How to Remove Stain From Your Wood Fence

Easy steps to remove stain from your fence

Sometimes the stain you initially put on your fence may not be your dream look. Maybe you’ve changed your mind when it comes to your fence stain color, or maybe you want to go back to the natural look. Over time stain may begin to fade and need to be reapplied.

Whatever the reason, Carnahan-White has some tips on how to remove fence stain so the process goes smoothly.

Steps for removal:

  1. Remove debris

  2. Apply wood stain stripper

  3. Rinse thoroughly

  4. Let dry and check for areas missed

  5. Apply wood bleach if needed

  6. Apply new stain and sealant

Before you get started on removing stain from your fence, you’ll need to eliminate any debris from the fence, such as soil, cobwebs, ivy, and mildew. These items will leave patches of stain if they aren’t cleared away before the stain remover is put to use.

Use a powerwasher to wash the fence, starting on a gentle setting first so you gauge what setting is safe for your fence. You don’t want to start on a high setting and cause damage.

To remove any fence stain you’ll need a quality wood stripper to do the job. Wood stripper acts similarly to a bleaching agent to remove stain from a fence. This stripper has some harsh chemicals that can damage your skin, as well as grass and other plants in the area.

Before you begin the stripping process, you need to have the proper protection and tools. Some materials you’ll need include:

  • Mask
  • Gloves
  • Wood Stripper
  • Tarp
  • Steel Bristle Brush
  • Garden Hose/Power Washer
  • Garden Sprayer
  • Oxalic acid

Put on your personal protective equipment and lay out tarps to protect grass and plants that you don’t want to come into contact with the chemical stripper.

Once you’re gloved and masked up, follow the directions on the wood stripper as closely as possible. Make sure you coat each and every board thoroughly so you don’t miss any of the stain. If the product is high-quality, you’ll notice the stain start to dissolve. You probably won’t need to scrub, but if you do, use a steel bristle brush to remove any stain still stuck.

Most wood stain remover doesn’t need to be left on for too long, usually 30 minutes to an hour. Your fence will likely need to be wet when using the wood stain remover so you can do it right after power washing it.

Related Post: Should I Paint, Stain, Or Leave My Fence Natural?

When the stain has dissolved, rinse your fence with a pressure washer or a garden hose. Move the hose or washer in the same direction as the boards. Once all the residue is removed, sweep or blow away any moisture from your fence.

It is best to let it dry for several hours then check for any areas of stain that may have been missed. Those areas can have stain reapplied.

If you are washing off a very dark stain and hoping to reapply a new stain color, you may need to use wood bleach on your fence. Using too many unnecessary chemicals can cause damage, so just use what you need to get the wood back to its natural color before applying a new stain color.

Just a few more steps! While you may think you’re done, your fence may look a bit darker than usual. To brighten your fence back to its original color, you’ll need to use oxalic acid. Not only will it brighten the wood, but it’ll prevent any damage caused by the wood stripper. You can purchase it at any home improvement store or hardware store. Follow the directions on the package. You’ll want to keep your mask and gloves on while you prepare it. Once mixed, put the solution in a garden sprayer to evenly spread the solution across every board. You do not need to rinse the oxalic acid off the panels.

Related Post: The Best Way To Apply Fence Stain

Carnahan-White has you covered whether you are looking for a privacy fence for your private residence, commercial business, government facility, or athletic field.

We have been in business for over 60 years and have helped hundreds of companies find the perfect security fence. We offer various services, including ironworks, fence maintenance, installation, access control systems, and landscapes. For more information, visit our website or call us at (417) 883-0733 to contact our representatives.