Monday, May 16, 2011

Refinish A Fence

Refinish your wood fence to restore it to an almost newly built appearance.

Over time, even the best-made fences succumb to the effects of constant weathering, growing gray and dulled under cold cycles, sun and rain. Even if still structurally sound, the general run-down appearance of the fence can make it appear weak and failing. There's still hope for your fence though, even once it's reached this point. With a new application of wood stain, you can restore your fence's appearance. The new stain makes the wood shine anew, thus enhancing its natural beauty and making the fence appear as strong as it is in reality. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Clean the entire length of the fence with a pressure washer to remove dirt and debris as well as any minor damage caused by mold or insects. Examine the fence as you wash it to locate damaged areas needing repair or replacement. Look for downed rails or panels that require reattaching or split rails or posts that need to be repaired.

2. Replace fence parts that you find too damaged for reattachment. Remove the nails holding the parts in place with a claw hammer. Replace rails or panels with a new part of the same length and wood type, nailing them into place with zinc-coated nails. Replace posts when needed by digging dirt from around the post with a spade and then pulling it from the ground. Replace with a post of the same size by propping the post in place and securing it in position with stakes and twine around the post to hold it plumb. Fill the hole around the post with quick-setting concrete. Reattach rails to the post once the concrete dries.

3. Repair damaged areas of the fence. Reattach rails or panels to fence posts by nailing the rails back into place with a hammer and zinc-coated nails. Glue together split rails or posts with wood glue and fill in cracks with wood putty. Tie glued pieces together with twine, to ensure they stay together as the glue cures. Allow the fence to dry before applying stain.

4. Cover any plants along the sides of the fence with newspaper to protect them from the wood stain. Cover metal bits on the fence, such as hinges at gates, with masking tape. Remove the twine from the glued portions of the fence.

5. Brush the wood stain of your choice over the fence, covering posts and railings alike. Apply a moderate amount of stain with a medium-nap paint roller then brush the stain in with a paintbrush for maximum absorption. Work in three-foot-long sections of fence to prevent the stain from drying before brushing it in. Use two coats of the stain to achieve colorful depth with even coverage, waiting for each coat to dry before applying the next. Work along with the grain of the wood for easier stain application. Allow the final layer time to dry completely, according to the manufacturer's suggestions.

6. Remove the masking tape from the metal parts and then cover the fence, including the metal, with a coat of sealant to protect the stain color and add a bit of water resistance to the wood. Apply two layers of sealant with the paint roller for full coverage, waiting about two hours between layers for the first to begin drying. Remove the newspapers from the plants and then allow the sealant 48 hours drying time before touching any portion of the fence.

Tags: around post, place with, rails panels, wood stain, around post with