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Wood fence - stain or paint?

Posted by cdsol ( on
Sun, Aug 23, 09 at 11:56

I've got a wood fence. Been up about 9 years. I don't remember specifically what it's made of, probably cedar or something like that. It's in good condition but is drying out and I'd like to get it sealed and protected. Cosmetics aren't the primary issue...I just want it protected from insects and the elements. I figure even a not-perfect stain or paint job will look much better than it is now.

We've got some wood on side of the house which is painted. Fences seem to want to be "stained" or "sealed". I don't understand. It seems to me the "wood" is "wood". If paint is good enough for outdoor wood on a house wall, why shouldn't it be same for a fence? If I'm primarily interested in the best protection, should I "paint" or "stain/seal"?

Many thanks!

Dallas TX

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Wood fence - stain or paint?

Power wash it a bit and stain, oil based stain is better, gives more protection than water base stain. You can get it in a bunch of different colors even. My sister stained a older deck that was on her house, but didn't clean it well first and the oil stain peeled a bit. She used a solid color oil based stain. She ended up power washing it, letting it dry really well before she re-stained it. Paint can peel, I've seen that on a neighbors deck, what a mess.

RE: Wood fence - stain or paint?

You may think that your house is painted, but it could be stained. There are two kinds of stain: semi-transparent and solid color. A solid color stain will go on much like a paint, look like a paint when you are applying it, though it may not be as thick. Paint offers the best protection from the elements, but peels. Stain will be less likely to peel. Semi-transparent stains are what you traditionally think a stain is supposed to be...loose bodied and lets the texture of the wood show through. I think that a solid color stain job will last longer than a semi-transparent stain, but it really depends on what kind of look you are going for.

RE: Wood fence - stain or paint?

Would love some help/advice about re-painting/re-staining a fence & deck. Pictures attached.

I plan to take these pictures along to the local paint store - where the professional painters go.

I made the mistake of trying to "paint" the deck floor with a colored stain before - went to Fleet Farm - so I deserve the advice I was given. I think that maybe I used a latex paint over a surface that had originally used oil. It peeled up pretty quickly.

I'm looking to replace the deck and fence in 3 years, when I pay off my car and could take a loan out for the new deck/fence. The deck and fence were original to the house when I bought it 11 years ago, and I would guess that means they are from 1983.

I used Googone (didn't have nail polish remover in the house) to "test" the painted areas. Googone dissolved the paint on the deck floor - must have been the latex I used a few years ago in my first attempt. But Googone didn't pull any color from the deck fence, so I wonder if that is oil-based.

What do I need to know about tackling this job on my own?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

This is all of the photos that I can upload for now. Having issues with tinypics website at the moment.

Thanks for your help.

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