So You Have a Wood Fence That Needs to Be Sealed
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So You Have a Wood Fence That Needs to Be Sealed

When and how should you seal your raw wood? Using the right tools makes the job more cost effective and easier to do.

The first and most important thing about doing a job yourself is doing it right; doing it yourself does not mean cutting corners.  When your going to work on wood, especially fencing or a decking you want to make sure your using good wood.  Weather coating the wood is very important to maintaining the look and quality and of the item.

When sealing something of this nature you would want to seal the wood before actually assembling the item.  A deck will have water running to the underside and the wood will be damaged and you won't even be able to see the extent of the water damage.  A fence on the other hand will get weather wear on both sides of the wood; you should never just expect your neighbor to care what the fence on their side looks like or how badly the damage from their untreated wood will effect the fence for both of you.

When sealing wood you can use a weather coating Stain product or a paint.  Choosing a color that will go well with the home or surrounding buildings should be taken into consideration.  Using a stain can also be a bit more costly and a little more work. Remember that using a stain can be tedious as you can often get color discrepancies due to how fast the stain dries and how you are applying the stain. 

If you are working on a large area of fencing the thought of using a roller and covering a lot of area in short time might seem very appealing, only do this if it doesn't matter what the appearance of the finished product looks like.  A roller distributes the paint and stain unevenly and you will have very obvious areas of deep color to light color.  It does go more quickly but will cost a lot more in stain or paint. 

Any fence work is recommended to be done with a brush. Yes it will take longer but the finished product will be far more appealing and the coverage will be much better, this means you will not be needing to redo the work next year.  While time is often considered money, consider this: 1 gallon of Stain is around $30.00, using a roller on 252 feet of wood fencing. it took 5 gallons of stain to do this job. While the next area was much smaller it was done with brushes and took about one half gallon to do the job and the edging was done as we went.

Doing the edging as you go stops you from feeling as if you have done the job twice; when you are finished you are really finished.  With the experience of the two areas behind me and considering what I have learned, the 252 ft. of fencing could have been done with a mere 3 gallons of stain with a brush.

By painting the wood before it is assembled you can completely cover the wood without having to reach the top of the fence and also prevents you from having to fight any growth at the fence or any dirt that has clustered at the fence edging.  It is much easier and more efficient.

The longer the wood is left to weather without being treated the thirstier the wood will become, this will require more product and makes it more difficult to cover the wood; the older weathered wood will soak up more finish making your job a bit more difficult and time consuming.

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