This fence was put up about a year ago. Ideally I would like to stain it but I wanted to get everyone's opinion first.

First of all I have no idea what kind of wood this is and what I should do about preparing to stain. I did some research and people are saying it should be sanded down? Is this absolutely necessary, the fence is huge and it would be extremely time consuming.

I also live in an area where it rains a lot throughout the year and the winters aren't as harsh.

Any advice or recommendation is greatly appreciated.

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  • The older boards look like untreated cedar; the inserted new board looks like a pressure treated wood of whatever type is commonly pressure treated with the process which leaves all the spike holes for injection of preservative, perhaps Douglas fir. You would definitely NOT sand a rough board fence prior to staining. Apr 21 '18 at 10:01
  • Is this an entirely new fence? Are the vertical boards and the horizontal rails stained grey? (If so, all that would be needed for appearance would be to stain the treated posts to match.) Or were the boards and rails seasoned in the open before the fence was constructed? Staining would increase the life of the fence in a wet climate. This appears to be a well constructed fence with quality materials. I can see why you would want to preserve it. Perhaps stain the posts to match the boards, then over stain everything with a clear stain? Apr 21 '18 at 10:27
  • 1
    Don’t paint! Stain yes, paint no. Paint peels, it’s much harder to maintain as the years roll on.
    – Tyson
    Apr 21 '18 at 11:54
  • It's an entirely new fence I don't think it was stained at all as when it rains it soaks in. It use to have a yellowish color but it turned Grey after a year. I assume the thick vertical beams are a different type of wood or perhaps stained. I am located in Washington state.
    – qsub
    Apr 21 '18 at 14:47

Blast it clean with a garden hose to remove surface dirt, then use a high quality exterior semi-transparent stain of the color of your choice. Use a good quality brush, a nice wide one, and know that you should use a back-brush technique; that is, you will apply the stain in both and up and down brushing motion, due to the rough-sawn nature of the wood. No sanding necessary.

The pressure-treated posts and the fence boards will not look exactly the same because they are different types of wood, but it will not detract from the beauty of your fence.


It's all in the wrist. Up, down. Long strokes.

  • Care to elaborate with a better answer? As it sits, this should be a comment. May 6 at 16:19
  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review May 6 at 16:20
  • The question is, "How do I go about staining it?" and this does provide an answer. Some would say it imparts much of the essential wisdom needed to tackle this and many other tasks. You may not like this answer, in which case you are welcome to downvote it (really, I expect that sometimes and don't take offense) but it's not a comment.
    – jay613
    May 6 at 17:34

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