Customizing Your Cedar Fence
So you hired some expert fence builders to install a beautiful new Cedar fence? Now what? Well like all things in life over time that beautiful color will begin to bleach in the sun leaving you with a gray patina. What’s the solution? Painting or staining your new fence will not only give it a beautiful color over the years but it will also extend the lifetime of your fence.
Where to Start
The first thing to consider is the finish of your fence. Cedar fencing can come in either rough-sawn or smooth. It is important to note that even “smooth sawn” is not a sanded product and will not be totally smooth to the touch. Smooth-sawn will have far fewer excess fibers hanging off the surface. Rough-sawn is usually a bit cheaper but it will require more stain to completely cover the wood. At Draper Fencing Company we use smooth-sawn Cedar to give your new fence the most finished look possible. You can see the difference here:
As we have discussed before, stain or paint is going to give your fence a protective layer that will not add color and lifetime to your fence. If you have decided to paint or stain the next thing to consider is oil vs water-based paints and stains. We recommend oil-based stains for a variety of reasons including:
- Oil-based stains will mimic Cedar’s natural oils much better than water-based
- You can add additional coats to oil-based stains without stripping the older coat
- Oil-based stains must be applied with lower moisture levels in the wood but this ensures you will not seal in any moisture into the lumber
- The only downside to oil-based stains is that they will show the lumber grains etc a bit more. We love this look but if you’re staining an older fence it could be a con.
Make sure you read the directions on the stain you choose. They can vary widely on temperatures etc. As with all products, it’s best to choose the highest quality you can afford.
The timeframe is very important when it comes to staining or painting your cedar fence. The right time to stain or paint is crucial and varies depending on a variety of factors. It all comes down to moisture levels in the wood. At Draper Fencing Company we use only premium-grade Cedar which, by and large, comes to us already pretty dry. If you are using Pressure Treated Pine you may buy it with as much as 45% moisture content. If you want to be completely sure about the moisture content of the lumber simply buy a moisture meter. Do not apply stain or paint when your wood has a greater than 15% moisture level. You can also put a couple of droplets of water onto the lumber. If it immediately absorbs in you are more than likely good to go. Regardless of your testing, ensure you do not wait too long to stain or paint. Once the wood is dried out it is best to stain or paint immediately.
If you have ever painted a room in your home you know how streaky paint can get. Staining or painting a fence is no different. You want to use long strokes with either your brush or sprayer. We always recommend spraying and then going over it with a brush. Make sure you do the prep work before beginning the staining or painting. By masking areas close to your house you will avoid getting any unwanted paint or stain on surrounding areas.
While we do not offer painting and staining services ourselves we know fencing and are always happy to answer any questions!