Staining or Painting Your Fence
We here at Textbook Painting focus primarily on house painting, deck staining, and fence staining/painting. Homeowners seem to face the toughest “product” decision when painting/staining a fence because there are many different products that can be used. A client has the options of using a toner (clear coating), a semi-transparent coating (colors the wood while keeping the “natural” look), and using a sold stain/paint. Each product has advantages and disadvantages.
A toner protects the wood and allows for the natural look of the wood to stay. It penetrates deep into the fence to protect against weathering and other damage. The deckscape toner from Sherwin Williams tends to last between 3-5 years before requiring a new coat of stain. The semi-transparent stain (deckscape or woodscape with woodscape being the preferred product for a fence) adds a rich color to the wood making it more vibrant while soaking into the wood just like the toner does.
The semi-transparent normally last a little bit longer then the toner (5-7 years). It tends to last longer because while it soaks into the wood, it also creates a more stable coating to protect against weathering. The majority of clients that I have worked with have chosen the Semi-transparent stain for these reasons.
The last option for a fence is to use a solid stain or a paint such as Superpaint from Sherwin Williams. Sherwin Williams Duration should not be used on a fence as it will create a thick coating that will prevent natural moisture from escaping the wood. Painting your fence creates the thickest barrier against weathering and can last as long as 5-9 years. However, this option opens up the opportunity for chipping paint/stain where as the toner and semi-transparent will simply fade. This option suggest a oil based primer be applied before applying the coat if the wood is new: also, the solid stain/paint will cover up the natural look of the wood. We do NOT recommend using a paint on a fence unless it has already been painted. Because the fence is in the ground it will naturally draw moisture from the ground. The thick paint coating will not allow the fence to “breathe” which will cause peeling.
When making a decision on what option fits your project best feel free to give a local branch manager a call for assistance. Also, feel free to check out Sherwin Williams website for more information on the products.