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The Ultimate Guide to Staining your Fence or Deck

The Ultimate Guide to Staining your Fence or Deck

Posted by on September 21, 2020

How do some fences in the Northwest go gray within a year, and others look as beautiful as the day they were installed? Why do the boards on my fence look all warped and cracked, but my neighbor’s boards look perfect? How do I keep my deck boards from getting all cracked and soft on the top? The answer to all these questions is one simple thing: Stain It!!

Adding a coat of stain to your fence or deck doesn’t just make it look more beautiful, it protects the wood from things like UV rays and Molds and Mildews. Stain can also add moisture and protection to your boards so that when we hit those really hot, dry days of summer, your boards don’t dry out and warp. Staining your project with a stain made for the Northwest with UV-Inhibitors and Mildicides for our types of molds and mildews that grow in our wet climate, can add years to the life of your fence or deck! Here’s the best way to do it:

Top Tips:

Temperature – Stain your fence or deck when the temperature is between 40-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Too hot and the stain will not soak into the boards and will peel off in the first month.

Less is More – A light layer of stain is enough to cover your project, don’t put it on too thick or you’ll end up with a splotchy finish that peels off as soon as it dries. If you want a darker color or feel one coat isn’t enough, try adding a second coat after a few weeks.

Make your tools work for you – When staining your boards, cut your paint pads, rollers, whatever you are using to apply the stain, to the size of your board so you get an even layer the first time!

Deck Specific Instructions (based on manufacturer’s recommendations):

Coverage –
• New smooth wood: 200-250 sq. ft. per gallon
• New rough wood: 100-200 sq. ft. per gallon

Use a paint pad or brush to apply stain in an even layer along length of each board. Finish must be applied at a rate that the wood will absorb. Do not allow stain to pool or puddle on the surface of the wood. Wipe off excess stain with a towel or rag.

Fence Specific Instructions (based on manufacturer’s recommendations):

Coverage –
• Will cover 15-20 LF of a 6’ tall cedar fence
both sides (or 30-40 LF single side).

Use a spray gun or backpack sprayer to apply stain in a thin layer. Finish must be applied at a rate that the wood will absorb. Do not allow stain to drip or run down fence. Work continuously from top to bottom, keeping the leading edge wet to prevent lap marks.

For best results, after spray application use a roller and/or paint brush to even out sprayed on stain while stain is still very damp.

To purchase Rick’s PNW made fence or deck stain, visit your nearest Rick’s Location.

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