Deuce Cities Henhouse

Let’s Talk About Fence Stain, guys.

Behr Semi-Transparent Fence Stains
Hey Guys, long time no see! I just spent the last week nearly dying from the worst cold ever. It was one of those colds where doing any of the things just makes you feel exhausted. I still don’t feel that great, but I have a bit more energy this week.

So you know how I’ve spent most of the summer avoiding staining the new fence, well my time has come my friends. I can’t avoid it any longer and I need to get moving before the cold cold air moves in.

I have absolutely zero exterior staining experience – so I started going into this project in a pretty clueless fashion. But I’ve been visiting the hardware store, reading on the internets and now I feel like I have a little bit more know-how under my belt. In short, I will stain this fence, it will look great and it will last a good amount of time. Here’s a little of what I’ve learned.

If you are starting this process with an already greyed fence you are going to want to power/pressure wash that bad boy. If your fence is fairly new you should always wash your fence according the stain manufacturers instructions. Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before you start your staining job. Temps should be at least 50º and rain shouldn’t be predicted for a good 48 hours.

Typically folks stain their fences with either a brush/roller combo or a stain sprayer. Both work, however, you guys basically told me not to spray my fence when I mentioned this project back in the spring. A bunch of you had bad experiences with inconsistent coverage and drips so I never even considered it. I will be using a brush and roller. The internet tells me that I need to make sure to use a brush made for staining, it’s actually called a “staining brush”. Word up, a staining brush is not the same as a paint brush it is larger and has a wider base of bristles – get one. For larger surfaces I need a roller with a rough nap – the instructions on your stain can may even recommend a certain depth nap. I plan on rolling out the stain and then using a brush over the top to make sure I get in all the crevices.

Oil based stains typically last longer than acrylic stains. I just learned this. I did my tests with behr semi-transparent acrylic stains but I will be ordering Behr Semi-Transparent oil based stain when I go back to order it up at the Depot. I want this thing to last and it better not even think abut peeling or chipping!

Dudes, use a drop cloth or cardboard to keep stain off yer vegetation. I am however a genius and waited till the end of the growing season so I could cut back plants that were in my way. Or I could be a real badass and just go stain it without feeling bad about dripping stain on end of season plants.

Typically there are three different types of stain; solid, semi-transparent, and transparent. I choose to go with the semi-transparent because solid looks like paint, I think it’s kind of ugly, and transparent only comes in a hand full of color options. It wasn’t that hard of a choice for me. However if you are restoring an old fence that has seen better days solid might be the way to go for you, it will help cover blemishes and give the look of a stained fence. Transparent will give a much more transparent look really showing off the grain of the wood but will break down more quickly after being exposed to sun and heat.

I could’ve considered ten colors if I wanted to because I am crazy and can’t make up my mind, but somehow I was able to narrow it down to only three. These are all Behr semi-transparent stain colors and the sample above illustrates ‘Chocolate’, ‘Chestnut’ and ‘Cedar’ shown in 1, 2 and 3 coats respectively. I like how dark the chocolate stain is, but it’s darker than I am brave, the cedar is good and I like the color against the house color but it’s just too orange for me. I think I’ll probably go with two coats of the chestnut stain and I need to start this project soon as it is getting GD cold around here already!

Behr Stains
All you fence staining pros out there, give me your tips. I need your help and advice!

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11 comments
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11 comments… add one
  • Stacey September 16, 2014

    You are far more energetic than I am, we just signed a contract for a white vinyl fence. I have no desire to maintain and stain a fence. Plus, our fence is on one of the most high-traffic pedestrian streets in my town (corner lot!) and I can only imagine all the damage the volume of dog pee the fence posts will get. Nope, space-age and easy for me.

    • Scoops September 18, 2014

      Oh man, I would consider doing the same thing if I had a corner lot. Exciting about your new fence!

  • Ronklyn September 16, 2014

    We just stained about 130 feet of 6 foot tall cedar privacy fence (in the mpls area as well) We used brushes, as I had also read that with a sprayer you’d have to back brush all areas anyway to prevent dripping, and well, that sounds like twice the work. Plus the neighbors white house is just over 6 feet away, and I didn’t want to risk overspray. I went with Sherman Williams water based WoodScapes type stain in Charwood (semi-transparent charcoal color) Since we had so much rain in the early summer it took quite awhile, but in small chunks we got it all done. We only did one coat, since once the stain dried if you try to do another coat it just beads up and especially on the smoother posts it looks like crap! I still don’t understand why the directions say wait 24 hours, then do a second or third coat. You’d have to do it before it was totally dry otherwise it won’t seep in. That was the biggest lesson learned. It does look nice with one coat though, really glad we did it!

    • Scoops September 18, 2014

      Hey Ronklyn, that color sounds so pretty. I considered doing a charcoal too, I’m glad you went for it, I bet your fence looks fantastic. Thanks for the tip on the second coat, I did end up going with the waterbased stain and sealer. I read the back of the can and it said to apply the second coat within 2 hours and I probably would’ve missed that if I hadn’t read your post. Thanks!

  • Sarah September 17, 2014

    I agree, I like the Chestnut. : ) Staining is a pain! It takes so much and it takes a long time. I had to help paint my parents very long fence when I still lived with them. lol It look great after though.

    Sarah : )

    • Scoops September 18, 2014

      I like the Chestnut too, Sarah! Although, I totally went with the chocolate when I got to the paint store. I think both would’ve looked great, but I just wanted something a bit darker.

  • Deb September 17, 2014

    I just stained my cedar platform deck. Man, it was so hard deciding on a product and color. I was paranoid it would get too orange and almost went with a gray. However, I decided on Sikkens stain from Heirshfields in Teak. After brushing it on, it looked so dark with orangish undertones. Today it looks so much better and mellow, and pretty happy with the results. I really don’t think you can go wrong with chestnut or chocolate…can’t wait to see pics!

    • Scoops September 18, 2014

      I KNOW! It is so hard to decide on colors and brands. I just gave up and went with what was easiest. I too was scared of an orange fence. I did an image search of your stain, and it looks awesome. Glad to hear that it mellowed out over time, I’m hoping mine gets a nice aged look too.

  • Larita September 21, 2014

    That’s so funny – I was checking out your stain options and thinking, ‘three coats of chocolate looks amazing, but the two coats of chestnut is probably the best bet.’ :) No experience with staining here, but I’m glad you’re doing it. My dad built a fabulous cedar deck a few years ago, never got around to staining or protecting it in any way, and now the thing looks thrashed. Makes me so sad.

    • Scoops September 26, 2014

      Hey Larita! I started staining with the Chocolate stain, I was thinking only two coats were enough, but I’m kind of thinking I might go back and do three. I’ll let you guys know how it turns out!

  • rachel August 3, 2016

    for my understanding, if you don’t stain cedar, it will turn to a beautiful silver / gray. Stain will prolong its life, protect the wood from the elements, but not necessarily make it more beautiful then the way it already is and what it will become.

    But I love your fence , the end result is just perfect, darker color provides a nice contrast with all the plants in the front.

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