Fence Painting vs Fence Staining

hand brushing on clear finish to wooden fence

If you have a wood fence you may be trying to decide between fence painting and fence staining. Several factors may determine which you will choose.

Fence Painting

You may decide to paint your fence if its older wood, if it has damage that paint would hide or if there are other coats of paint already on the fence. You can't apply stain over paint as the translucent quality of the stain will be destroyed if the wood grain is covered by the paint.

One of the pros of fence painting is that you can use a paint sprayer to apply the paint thus saving a great deal of time over brushing or rolling on stains. Paint is also available in any color you want.

Fence Staining

Fence staining must be done on previously unpainted wood. If it has already been stained or painted you will need to pressure wash or sandblast the wood to remove all the old paint or stain to achieve the true color of the new stain. Stain penetrates the wood more than paint does, so a stained wood fence will generally keep its color longer and of course, stain won't peel or bubble up.