How to Refinish a Fence

It’s time to refinish a fence when it has done good service for several years, is still be in good condition but looks ready to collapse. To prevent the waste of having to replace the fence it is time to give it a new lease of life.

Step 1 – Survey the Fence

Walk the length of the wooden fence and check the general condition. Mark out any broken sections that can be mended or replaced. Check that the fence posts are all sound.

Step 2 – Clean the Fence

If you can get a pressure washer to the fence give it a good going over to clean out any areas of mold or insect damage. Wash off the accumulated dirt and double check for damage. You will notice that the fence will start to,look better almost immediately.

Step 3 – Make Running Repairs

While the fence is drying after being washed you can go round and reattach any missing palings using zinc coated nails. Mend any split or cracked timbers with glue. You can make up a good wood filler by mixing saw dust and glue and using that to fill cracks. Make the mixture quite stiff and it will even be useful for filling quite large holes.

Step 4 – Cover Plants Along the Fence

You are going to stain the fence to give it some more life so cover up plants that are growing close to the fence. Use newspaper or opened up cardboard cartons to protect the plants but don’t leave them covered for too long. While douing this you might spot rare or protected plants. It is always good to make notes of these and inform local botanists.

Step 5 –Protect any Metal Work

If you want to protect any metal work in the fence, gate hinges and latches for example, you can cover those with masking tape.

It might be better to leave them so that the stain has the chance to inhibit rust. If you do cover them remember to remove the masking tape. You might also give the metalwork a bit of attention and a light coating of wax.

Step 6 – Choose the Right Stain

While color might not b a major concern, time could be and it would save a lot of time if you chose a stain that is also a sealant. Staining a fence without sealing it would only give a short term benefit.

Step 7 – Apply the Stain

The wood will be so parched that it will probably absorb large amounts of the stain and you might need to buy more than you expected to. At least it will dry quite quickly too.

One liberal coat of stain should be enough but if you see particular areas that seem to need more, apply it. The sealant and stain are going to make a big difference to how much more useful life your fence will have so it would be a shame to spoil it.