Fence Stain FAQs

Carnahan-White Fence Company specializes in privacy fences for homes and businesses in Southwest Missouri. 

We want you to have the best possible and best-looking privacy fence for your property.

Take a look at our answers to frequently asked questions about fence stains.  

How do you stain a privacy fence?

There are a few steps to staining your fence:

  1. Prep the fence by power washing it. If there is mold or mildew on the fence, you need to remove it first. Power washing will make sure your fence doesn’t maintain the older color or dirt once you stain it. The key is to remove any micro-organisms and let the fence dry thoroughly after power washing.
  2. Make sure the temperature is forecast to stay above 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the next few days, and there is no rain in the forecast.
  3. Cover any nearby foliage or objects you don’t want to stain.
  4. Apply stain in broad strokes using a ½-inch nap roller or an electric cup sprayer. The sprayer generally works faster.
  5. Apply the stain with the grain in an up and down motion.
  6. Let the stain dry completely, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  7. Apply a second coat, if desired, following the instructions.

Should you pressure wash a fence before staining?

Yes, but you must let it dry completely and remove any mold or mildew before you stain your privacy fence.

Is staining a fence worth it?

Yes, because it could make your fence last longer and look better over the years.

What is the best stain for a fence?

The stain you choose for your privacy fence depends on the wood type.

Pine and cedar absorb stains readily, but water-based stains can leave splotches on the wood. Use an oil-based stain for these woods.

Oak and ash easily absorb stains, so feel free to choose the manufacturer of your choice.

Walnut, cherry, and mahogany have very small pores, which makes them hardier woods. But they are difficult to stain due to this property. A polyurethane sealer is probably the best option here.

Alder, birch, and maple also have tight pores, but a water-based stain with lower viscosity offers better absorption for these woods. Consider using a pre-stain to prep the surface, and lighter colors of stains can make staining easier.

Most definitely choose a highly rated stain product from a well-known brand. Take a look at this article from Consumer Reports for more information.

How many coats do I need to stain a fence?

Solid colors for stains generally need just one coat. Semi-transparent stains might need a second coat one or two hours after the first coat.

How much stain do I need for a fence?

One gallon of stain generally covers 150 to 300 square feet, depending on how you apply the stain. This works for small fences. You might need three to four gallons of stain for larger fences of 700 square feet.

When should I stain a fence?

Summer is usually the best time to stain a fence, particularly for areas that experience all four seasons. In warmer climates, you can stain a fence any time of year so long as the weather stays nice.

You should wait a month or two following the installation of the privacy fence before staining it.

Privacy Fence Tips From Carnahan-White

Reach out to the pros at Carnahan-White Fence Company! Give us a call at 417-883-0733, and we’ll talk about tips for beautifying and maintaining your privacy fence.