Hooray! You’ve recently installed, or had a contractor install, a new fence on your property! Now it’s time to make a decision about either painting, staining or leaving your fence natural. When it comes to finishing options for your fence there are basically three options – painting, staining or leaving it natural. Each finishing option has pros and cons. The goal of this article is to highlight the pros and cons for each option to ensure you make the best choice possible.
Painting Your Fence
Years ago, before there were lots of stain options on the market, painting a fence was very popular. You mostly saw white, black or dark brown fences. Painted fences still dot the landscapes and many look great, however be aware that if you decide on this finishing treatment for your fence it will require a good bit of maintenance to keep it looking great. This may be a viable option for you if you are only fencing in a small area, however if your fence covers a lot of ground then you may want to reconsider this option.
Expect to repaint your fence every 1-3 years, keeping mind that you will need to completely scrape off the existing paint as a prep step before repainting the fence. Typically, many homeowners find that the time, effort and cost of repainting their fence every few years often ends up costing more in the long run. For homeowners that want that ‘white picket fence' look, there are other affordable ways to get that look without using wood and having to repaint it. Vinyl fencing materials offer a great alternative to wood and can be mimic a traditional white picket fence. Vinyl is a very low-maintenance fencing material because it doesn’t have to be stained or painted.
Staining Your Fence
If painting and repainting your fence sounds like a time-consuming chore that you just don’t want in your life then you should consider staining your fence. The cost of stain may be more initially, however it does not need to be reapplied nearly as often as paint and thus is typically a more cost effective option in the long run. Another bonus for stain is that it does not peel or crack like paint so when it is time to re-stain your fence there is considerably less preparation time required. Typically, a pressure or power washing with a deck cleaner is all that needs to be done before re-applying stain to your fence.
When it comes to purchasing fence stain, there are a lot of options to choose from. A solid stain will give your wood fence a ‘painted look’ so if you want the white picket fence look, choosing a white solid stain is a great option. If you would prefer to see the natural beauty of the wood, then it is best to select a semi-transparent wood stain option. This type of stain allows the wood grain and wood fiber to show through while also giving the wood fence a nice warm color as well as provides protection from water and weather.
If paint or stain don’t seem to fit the bill for your fence then a third option is to allow the wood to naturally weather over time. While this option requires the least amount of time and money, it does leave your fence more exposed to damage than wood that has either been painted or stained. If you like the weathered and rustic look that is popular these days you will want to be sure to build your fence out of good quality wood so that the elemental effects slowly age your fence. It is also important to note that it is safe to power wash your fence even if it has not been sealed or painted. The most popular wood to leave natural is white cedar. Many homeowners like to use white cedar to build their fence because it ages beautifully to a silvery grey color.
As you can see, there are a lot of options to choose from when designing your next fencing project. The good news is that our team of professional deck and fence contractors can help you navigate all of those decisions! From the fence style, height, length to the type of fencing material and treatment options. We do it all, everyday all over the Lexington area and we can help you as well! Give us call today and let’s get started!