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How Often Should I Stain My Fence?

To ensure that wooden fences are well-protected from the elements, it is essential to stain them routinely. By using stain products, fences will maintain their beautiful appearance, resist moisture, and have a longer lifespan. But that begs the question — when should I stain my fence? If you want to prevent nature from taking its toll on your wooden fences, let’s review the details of how often they should be stained.

When Should I Stain My Fence?

All wooden fences should be stained at regular intervals to avoid warping, discoloration, and other problems — even pressure-treated fences. It is believed that homeowners should generally stain their fences every two to three years to protect their functionality and appearance. Although, the answer is a bit more complicated than that.

How Often Should You Stain Your Fence Posts?

When you should stain a fence isn’t truly a matter of when — but how often. The frequency of your staining largely depends on a variety of factors. To determine how often your wooden fence should be stained, here are four circumstances to keep in mind:


Homeowners should stain fences as soon as they see evidence of damage or wear. In the case of rotting wood or mold growth, it might be too late to save it, and it may be best to have it removed and replaced.

Sun Exposure

Sealants protect the surface of fences from the sun’s rays, reducing discoloration and the breakdown of fiber in the process. However, wooden fences facing the south will be exposed to higher levels of UV light, meaning they will need more frequent staining.


The environment you live in can also determine how often you should stain your fence. For example, dry regions will need less protection from rain and moisture, whereas wetter locations will require more frequent staining.

Wood Type

From pine to oak, there are many different species of trees used for fences. As a result, their need for staining can differ significantly. Certain hardwood fences have natural oils that help them stave off infestations, meaning that they’ll need staining less often. The same holds true for cedars and similar kinds of wood that resist rot. However, fences made from pine and other softwood will require staining more regularly.

When Shouldn’t I Stain My Fence?

Timing is key when it comes to staining fences — so that begs the question, “When shouldn’t I stain my fence?” There are a few scenarios where it’s best to hold off on staining. For example, you shouldn’t stain new fences right away. Pressure-treated fences should wait between three to four months before being stained, but be careful not to wait too long. Otherwise, the wood will lose color and become weathered. 

You shouldn’t treat wet wood because the stain will be unable to enter the wood grain and shield the wood. With that in mind, the climate and weather conditions of where you live can determine when you should and shouldn’t stain a fence. Moist, humid regions are wetter and will prolong the drying time of the wood. However, hot summer weather can make the stain dry out too quickly, meaning that the best time to stain wooden fences is in more moderate temperatures. Be sure to check the local weather report when planning your fence staining, as any rain or snow will obviously make the process nearly impossible to complete correctly.

Would you like to learn more information about wood fence maintenance? Then reach out to Noles Home Maintenance! We offer a variety of services to ensure that fences and other parts of your home are well-maintained. From our residential painting for Owensboro, KY, residents to our commercial painting for West Louisville companies, you can always rely on our experts to provide the best services for your home or business.

Staining a fence.

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