How Often Should You Stain Your Fence

Having a fence around your property provides you a layer of privacy so you can enjoy your home with friends and family. In order to ensure longevity, taking care of your fence is crucial. There are multiple steps you can take to ensure your fence will last for years to come. One question many people ask is just how often they should stain their fence to keep it in tip-top shape.

Ideally, when it comes to wood fencing, you will need to stain your fence every three to five years and seal it every two to three. By taking the time to stain your fence, you prolong the life of your fence, saving you money in the long run. The time you can wait in between when you stain your fence will greatly depend on the climate of your location. 

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Your fence is often at the front of the line to take brunt force from extreme weather, temperatures, and insects. Not only does a wood fence add incredible privacy to your yard, but it can also keep other critters. Knowing how to protect your fence and the money you put into it is crucial. 

How Often Should You Stain Your Fence

Climates vary all across the country; some areas experience high volumes of rain, whereas others hit record high heat temperatures. While 3-5 years is a general recommendation for staining your fence, it will differ from area to area. 

There is one way to know that you should add stain to your fence sooner rather than later. One simple trick you can do is by putting water on your fence. If it is still sealed correctly, the water won’t soak in but will instead bead up. 

The opposite is true if the stain of your fence has worn down over time. If you add water to your fence and it immediately soaks in, it is time to seal your fence again. Knowing what to look for will help you take the necessary actions to protect your fence. 

Taking the time to add a layer of sealant every few years protects your investment and can save you money in the end. 

How Many Coats of Stain Do You Need For a Fence

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When it comes to staining your fence, there are a variety of factors to keep in mind. 

Before you begin staining, you need to ensure your wood is ready to be stained. If you decide to stain too early while wood is wet, the stain will not adhere properly, rendering the stain useless. Make sure to wait until the wood is dry, and then you can apply stain successfully. 

If you are using fresh wood or green lumber, you will need to wait at least a year before you can apply a stain that adheres well. You will also need to wait about one to two months if you use kiln lumber that is often sold at your local hardware store. When you buy your lumber, the staff at the hardware store can also direct you on the next steps. 

Also, when you decide to stain your wood fence make sure to clean off any dust so you have a smooth surface to work from. 

For the most part, you will need one to two coats of stain to completely seal your wooden fence. It is important to note that the type of stain you use, as well as the color, will greatly affect how many coats you will need. 

Semi-transparent stains will often need two coats to seal your fence correctly, whereas solid stains should only need one. If you are interested in a specific type of stain, consult with your local hardware store to know which one is your best option. 

Why Should You Stain Your Fence

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There are several reasons you should stain your fence every two to three years. 

One is that it will provide your wood fence with a layer of protection from excess water. While most fencing wood is treated to keep out some moisture, over time, it can lack the ability to keep water out, therefore, warping the wood.

If you wait too long and the weather gets the best of your fence, you will have to replace the warped boards. While replacing a board doesn’t seem like a big deal, the expenses can add up if you have to do it time and time again.

Another reason to stain your wood fence is to keep bugs out. Bugs have the ability to completely destroy your fence over time. 

Lastly, the largest culprit that can ruin your fence is the sun. Depending on where you live and the climate in your area, the rays of the sun can damage your wood fence over the years. 

By adding stain to your fence every few years, you protect the integrity of your fence. Staining your fence gives your fence an entirely new layer between the sun and the wood of your fence. 

When it comes to the time of year to stain your fence best, the summer months are a valuable option. The main reason summer months are popular is because the stain dries fast and evenly. One rule of thumb is to wait until later in the day and stay away from staining in the heat of the afternoon. 

How Should You Stain Your Fence

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After you read this article you may be ready to bring your fence back to life, but there are a few things you need to do first. 

Before you begin staining your fence, you should always make sure your fence is clean first. The easiest way to clean a wood fence prior to staining is by spraying it down with a hose. If you need to clean your fence beforehand, make sure you allow your fence to fully dry before moving forward. 

Also, you need to check the integrity of your fence. After you spray the fence off, walk around and look for signs of rot and decay. One major area you can find decay is at the base of your fence. If your fence posts are touching soil, your fence can decay far quicker than normal. 

By taking the time to inspect your fence and fill in holes, you can know what steps you need to take next. 

When you begin staining your fence, it is recommended to paint from the top to the bottom of the fence post. By doing so, you can ensure the stain is spread evenly and minimize the chance of dripping. 


Wood fencing added to your home adds the perfect amount of curb appeal and privacy. Many people don’t realize the upkeep and maintenance that needs to be done to extend the life of their fence. When it comes to staining our fence, homeowners often wonder how often it is needed. 

Over time your wood fence is subject to torrential downpours, bugs, and extreme temperatures. After hours of the sun beating down on it, staining will give your fence a protective layer. It is recommended to stain your fence every 3-5 years. This recommendation will vary depending on if you live in super hot or super rainy areas. 

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