Wooden fences around the boundaries of your property give it a traditional and elegant look that not only adds to its protection but also gives you much-needed privacy. Wooden fences can have an improved look at fairly low cost if they are given an application of wood stain and sealer. This procedure can also go a long way in increasing the lifespan of your fence and its utility to you.
The first step for staining a fence is to examine the fence in detail and look for broken fence pieces, and any nails or staples that are protruding from the surface of the wood. Remove all of them, or make the necessary repair and see that the wooden surface is smooth. This procedure can take quite a lot of work if your fence is old and has been exposed to the weather for a number of years. You need to sand down what appears to be rough and can cause you problems with the stain application. Wood cleaners are available that can make your problem with old wood easier, and once these are applied allow the cleaner to stay on for a time, and then wipe down all the surfaces to remove all the grime and dust that has accumulated on your fence. Allow this cleaner to dry out completely.
Go through all the various wood stains that are recommended for exterior use, and make your choice of one of them. The best results can come from a semi-transparent oil-based stain. These stains can bring out the natural patina in the wood and give it a subtle tint. Most of these new stains will also have additives that will prevent the growth of mildew and rot, and also provide it with some resistance to exposure to ultraviolet light. After the stain coat, it is recommended to apply a coating of outdoor wood sealer for a long lasting protection and preservation.
You will be working outdoors, so you need to have weather that will not inconvenience you. Carry out the work when weather forecasts assure you a few days of not very hot days and low humidity with no chances of rain. Moisture or extreme cold can lead to the stain taking a long time to dry. Very hot days can lead to the stain drying out very quickly and leaving marks on the fence where you overlap already dried areas.
Stains must penetrate and be absorbed by the wood. Lightly spray some water on to the fence and if it is absorbed, your wooden fence is ready for the stain. If water beads form on the wood, you may need to sand the wood in the direction of the wood grain to allow it to have a surface that will absorb the stain. Fill the imperfections in the wood with wood filler to give you a smoother surface.
You can apply the selected wood stain to the fence with brushes, rollers, or a sprayer. Protect areas around the fence that you do not want to get stained, especially plants and bushes near the fence. Work form top to bottom, and ensure that the tip of your brush is always wet. Let the stain dry before you put on any additional coats. You can use a sealer to prolong the life of the stain.