Should a Wooden Fence be Painted or Stained?
September 26, 2022 Comments: 0

staining a wooden fence

If you are considering installing a wooden fence or revamping your existing one, you will need to decide whether to paint it or stain it. Whichever option you choose, make sure you choose one, as going without can shorten the lifespan of your fence.

If you do not wish to stain or paint your fence regularly, we recommend you get a vinyl fence or a similar synthetic material.

Applying stain to your wooden fence is usually better than painting it since stain doesn’t peel or crack, is less work to prepare for and apply, and also lasts longer. Stain is also often cheaper than paint and takes less of it to cover your fence.

Pros and Cons of Painting a Wooden Fence

3/4 Cons

PRO – Paint has been a popular choice over the years when preserving and styling a fence, especially when stain options were limited. With a variety of paint colors and finishes out there, the possibilities are endless! It is also easy to match other colors on your property!

CON – When you paint your fence, you need to expect it to start cracking and peeling within a few years due to wear and tear from the elements. How fast your paint peels or cracks will depend on the quality of the paint you choose, and the day to day weather that it faces.

CON – When you are ready to repaint your wood fence, you will need first to scrape off the existing paint, prep the surface, and then you can apply new paint. Keep in mind that this takes more time and costs more than staining in the long run.

CON – While the paint is cheaper than wood stain, the buck does not stop there. You will need a coat of primer, as well as more paint to cover the same surface area.

Pros and Cons of Staining Your Fence

3/4 Pros

PRO – In many cases, staining your fence is better than painting it. The stain will eventually fade and need to be reapplied but will maintain its color longer. Another benefit is that stain doesn’t chip and peel, requiring less preparation to reapply than repainting.

PRO – You can purchase stains in a variety of shades and transparencies. You can get ones that are clear and provide waterproofing while others are semi-transparent, darkening the wood and emphasizing the natural grain. You can also get stains that are more opaque and look more like paint.

PRO – You can easily paint over your stained fence later if you change your mind.

CON – One con is that stain will cost more upfront than paint, but you won’t need to re-stain as often as you would need to repaint, meaning your long-term cost is cheaper.

Fencing Options without the Need to Paint or Stain

If you want the appearance of a white picket fence without the maintenance of staining or painting, you may want to consider vinyl fencing. Vinyl does not require any staining or painting and the only maintenance it needs is to be rinsed off with the hose.

You may also consider chain link fencing or an ornamental fence for added style. At Pittsburgh Fence Company, we install wooden fences, vinyl fences, ornamental fences, and more in Pittsburgh in a variety of finishes and styles! Contact us today to learn more about our fencing options.