Staining a new fence

Old 05-09-10, 06:52 AM
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Staining a new fence


I'm going to be buildling a 6ft picket privacy fence from PT pine. This is a house I'm only planning on living in for a few years.

How necessary is staining the wood (I see different things mentioned by different people)? What is the rule of thumb for the amount of stain I'm going to need? The fence is probably going to be about 175ft long.

Also, is there any reason not to stain the wood before using it - it seems like it would be simpler.


Old 05-09-10, 08:34 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

To stain or not to stain -- that's a matter of personal preference. Some folks prefer the look of unfinished cedar (or whatever species of fencing you'll be using) after it has aged for a few years. Others want it stained to match or coordinate with other features of the house. Your call.

Staining the frame after it's installed and the fence boards before they are installed allows you to stain more surfaces, which will protect the wood better. The drawback (and why most folks don't do it) is the extra time required to do it. (Stain one side and all the edges, then let that dry. Flip all of the baords over and stain the other side, then let that dry before you handle the boards. Depending on how much space you have for letting the boards dry, it could add several days to the project.
Old 05-09-10, 12:09 PM
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Ideally, you'd stain the lumber, install and then another coat of stain .... but most PT lumber is bought while it's still wet from the PT process and most coatings don't deal well with a wet substrate. Another thing to consider is the coating itself. Some stains/sealers must be recoated almost immediately or you have to allow it to weather before recoating.

Most stains cover 250-350 sq ft although rough sawn surfaces will require more stain.

I generally wash the fence [if needed] and let it dry, then spray, back roll and spray again. IMO that's the most efficient way to get a sufficient amount of coating on the fence to insure the longest life of the coating.

Because it's treated wood, it won't hurt anything other than looks to leave it uncoated for several years. It's best to let a new PT fence dry for 6 weeks - 6 months before applying any coating.

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