Knowledge Builders

when should you stain a new fence

by Ottilie Jakubowski Published 1 year ago Updated 1 year ago
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Wait at Least 3 Weeks after Installation
Since wood expands and contracts, it needs a little time to settle into its new environment. The same goes for decking or any other outdoor wood features. We recommend waiting at least three weeks after fence installation before getting your fence stained.
Jan 9, 2020

Full Answer

How long should I wait to stain my fence?

Whether you stain or paint the wooden fence, you should usually wait at least 1-2 months after installation. You can apply the stain on the wood only after it gets properly dried. And it takes 1 to 2 months for the normal wood to get dry properly. Unfortunately, for the pressure-treated wood, you have to wait for 2-3 months.

When can I stain or seal my new wood fence?

When to Stain and Seal Fences A good rule of thumb is to wait four to eight weeks after the fence has been installed before staining and sealing it. During this period of time, the moisture content of the wood will decrease. If the wood was pressure-treated you will probably have to wait longer.

How do you apply stain to fence?

Pumping is the name of the game when using a sprayer:

  • Simply open up your stain sprayer and pour in your wood stain or mix.
  • Then turn and seal the lid counter-clockwise to create an air seal. ...
  • The sprayer will have a handle coming from the top near the hose. ...
  • As soon as you press the trigger on the hose this pressure will be released, forcing the fence stain out wherever the nozzle is pointed.

More items...

How to stain and seal a new fence?

The Complete Guide to Sealing a Wood Fence for Beginners

  • When to Seal the Fence. The first step to sealing a wood fence is to determine whether or not you even need to seal it in the first place!
  • Prepare the Wood. Fence sealing preparation is a vital part of the process. ...
  • Balance the PH of the Wood. ...
  • Seal the Fence. ...
  • Regular Wood Fence Maintenance. ...
  • Use Your Knowledge for Sealing a Wood Fence. ...

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When should I stain and seal a new fence?

four to eight weeksA good rule of thumb is to wait four to eight weeks after the fence has been installed before staining and sealing it. During this period of time, the moisture content of the wood will decrease.

What time of year should I stain my fence?

Early or late summer are good times to stain a fence. You'll need a few days of dry, warm weather, both before and after you stain. The boards need to be completely dry. A cloudy day, early in the morning or late in the afternoon are good times to work.

How long should you wait to stain a fence after installation?

A good rule of thumb is to wait a month or two if the fence is made with dry materials. This will allow it to weather enough but not too much. If the fence is made with pressure treated materials it may be 3-4 months for the posts to dry enough and can be checked with a moisture meter.

Should I stain my new wood fence?

In fact, even new fences can benefit from staining. Staining your new fence can give you great color options and protect your fence for years to come. You should consider staining part of your regular fence maintenance to keep your fence in great shape for as long as possible.

How many coats of stain do I need for a fence?

Two coats are best, and it's best to avoid applying the stain in direct sunlight. Woodscapes can be second coated within two hours, depending on the humidity and air temperature. Most products can be re-coated the same day. You should stain your fence every three to four years when the coating starts to fade and wear.

Should you treat a new fence?

When treating a new fence or a bare wood one that hasn't been treated for a number of years, we highly recommend treating the fence panels with 2 coats of an exterior wood preservative prior to oiling. This helps to protect the timber from biological threats such as mould, algae and wood boring insects.

What happens if you stain a fence too early?

Wait Time. In our area, it is wise for you to wait four to six months before staining, sealing, or painting your new fence. If you apply anything to it too soon, the wood will not absorb the product and you will have to do it again very soon.

Is it better to stain or seal a fence?

Stains offer the same benefits as sealers but with some extra advantages. Sun damage can cause a fence to fade and become grey in as little as a few months. A quality stain can protect a fence against the UV rays at the heart of the process. The more opaque the stain, the more UV protection it provides.

What happens if you stain treated wood too soon?

If you stain pressure-treated wood too soon, the stain will be unable to fully penetrate the wood, and you will not get the protective benefits of the stain. What is the best stain for pressure-treated wood? An oil-based stain is the best for pressure-treated wood.

What happens if you dont stain wood fence?

Fence staining seems like a hassle, but it is crucial for protecting your fence. Even if you have a pressure treated wood fence, it is susceptible to rot. The chemicals and/or natural oils in the wood eventually dry out, causing the wood to grey and wear down.

Should you stain fence before or after assembly?

As a general rule:Pressure Treated Fences. For pressure treated wood we recommend staining immediately after installation. ... Cedar Fences. For cedar we recommend waiting for about a month after installation until the wood has dried. ... Pro Tip. ... Where can I get stain?

Should you pressure wash a new fence before staining?

Pressure that the fence is cleaned before staining often guarantees that blemishes are avoided that may be seen through the surface of the stain. In addition, the pressure wash before staining eliminates any debris collected between the wood that prevents mold and fungus from developing.

Can you stain a fence in winter?

Choose a time when no rain or snow is expected for at least 24 hours. Wait for these ideal conditions before embarking on your fence painting project; cold or moisture can make the stain or paint take too long to dry.

Can I stain a fence in cold weather?

Most stains can be applied from about 50° F to 90° F — but many people don't realize this range refers to the temperature of the wood surface, not the air. A day that's 70°F and sunny can push deck surface temperatures above 90°F leading to application challenges and shortened open times.

How often should you stain an outdoor fence?

every two to three yearsRoutine wood fence maintenance is important to maintain the aesthetic of the fence and the life of the wood. A fence should be stained every two to three years to preserve the look and function of the fence.

How long does stain last on wood fence?

Stain can last anywhere from 1 to 8 years, depending on how opaque the stain is. Transparent stain lasts a short time, while an opaque stain lasts longer. Paint lasts up to 10 years if it is properly applied and the right type of paint is used. It's important to apply high-quality exterior-grade paint.

Why Stain or Seal Your New Wood Fence?

They do, however, require staining or sealing in order to enhance their beauty and to ensure their life span. Wood may either swell when it’s wet or contract when it’s dry, so that constant swelling and contracting action can cause cracks and damage to your beautiful new wood fence. If the wood is not properly treated, the sun’s damaging UV rays can also create problems such as fading and warping. Further, the wood can become subject to mold, rot, and decay.

How to Treat Your New Wood Fence?

To test your new wood fence for appropriate dryness, simply place a bit of water on the surface boards. If the water beads up, you’ll need to wait and check it again later. If the water seeps into the wood, the wood is suitably dry and ready to be stained or sealed. Another option is to check it with a moisture meter. You may want to power-wash or sand your fence beforehand to properly prepare it to receive final treatment. Then, when it’s clean and dry, use a weatherproof stain or sealant with a manufacturer’s warranty to be sure you are protected from any problems.

Why does my wood fence swell?

Wood may either swell when it’s wet or contract when it’s dry, so that constant swelling and contracting action can cause cracks and damage to your beautiful new wood fence. If the wood is not properly treated, the sun’s damaging UV rays can also create problems such as fading and warping.

Can you sand a wood fence before sealing?

If the water seeps into the wood, the wood is suitably dry and ready to be stained or sealed. Another option is to check it with a moisture meter. You may want to power-wash or sand your fence beforehand to properly prepare it to receive final treatment.

Can you stain a cedar fence?

If you installed a cedar fence, you can usually stain or seal your fence right away without waiting. In fact, if you wait too long, it may weather too quickly and you’ll have to sand it or wash it with a special cleaner in order to proceed to stain or seal it. There are some general guidelines to follow when deciding how long to wait ...

How long after washing a fence can you finish it?

You just need to wait a few days after washing it.

How long does it take for a fence to dry?

This will allow it to weather enough but not too much. If the fence is made with pressure treated materials it may be 3-4 months for the posts to dry enough and can be checked with a moisture meter.

Do you have to wait to paint a fence after installing it?

Purchasing a new fence is a big investment. Most installers will tell you to wait a period of time after installation to apply stain or paint. This is true, especially if you install with pressure treated pine fence posts. Just like a deck, it needs to dry before applying a finish.

Do cedar fences need to be sanded?

Not all fences are made with the same materials though. If you install a cedar fence you do not need to wait an extended period of time as it may weather too much and need to be completely sanded to remove weathered wood from the surface.

How long does semitransparent stain last?

Go ahead and take the next couple of summers off—you earned it. Only note that while semitransparent stains can last anywhere between two to five years, extreme temperatures and precipitation can prematurely age the finish. Don’t rest on your laurels too long and risk the weather damage: Aim to stain your fence every two to three years to preserve its sheen and weather protective qualities.

How do I clean a wood fence?

Clean the fence with water from a high-pressure spray nozzle attached to a garden hose (or use a power washer ). This will remove light to moderate dirt accumulations and complete the job of the wood stain stripper in blasting away any old varnish from the fence, if applicable. If using a power washer, opt for a low-powered unit operating at no more than 2,000 psi so as not to weather the wood slats. Make sure to let the wood dry out completely before continuing.

What is the best stain for exterior wood?

For long-lasting, professional-quality results, work with a semitransparent oil-based stain designed for the exterior. These stains elegantly accentuate the natural patina of the underlying wood with a subtle tint, and, as a bonus, boast formulas that slow the growth of mildew and rot as well as protect the wood from ultraviolet light exposure.

Can you stain a fence?

With basic cleaning supplies and this straightforward tutorial on how to stain a fence, you can refresh your wooden privacy wall in as little time as a weekend—and reap these benefits right away.

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