Cedar Tone Stained Fence. What are the benefits of using pre-stained pickets, rails and posts?
It must be said at the beginning of this piece…there is no substitute for using pre-stained fence boards. These are wood pickets, rails and posts that are stained by the mill, packaged and shipped to your local DIY store. Nobody knows wood better than the mill that is harvesting the fence materials from the forest. Today’s timber mills use highly technical means to measure moisture content in wood. When pre-staining wood materials, the mill will make sure the materials are kiln dried or left to dry to a very low moisture content perfect for the pickets, rails and posts to receive the stain. The mill will then use mechanical means to evenly apply the stain to the entire board and leave the materials to adequately dry before packaging. The mill will choose the best stain for the wood species being stained.
When staining your fence after installation, you can only stain a portion of the board. You cannot typically reach between the boards, under the rails and next to posts. If you have a shadow box fence, you will struggle to get between the boards and rails to get both sides. Waiting for your fence to adequately dry is a total guessing game. As a home owner, you do not know the moisture content of the materials. You also do not know how high humidity and low temperature conditions are impacting moisture absorbed by the fence. If you stain before the fence is at an adequate low moisture content; you will either quickly know it as there will be white streaks in the stain when applied or you will know in the years to come as the stain lifts off the pickets and peels.
Staining your fence after it is installed is a mess. Home owners must wait for that perfect day. Lots of sun with no chance of rain, plenty of warmth but not too much, and no wind. Wood fences are typically rough sawn pickets and rails. This makes it very difficult to brush or roll the stain on. Most wood fences are best stained with a sprayer. Spraying your wood fence can be a real liability as overspray may drift to your home, automobile or, worse yet, your neighbor’s home. Often times, you are left with stain covered grass and stain streak on the sides of your house.
I had no idea it was this dark? When using pre-stained fence pickets, post and rails, you know exactly what you are going to get as your local dealer can show you full size samples of these materials. When you stain your fence after install; you must make sure that the stain you are using is appropriate for the species of wood. If you have a western red cedar fence; you may find that even the lightest cedar tone is still too dark. You may also find it difficult to evenly lay the stain, leaving you with a zebra effect. Unlike paint, you cannot go back and place another coat of stain after it has dried. You should only recoat while the stain is still wet and before it sets.
Though one of the nation’s largest wood fence contractors, American Fence Company has never offered to stain your fence. We know the woes of staining a wood fence after it has been installed. However, recently one of our mills has offered us the opportunity to provide our customers with a high quality pre-stained picket, post and rail. Sierra Pacific, the nation’s largest wood mill, now offers pre-stained wood fencing. We are excited to offer our customers these materials at a very competitive price. A fence constructed of pre-stained pickets, rails and posts is not only considerably better quality but it will be about thirty percent less than the cost of a new fence that is stained after installation.