Deciding Between Staining And Painting Your Wood Fence

Are you planning to have a wood fence installed around your yard? If so, you'll need to protect the wood so that it does not rot over the years. The best way to do this is by staining or painting the wood material, but you may be wondering which is the best method between the two. Here is what you need to know about the differences.


Paint provides a barrier between the wood material and all of the weather it is exposed to over the years. It will extend the fence's overall lifespan, leading to less maintenance and avoiding premature replacement.

One advantage of using paint is that you have a wide variety of colors to pick from. You can potentially customize the fence in any way that you want, and you won't be limited to using specific colors. This can help match the wood fence to your home's existing aesthetics so that it is a good match.

However, many homeowners do not like using paint because it requires a lot of prep work. The fencing material will need to be primed, and you can expect to apply at least two coats of paint for it to look good. The paint can also chip as it gets older, which means it will require touch-up coats to keep it looking good.


The biggest advantage of a stain is that it won't peel or chip off the fencing material as it gets older. It helps the fence to effortlessly maintain its color over the years, which reduces how much maintenance is needed to take care of it. The stain itself is also very easy to put on a wood fence when compared to paint since no primer is necessary. Two coats of stain will make the fence darker in color, but that's not necessary for some situations.

While stain prevents water from getting into the wood of a fence, the thin stain provides less protection than paint. You'll find that the wood can start becoming worn out much faster when you use stain. Stain also limits you to a certain amount of colors that can be applied to a fence. Customization is limited, which may leave you not liking the shade of stain.

Not sure if you should paint or stain? Reach out to the local fencing contractor that will be handling your wood fence installation. They likely have a recommendation based on their experience.