Stain or Paint Your Wood Fence Like a Professional

wood-fence1Seasonal changes in weather can cause a lot of damage to a wood fence in Cypress, TX. Wood is a beautiful material but can become battered, weathered or rotten if left untreated. Painting or staining your fence protects it from the elements and improves the appearance of your property. Follow these steps to get a professional quality look for your Houston wood fence.

Timing is Everything

The surface of your fence needs to be dry for paint and stain to bind to the wood. Wait to start your project for one full day after rainfall, and check the forecast to make sure that it is not going to rain again for at least 24 hours after you finish. Pick a warm day that is not too hot or too cold. Extremes of temperature can slow down or speed up the rate at which paint and stain dry, resulting in an uneven finish.

Clean the Wood

Dirt and debris build up on fences over time, and the sections of fence that are closest to the ground may also accumulate mold or mildew. Therefore, it is important to give your fence a thorough cleaning before applying paint or stain. To remove superficial dirt, wash the fence with soapy water. Use a solution of one part bleach to three parts water to combat mold and mildew. Rinse the fence well with your garden hose after cleaning and give it a day to dry.

Choose a Color

Whether you are painting or staining, look for a color that complements the landscape and the exterior of your home. Stains preserve or darken the natural color of wood, and the shades of paint available are almost endless. Look for a product formulated to withstand the outdoor environment and protect the wood from damaging UV rays. When painting, primer is also required to help the paint bond with the wood.

Pick Your Paintbrush

Paint and stain can be applied with a standard paintbrush, a pad or a roller. Paintbrushes should be four to five inches wide to cover large areas. If you prefer to use a roller, choose one that is light enough for you to hold onto for an extended period of time without becoming fatigued. You also have the option of renting a power sprayer to make the process go faster. Keep a smaller paintbrush on hand for getting into tight spaces and touching up details.

Start Your Project

Prepare to paint or stain the fence by laying down a tarp, some cardboard or a canvas sheet at the base to protect the surrounding area from drips. If you are using a sprayer, move furniture, cars and other objects well away from the fence. Read all instructions for operation before getting started, and wear protective gear while you work.

To paint or stain by hand, begin by using the small paintbrush to cover the top edges of the posts and any decorative details Once that is done, dip your paint brush, pad or roller into the paint or stain and lay down the first coat according to the directions on the package. Start at the top of the fence and work your way to the bottom to create an even appearance. Paint a few boards or sections on one side before switching to the other side. This prevents ridges from forming as the paint dries. Let the initial coat dry completely before applying additional layers.

Over time, your fence will need touch-ups to ensure that the surface stays protected. Inspect the fence regularly and perform maintenance whenever needed. When water stops beading on the surface of the finish, it is time to repeat the painting or staining process. If this sounds like a project that is too big for you, a professional Houston fence company can stain or paint your fence for you.