Is there a way to thin out the wood stain on my fence?

stevey629September 25, 2009

I have just recently had a wood stain applied to my new cedar fence. My gripe/problem is that is simply too opaque. I would love for some of the grain to show through. I just wish I would have thought of this before having the fence guys come out to stain my fence. I've lost sleep over thinking about its overbearing monotone. Its an acrylic based opaque stain from sherwin williams, and is under the "woodscapes" line of their exterior opaque stains. I called the guys who stained it and they said they've never had to deal with this sort of retroactive treatment. Bummer. Hopefully this isn't the case.

I really hope there is a thinner that I can apply that will let some of the grain show through without substantially compromising its protection characteristics. I understand that thinning it out will undoubtedly reduce its ability to protect the wood, but I am figuring that re-applying a semi-transparent one might even be in order. Protection and longevity is obviously a high priority, but I'd rather have it look the way I want it to even if it means having to stain/retouch more frequently.

I am looking for a (somewhat) fast and effective solution to getting the stain to appear less opaque. My goal is to achieve a more natural look. I actually like the way a weathered wood looks, so perfection isn't my goal here, again something that just looks a bit more natural. If possible, I'd like to avoid having to sand down every plank. The build of this fence is board on board, and is an overlap design...I'd be sanding for weeks. If this is the only way to get some of the grain to show, then I will just have to live with my mistake and eventually I'll get over it. Im a total rookie when it comes to this sort of thing, so please explain product/technique suggestions as best as you can. I will try to entertain questions in the same fashion. Thanks in advance.

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The only ways to remove a finish are mechanical or chemical. Mechanical would include sanding (which doesn't seem practical for a fence) and sand blasting (maybe?). Chemicals would be messy and expensive. You would also be sacrificing the protection afforded by the stain. Generally speaking the more opaque the finish, the more protection it provides.

I'm inclined to think you're just going to have to live with the fence.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2009 at 9:11AM
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