Staining your Sheds and Fences
Guide to staining garden fences and sheds with tips and advice on finding a tradesman and DIY
Costs for getting sheds or fencing stained
Things to consider before hiring someone to stain your fence or sheds
Many people simply don’t take on into account the need to maintain timber, but the UK climate can be harsh, so it is important to carry out simple maintenance to help protect fences and sheds from the elements. Timber needs protection from the sun’s rays and insects in the summer, whilst the winter brings its own challenges in the form of freezing temperatures and snow. A simple protective coat of paint or stainer can stop any damage to the timber and ensure a long lifespan.
Staining gives fence panels a hint of a colour of your choosing, while at the same time maintaining a natural look. When water no longer beads up on the surface of fencing and rather just soaks in, then it is time to re-stain, which could be as often as once a year, best done in late spring or summer when the timber is completely dry. You should always choose an outdoor wood stain that contains UV inhibitors and make sure the wood is clean and dry before you stain. For the best finish always strip off any existing paint or stain and sand the wood ready to accept the new coat. Work with the grain and never stain across it, ensuring you get the stain into all the little cracks and crevices, between boards and around screws using a smaller brush if required. With shared fences always ensure you take the time to speak with your neighbours before you start.
With new fences there are two competing schools of thought when it comes to staining, some suggest waiting for a few weeks before staining a brand new fence to ensure the wood is completely dry, whereas others will point out that it is much easier to stain all the parts of a fence properly before it is erected. Either way, even brand new fences made with pressure treated timber need staining or painting.
Doing it Yourself
Staining a fence or shed is relatively straightforward, whether you have any DIY experience or not. Staining your shed or fence will refresh it, while protecting it against the elements. The first part of any staining job is to remove any loose material and make sure the wood is clean and dry. If the fence is sturdy enough, you can use a power-washer before you start, then scrub well with watered bleach on any stubborn stains before you start. But let the timber dry completely before you start painting the stain. You should also move any garden furniture out of the way and cover any nearby plants before you start.
Check the weather forecast before you start, you don’t want to stain in heavy rain and if it is too cold then the stain won’t dry either. Try and pick a warm day but wait until the fence is in the shade before you start so the wood is not too hot as this will cause the stain to dry too fast without soaking into the wood properly.
Use a brush to paint the top, edges and sides of the fence, then carry on using a sprayer, roller or larger brush. Always paint in the same direction, with the grain of the timber. Apply the stain liberally, making sure there is enough to penetrate right into the timber, but don’t have any drips either. Start at the top of the shed/fence and work your way down. Follow the stain manufacturers instructions carefully in terms of how many coats are required, and how long you should wait before applying subsequent coats. With most stain products, a minimum of two coats will be required to give your fence/shed full protection.
Staining fencing and sheds checklist
- Going with a cheaper brand of stain can mean re-staining the fence sooner than you would like!
- If possible, try and get a sample of the stain prior to applying it to the whole fence
- For new fences it can be a good idea to wait for a few weeks for the wood to completely dry out before staining
- If you share a fence with a neighbour, discuss any work with them beforehand to avoid any disputes
Hiring a Tradesman Checklist
- Always get at least 2 quotes before hiring.
- Never pay the full amount upfront.
- Get the quote in writing.
- For any payment you make, always get a receipt.
- On more expensive jobs, ask for references.
- Check if the tradesman is a member of any trades associations.
- Make sure the tradesman has public liability insurance.
Why should I stain my fence or shed?
My fence already has a very dark stain applied, can I stain over the top?
Is there any preparation to do before staining?
Should I use a sprayer of a brush to apply the stain?
Replace four 6 x 4 fence panels plus replace 5 wooden fence posts with concrete ones
Submitted by Chris
I need to have 3 or 4 fences installed. I could provide materials or ask the tradesman to supply.
Submitted by Anne
2 of 6ft fence panels, 2 concrete posts to suit and 2 gravel boards to be replaced.
Submitted by Paul
Want to replace new maximum height fences and build a small brick wall in front garden
Submitted by Sandy
Demolish and install new fencing.