In reality, either option can be a good choice for wood fencing. It’s primarily an aesthetic decision based on your personal preferences and how much time you want to invest. Painting or staining can extend the lifespan of your wood fencing and provide a level of protection against insects, rot and the weather.


However, there’s definitely some advantages to staining over painting. If you choose to stain, you won’t need to apply a coat of primer first. It can enhance the beauty, texture and natural grain of the wood. You also won’t have to be so concerned about leaving brush strokes or roller marks. The range of stain colors is exceptional and you’ll only need to apply one coat.

Stain won’t crack, peel or blister, but it does have some requirements for application. The outdoor temperature should be at least 50 degrees for best results and make sure it’s not going to rain for at least 2 days to give the stain ample time to soak into the wood. Just keep in mind that stain will fade over time and while it lasts longer than paint, it will need to be reapplied periodically.


One of the most attractive elements of pain is the wide range of colors from which to choose. It’s also available in multiple sheens – the reflective ability of the paint. When using latex paint on your fence, the good news is that it dries fairly quickly. It’s usually dry to the touch in an hour and fully dry in 4 to 8 hours, depending on the brand.

The downside of paint is that it’s more expensive and you’ll need to apply primer before you can actually start to paint, which requires more time. Getting the right coverage and uniform color without leaving brush or roller marks can require extra time and effort. It can also begin to crack and peel as it ages.

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