Fort Collins fences have to stand up to more abuse than fences in many other areas of the country because of the unpredictable weather. Refinishing wood fences helps protect their materials from being damaged by moisture and cold in the winter, and from intense sunshine in the summer. Stains protect yet flaunt wood’s natural grain and pattern, but they need to be re-layered every season or so to keep doing what they’re designed to do.
Here are a few tips for refinishing wood fences to keep them beautiful and undamaged:
Wash All Debris Off the Fence First
Pressure wash your fence for the fastest results. If you pressure wash, make sure you protect yourself with gloves and goggles. Debris coming off the fence can sometimes get in your eyes. Also, be careful not to damage your fence with too much water pressure.
Clearing the fence’s surface of debris will prevent you from staining dirt and grit onto the fence permanently. After you’ve washed your fence, you’ll need to let it dry for at least 24 hours before refinishing it. Pay attention to the weather as well. If storms are threatening, or if the air is otherwise humid, wait an additional 24 hours before applying stain.
Another pro tip is to repair all cracks in the wood with wood glue before applying the stain.
Use a Combination of Rollers and Brushes
If you have a large, long fence, it’s best to treat it like you would a painting project. Use a roller set aside only for staining that covers large areas quickly and evenly. The best roller for oil-based stains is a medium nap roller. Go back after using the roller and touch up the edges and small missed spots with a brush.
After you’re done with your first coat, wait at least an hour before applying the second. Many fence owners like to stain and re-stain the wood multiple times to ensure full protection and enhanced stain color. Letting the stain sit will allow it to penetrate the wood and protect its natural beauty. Typically, one coat is enough, but many homeowners find themselves unsatisfied with the color after only one coat.
Cover with a Wood Sealer
The final tip is to apply a wood sealer or “wash coat” to the wood when you’re satisfied with the stain coverage and color. Wait 72 hours after you apply the final coat of stain or refinisher to the fence before you paint on the wood sealer.
Wood sealer dries fast, so work quickly. Try to apply the sealer in long, even strokes. This seals off the wood’s pores and gives the finished fence a glossy appearance.
Staining your fence for protection against outdoor exposure is a good idea to keep it from succumbing to rot and other damage. Remember, you want to showcase the natural beauty of the wood with your stain, so take your time and make sure you get an even coat all the way around.
For additional tips on how to care for your wood fence, click here.
Wood Fence Installation
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