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Is It Better To Spray Or Roll Stain On A Fence?

Like paint, a high-quality exterior stain helps protect wood from long-term damage caused by moisture and sunlight. Leaving a bare fence unstained for too long can lead to splitting and cracking in the wood, reducing its lifespan. In fact, staining a fence is very simple, using the right tool. Most fence staining jobs do not even involve the use of a ladder.


Two common fence stain finishes are semi-transparent and solid. The semi-transparent finish shows the natural beauty of the grain of wood, while the solid finish hides much of the grain, looking more like a paint coating. Strong stain is thicker and does a better job of protecting the surface of the wood. A solid finish is usually longer than semi-transparent and transparent, although some homeowners prefer a more natural, semi-transparent look.

Spraying vs. Brushing

When applying wood fence paint, it is recommended to use an airless sprayer. The use of a brush and a roller for this project is highly time consuming and labour-intensive. You can easily stain the entire fence on one weekend by renting an airless sprayer from your paint shop.


Using a sprayer to easily add the material to the surface and a brush and roller to drive the material into the wood. For cedar, a 9-inch roller with a 3/4-inch nap is ideal for well filling the porous surface. Until spraying, cover the bushes and grass with drop cloths, and you might need to cover the items on the other side of the fence.


Staining a fence is identical to staining a deck. Never start or stop in the middle of it. Often add the material from top to bottom in one direction, operating in one direction. You may use a wider spray tip with a fence and turn the pressure down on the sprayer to reduce over-spray. The recommended spray tip size will be specified for the stain you are using.

Oil vs. Acrylic Fence Stain

Acrylic fence stain has become increasingly common due to new VOC laws that modify many of the conventional oil-based products. Premium acrylic fence stain can work as well if not better, than oil.


The biggest issue with oil stain is that it contains resins that feed on mildew. If your fence is in the shade much of the day or is surrounded by trees, mildew is more likely to form and spread easily. Oil-base stain often becomes brittle and crumbles when the coating is worn out. Acrylic penetrates wood very well and cleans it quickly with soap and water.

Do You Need a Fence Contractor You Can Trust?

Why pay more when you can restore? That's our motto and the way we approach every project. Fresh Coat Restoration specializes in new deck builds, new fence builds, deck repairs, fence repairs, arbor restoration, fence restoration, deck restoration, pressure washing and sealing/staining. If it's in your backyard chances are we specialize in it! When you call FCR you will be working with a licensed, insured, honest and reliable contractor with years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers.  We are the top Fencing contractor in the Vine Hill neighborhood of Martinez, California, serving the fencing installation and restoration needs of homeowners throughout Contra Costa, Solano and Alameda Counties. Contact us today to start your project!

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