Tips for Staining Your Wood Fence Panels

tall wood fence

Staining your wood fence panels helps give them a natural look and compliments your home’s décor. Staining a wood fence panel is a simple process and here are a few tips to assist you in best approaching this process.

Step 1 - Stain in a Well-Ventilated Area

To start, when staining wood you should be in a well-ventilated and open area. The fumes from different types of wood stains can be strong and be harmful if breathed over a long period of time. To overcome this, wear a mask when staining and limit any long term exposure to the stain. Additionally, depending on the type of stain that you are working with, wear protective gloves to reduce skin contact.

Step 2 - Use a Drop Cloth for Staining

staining boards

Lay the fence panels on a drop cloth, evenly spaced. A drop cloth is better to use than a newspaper because as you stain one side of the fence panels, they will become wet. The newspaper will stick to the wet side when you turn the panels over and imprint on the wood. To prevent this, a drop cloth is the best solution.

Step 3 - Stain Fence Panels with a Cloth Rag

When staining wood fence panels, use a rag or cloth over a brush. A cloth can spread the stain better on the fence panels and will not leave brush marks. Staining only requires the stain to come in contact with the wood surface in order for it to penetrate the wood and be absorbed. Using a paintbrush works, but can become cumbersome and doesn't always provide you with the look that you are looking for when done. Using a cloth rag will provide the best coverage so stain a sample to see if it achieves the look seek.

Step 4 - Stain One Side at a Time

paint brush laying next to open can of stain

Keep the panels evenly spaced when applying the stain to the surface. Go down the row and stain each of the wood fence panels with the cloth rag. When complete, allow some time for the panels to dry before turning them over. The drying time depends on the stain but usually can be accomplished within 30 minutes to one hour. Allow to dry. Carefully turn the fence panels on the drop cloth and repeat the process of applying the stain.

Step 5 - Touch Up and Seal

If upon inspection spots are uncovered on the panels, simply apply more stain using the cloth rag. Do this for every panel until they have been completely stained to your satisfaction. Allow each panel to dry completely before applying a clear seal. The clear seal should be weather resistant in the case that the fence panels are being used for an outside fence.

These tips should be helpful in assisting you with staining your fence panels in order to accomplish the look that you want. Staining can be an easy and somewhat enjoyable process, provided you take the necessary precautions in order to protect your lungs, eyes, and skin from exposure.