A wood fence can be a great addition to any home property, creating curb appeal and increasing property value; however, it might begin to look dull and lifeless after some time. A fence needs a certain amount of maintenance to keep it looking its best. When that happens, renew it easily with a good cleaning and painting or staining. Whether a homeowner chooses to tackle this project on their own or hire a contractor to do it, the results will be a great fence that looks almost brand new.
Inspect and Make Repairs
Always start a renewal project by making any necessary repairs. Inspect the entire line from end to end in search of missing nails, loose or missing boards or rails, and other damage. Check gates to make sure they are not sagging and work correctly. Mark areas so they are easy to find, then go back around the entire line and repair them. Consider hiring a fence company to help with more serious repairs like broken or leaning posts. Regular inspection and minor repairs are part of the maintenance needed to prolong the life of wood fences.
Once repairs are finished, clean the fence to prepare it for painting or staining. Washing with a pressure washer is the easiest and most effective way to remove all dirt, grime and mildew and uncover the bare wood beneath. Use a pressure washer that runs at about 2,000 PSI; this level should do a good job to strip away dirt and old paint; anything higher could erode the wood.
Using a 25-degree spraying tip, wash the fence from about 18” away until the natural color of the wood is visible or loose paint stops coming off. Pressure washing can be done with just water or with a biodegradable preparation made for washing wood. Wait a day or two for it to dry out completely.
Revitalize with Paint, Stain or Sealant
After completely dry, it is time for painting or staining. A previously-painted fence should be done again if the old paint is first removed with stripper to get it all off. Wood that has been previously stained can be re-stained or painted for a new look. Stained fences typically require less maintenance and last longer between applications, although neither treatment is permanent. Some homeowners may also choose to keep the natural tone of the wood, protecting with a wood sealant instead of the other options.
Painting or Staining Day
Choosing a warm day when there is little wind, lay out tarps or drop cloths to protect the ground, then start painting. Choose a product designed for outdoor or fencing use such as an oil-based preparation with UV inhibitors. Using rollers on larger sections and brushes to get the smaller, more challenging areas, cover the area section-by-section until the whole enclosure has been done. Stain should also be back-brushed by using a large, dry brush, to help get the stain deeper into the wood grain.
Wood fences of all types can look stylish and classic, accentuating home property when they are in good condition. Conversely, when wood begins to age, it can quickly turn into an eyesore if neglected. To protect the beauty of wood fencing and prolong its lifetime, homeowners must provide regular maintenance, including occasional painting, staining, or sealing. Doing any of the above is one of the easiest ways to bring an older, dull-looking fence back to life!