900

    Wow. Wow. @Doobie fantastic information about the fence, and I do get a discount 20% at Ben Moore. Also thanks for the links, you really gave me some great insight.
    @bethepro also thanks for the info, but the fence was already stained when we bought the house, and we actually like the color. So we will use both of your helpful information, and start our research. Thank you again guys.

    #263225

    Good information was given. I can’t add much more but no winter staining .

    Always willing to learn .

    #305681
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Good information. I have some small fences the wife wants updated this spring too.

    #305705
    roninohio
    Pro
    New Franklin, OH

    I have a wood fence that needs replaced. Cant make up my mind to do it or take it down and plant some bushes. At least you don’t have to stain them.

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