Monday, May 19, 2014

DIY - Staining A Privacy Fence

HAPPY WEEK! Hope this finds you happy since it's a new week!
How are you doing? I'm feeling accomplished at the moment. A week ago last Friday I got one of my most grueling jobs done and I finished it before the neighborhood pool opened this weekend! Yippie! I may be a Stay At Home Mom but I keep it BUSY staying at home!
Below is a BEFORE and AFTER but the after wasn't even totally complete because I applied a second coat of stain on after taking this picture. We chose a cedar stain to give a nice rich, natural look.
For a DIY Cleaning & Staining your fence job you need:
Cleaning Supplies
Either a pressure washer with cleaner OR if you are like me, I used a car washing broom on a stick (you get them at any hardware store!), a few water hoses and a spray gun and cleaner that is good for wood.
I didn't go with a pressure washer because our fence is only 2 years old and everything I read said it's not necessary to pressure wash if it is 2-3 years old. The fence wasn't that dirty to begin with. 
I used a wood cleaner made by BEHR that you mix with water. In cleaning the fence, you need to wet down the fence first, mix a half a cup of cleaning solution with water to make a sudsy solution and scrub the fence with it. You are supposed to leave the solution on the fence for ten minutes before rinsing. I worked in panels and kept carefully track of my time so I knew when to rinse. This job took me two good afternoons to complete. I worked on the inside of our fence first so I could contain our 4 year old. The second day I did the outside of the fence but got permission from my two neighbors before going in their yards to do it. :) We have wonderful neighbors so I didn't think there would be any problem.
Staining Supplies
an electric sprayer - I used a Wagner one that was $50.00
a wide paint brush for drips
measuring cup or cup with handle for pouring the stain in the canister to the spray gun
baby wipes for clean ups and spills on cup
ladder and enough electrical cords - I had to go buy one extra, a 3 prong one to fit my one extension cord. I needed two cords to get to the outside of the fence. 

As for staining, that took me four days total. Note: You must wait 24-48 hours before staining after cleaning the fence! There is a definite technique to staining and using a sprayer. I sectioned off the job, doing the inside of the fence first while our four year old played in the yard. I did seven panels the first day and that was really a day of trial and error. It took me that long to get a real system going for how I would stain and it was a lot of stop and go to refill the canister. Oh I also recommend wearing gloves! The second day I finished the inside completely. Then I did one side on the outside that I had to use a ladder to reach. It was a lot of up and down that day. Next I did the outside of the fence all around the back side of the fence. I love the way it turned out. It has a nice rich color that turned out nice and even. I don't feel like the pictures do it justice, The fence looks great!

I also did the neighbor's fence above to the right. The stain looks a little different because the wood was a different type.

We're really happy how the DIY stain project turned out! It was a tiring job but gave me a great work out and a lot of satisfaction. I'd recommend doing it yourself if you have the energy and the time.