Paint or Stain? Five Things You Should Know Before Sealing Your Fence

Should you paint or stain when sealing a wood fence? It's a question we get a lot at Fence Armor® and one you'll get a few different answers to if you ask enough people. If you have a new wood fence, you want to get the care right from day one. You may need to make a few adjustments for older fences to give the wood a longer life.

Before you make up your mind, you should know a few things about sealing a wood fence.

Choosing to paint or stain a fence is vital to give the wood a long life and keep it safe from pests and weather damage. When you think about it, your fence is outside in the hot summer sun, the fall winds, the cold winter weather and those spring showers. If you do not maintain the fence, it will quickly rot and deteriorate.

Included on the list of things you should know before sealing a wood fence includes:

  • Easier to stain a fence already stained
  • A wood fence needs to breathe
  • A stain does not chip
  • More color with paint or stain?
  • Sealing a wood fence brings out the grain

Let's take a closer look at each point.

Easier to stain a fence that is already stained 

If you inherit a fence, the chances are that it is already stained. It could be that you have been staining the fence for years and never thought otherwise. In either case, it is a lot easier to stain a fence already stained.

Stain soaks into the wood. If you stain the fence regularly, you know how thirsty the wood is each time. A painted fence would need to be sanded and all the old paint removed before you stain it. Sealing a wood fence can be time-consuming.

The stain goes on easier, dries quicker, and you will probably only need one coat.

Staining a fence

A wood fence needs to breathe 

Wood needs to breathe. Rot, mildew, and fungi will take hold if it doesn't dry thoroughly, often without you knowing until it is too late.

Stain allows the wood to breathe. The moisture will not soak into the grain, and the wood will not warp or crack under pressure.

A fully treated fence should not need staining for a few years, but you should always get advice from your fence supplier.

Wood fence

A stain does not chip

When you paint a fence, it will look great on the property. The vibrant color will stand out, and all the neighbors will approve. Is there anything more American than a white picket fence in the front garden or back yard?

A big problem with paintwork is the wear and tear a fence gets each year. Throughout the summer, the kids could be climbing up and over the fence. In the winter, branches will rub off the fence, scraping at the surface. When you have pets or local wildlife nibbling at the wood, they will do a lot of damage.

Paint chips and blisters. When the wood below is exposed, it is also open to all the dangers of weather effects and termites. Often you may not notice the chipping until it is too late. Sealing a wood fence with a Stain & Seal Experts product may save time and money.

Stain does not chip and is very low maintenance.

Stain & Seal Experts

Photo courtesy of Stain & Seal Experts!

More color with paint or stain?

The one area you can really pick between paint or stain is when it comes to color. You have a wide choice of paint colors, and the choice probably gets wider each year. If you have a color scheme for the home and yard, the fence may need to match it.

Stain is catching up with paint when it comes to colors, though you are still limited to a narrow choice. Most stain pigments match the original wood or strive to bring out the grain.

Sealing a wood fence brings out the grain 

If you invest in a quality wood fence, the chances are that you love the look of the grain. Why then would you hide that away behind a surface of paint? The natural beauty of the wood is superior to any fancy paint scheme.

When buying a wood fence, always plump for quality, pressure-treated wood. With the suitable wood in place, you will only need to stain the fence every few years to keep it safe and looking fresh.

Stained fence wood grain

Call us - 888-289-5617

At Fence Armor® we believe in sealing a wood fence. The quality and beauty of the wood will shine through each time. Whether it’s paint or stain you should always care for the wood. Ask our experts for advice. Call us today for all your fence protection needs.

Shop Postsaver® - Rot Barrier

Shop Postsaver - Rot Barrier


Shop Stain & Seal - Wood Stain

Shop Stain & Seal Wood Stain


Shop Fence Armor® - Post Guards

Fence Armor - Post Guards