Stains on our wooden fences can affect the attractiveness of our beautiful courtyards. Instead of painting them in a different color that we’ve all been thinking about, check out the video and blog below to see how Suzannah Stanley could refresh and waterproof her wooden fence.
Why we wanted to stain or seal our fence
We had our fence replaced this spring – one of the best things we did in this house! It was previously a dented, mossy slat chain link with a mismatched cedar gate area. And it was not big enough or completely confusing when we removed all the ivy and the additional vegetation around it. We replaced it with a standard cedar fence. It’s common in this area, but definitely shows the age after a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest. We definitely wanted to dye or seal it somehow. After doing research, we found out that this is best done 6-8 weeks after the fence is installed so that the boards can dry out and harden.
Products and applications
This was followed by studies on products and application methods. The Home Depot bears Olympic stains No. 1 with weatherproof application and long-lasting durability. We wanted a clear product to protect the fence from aging instead of adding color. That’s why we chose the Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant. No. 1 rated three years in a row under clear wood sealing stains per independent consumer study.
It protects against water damage, UV wear, scratches and mold stains. It also provides 4 years of protection on fences and siding (3 years on decks). Our fence was a big investment, so of course we want to take care of it and protect it from the weather and aging. It gives me the certainty that we are set for 4 years! Olympic also offers the Olympic Elite Solid, the number 1 solid stain if you want to add some color to your fence or deck.
We’re just here in Oregon in the middle of summer, which means it happens to rain here and there. The Olympic Maximum Clear Exterior Waterproofing Sealant enables weatherproof application. So you can clean and dye even after rain on the same day. After application, you only need 8 hours of dry weather. You can even apply in a weather of up to 35 degrees!
We also opted for a professional paint sprayer. I will share with you all the preparation materials and safety equipment that we used below!
Supplies you need
We had to paint 190 meters of fence. Our calculations suggested that we would need about 6 gallons of sealant. We bought a 1-gallon container with Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant and a 5-gallon container.
We used the Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner and a 1 gallon pump sprayer for prep materials.
Since this was a large area to spray on, we opted for a large, versatile airless paint sprayer. This is a great price for how much it can do! It contains some important information for cleaning and storing the parts. Just in case that wasn’t enough storage space, we also bought an additional pump armor for storage. We also bought mineral spirits to clean the oil-based sealant from the pump and spray parts.
We also bought some paint rollers to roll back the stain after spraying. This is an essential step when painting walls or smooth surfaces with a paint sprayer. However, our fence received the sealant very well and we actually didn’t use it at all. You can use the paint roller if you seal a smoother surface or if your fence doesn’t absorb as much stain as our fence.
For safety reasons we bought a suit and used a breathing apparatus that we already had and that is similar to it.
Fence from protection
Even after just 2-3 months of being exposed to the elements, you can see that our fence looked a bit tired. There was some discoloration above and near the nails, and below we had splashes of dirt that are more difficult to remove from bare wood.
Step 1: clean the fence
The first step is to clean the fence. The pump sprayer is super easy to use and the Olympic Premium Deck Cleaner product works very well.
You can see the fence below after cleaning. We waited a day to apply the stain, but you don’t have to work with this product if you don’t have time or are stuck between rain showers.
Step 2: prepare your paint sprayer
The main advantage of using a sprayer is that it is much faster than other methods. It allows you to easily get the stain to corners and angles that would take additional time for a roller or brush. However, you will need to do additional prep work to learn how to properly set up and use the sprayer. Because of the overspray, you also need to wear more safety equipment. For the same reason, you must also be careful when covering cars, plants, or garden furniture that you have near the work place so that they do not get sprayed. This type of paint sprayer is also convenient to use and low waste since you don’t pour paint into any part of the sprayer.
Step 3: Apply the sealant
After reading the instructions carefully to make sure we understood how to set up and bleed the pump for the airless sprayer to work properly, we were ready to spray! We connected the sprayer to the gallon of sealant and applied it from side to side down in a foot-wide section. Some important tips for the right technique are: Always spray from the same distance of 12 to 18 inches from the fence surface and hold the spray tip directly perpendicular to the fence (not angled) so that the stain continues evenly. Work carefully and methodically in small vertical or horizontal sections (depending on the direction you set the spray tip). With the right technique, a single person can apply a smooth, even coat to a large fence in just a few hours.
Here you can see the difference; Although there is no color, it gives the previously really bare-looking cedar a rich look. It dries a little easier.
You can see the clouds in the air as we sprayed – it’s strong stuff and gets anywhere, so the suit is really necessary.
That’s it – it’s really a 3-step project! In particular, it takes time to prepare and clean the paint sprayer, but it was very quick for us. We were able to seal everything in one afternoon.
You can surely see a difference. The sealed fence has a really nice, rich, natural look and not the kind of pale, raw wood that feels unprotected. We are so happy with it!
We added fence, wood shavings, garden and grass all year round and are now so happy with our garden. It’s great to have the fence protected so it stays beautiful for years.
This is a fantastic project to protect your fence, decks or siding. It’s absolutely DIY-ready! We would definitely recommend the Olympic Maximum Clear Waterproofing Sealant.