Fence Stain - DIY or Professional?

Fence Stain - DIY or Professional?

Tuesday, 09 August 2022 12:26

Fence installations around our businesses and homes add not only safe practicality to the environment but privacy and beauty as well. Over time, however, the weather and other environmental factors take their toll on the exterior surfaces of fences. They are exposed every day to everything we and mother nature can throw at them.


It is easy enough to overlook as this degradation can be a subtle shift over time, but neglecting upkeep and repair for too long can seriously risk needing to fully replace the installation. If you notice any of the following when looking at your fence, it may be time for a restaining:

  • You can see visible mold or mildew
  • There is visible wood rot or water damage
  • Areas of the fencing are visibly discolored

It might seem like a quick power wash will be sufficient to handle these issues, but they are the signs that your stain is no longer giving deep protection to the wood. 

You may be tempted to reach for a bucket or two of paint to hide deep discoloration or damage, but we always recommend against painting fences. Paint keeps wood from breathing, can chip or peel quickly, and must be fixed promptly once chipped.

Should I DIY Staining My Fence or Get Professional Service?

Completing projects ourselves can be one of the most satisfying aspects of being a home or business owner. That sense of ownership and accomplishment of taking care of things ourselves. 

But specific projects, while certainly able to be DIY, may not be the best fit for everyone to complete themselves. If you are considering staining your fence think about the following aspects:

  • Size of the Project: If you have a lot of fence length, this may be the biggest reason to go with a professional service. Even small and moderate-sized fences and decks often take homeowners multiple full weekends to stain.
  • Tools and Supplies: It is an unfortunate truth, but supply lines are still out of sync. While you can likely find brushes and rollers, getting ample stains at a reasonable cost can be an issue for some areas. Professionals already have the tools and can procure stains at bulk prices to ensure there is enough to finish a project.
  • Time: This ties in with the size of the project, but a professional service does this type of work daily. They can get the task done efficiently, which means you will be back to enjoying your yard or pool quicker and without losing any weekend time yourself.

There is nothing wrong with going with DIY. Just make sure you prepare well beforehand. 

If you aren’t sure what stain is best for the wood species used in the fence, reach out to the installation company. They can help guide you to the best choice and can likely give you a price estimate for their service as well to compare against as you look at supplies and time.

DIY Fence Staining Tips

We can’t state this enough: prep work beforehand will make or break this DIY. If you have decided to give staining your new or existing wooden fence a try yourself, here are our top tips on how to get it to turn out great the first time. 

  • Clean the fence: Make sure your fence has been thoroughly cleaned of mold and mildew, and if you are staining a previously painted fence that it is entirely free of any errant paint chips.
  • Repair: If you’re staining a new installation, you can likely skip this step, but go over your fence and make sure to replace or repair boards and sections that have already begun the process of rotting, restaining will do little to stop the damage from progressing.
  • Dry it out: When you go to stain, make sure the wood is completely dried from any cleaning or weather before applying the stain. 

We recommend planning on applying two coats of stain to the surface to ensure even and complete coverage. Brushes and rollers can achieve a professional-level finish; just remember to leave yourself plenty of time for this DIY. 

Unless you are looking at a small fenced area, this is a project that typically takes owners at least an entire weekend or two to complete.

Hiring Professional Help

Turning to a professional will give you guaranteed results that you can trust without the hassle of having to coordinate things yourself. A professional fence company can have a typical fence cleaned and restrained over the course of a day or two, depending on the size of the project and any needed repairs. 

It might be tempting to hire a local handyman or painting company, but turning to a fencing professional can help ensure the finished project is done right, looks good, and lasts. The age, type, and condition of the wood will all determine the type of stain that needs to be used and how it is best applied.

Asheville Fence

Residents of western North Carolina and Asheville can depend on Asheville Fence for all of their fencing installation, repair, and maintenance. With two generations of experience working on fences in the environment of the Blue Ridge, Black, and Smoky mountains, we can help ensure the longevity of your investment. We offer fence staining services using transparent, semi-transparent, and solid base stains that provide different levels of coverage and look. 

Our estimators are the most knowledgeable around regarding almost every type of fence, from design & construction to aesthetics & functionality. We provide free local estimates and the highest levels of customer service, quality construction, and professional integrity through every phase of your project, no matter how big or how small.

Contact us today to get a free personal estimate for your project and get back to enjoying your beautiful backyard for the summer.