If you’ve recently had a new wooden fence installed, you may be wondering how to go about finishing it. Should you paint your fence or stain it? There are pros and cons to each choice. In order to make the decision that’s right for you, it’s important to understand the benefits of paint and stain.

The Benefits of Painting Your Fence

Many homeowners choose to paint their wood fence. The great thing about painting a fence is that you have a wide range of colors to choose from. You can choose a neutral paint color that will blend in well with your landscaping or choose something bold to really make a statement. With so many different brands of paint available on the market, painting your fence can be an economical choice. Painting a fence does not have to take a great deal of time and can be done in a single afternoon in many cases.

There are a couple downsides to painting a fence that you should consider. First of all, even high-quality paint will not last forever. Because it is exposed to the elements on a daily basis, paint is prone to cracks and peeling. If you decide to paint your fence you will most likely have to re-paint it every several years. In order to do so properly, you will want to take the time to scrape off any areas of peeling paint before putting on a fresh coat.

For homeowners who love the look of a painted fence, this may not be a deal breaker. However, if you want to enjoy the appeal of a painted fence without the maintenance, you do have other options. Vinyl fencing, for example, can be manufactured to look exactly like a wood fence. It comes in a variety of colors and will never need to be repainted. Vinyl fencing does tend to be more expensive than wood. However, if you really don’t want to re-paint your fence in the future it may be worth the investment.

The Benefits of Staining Your Fence

Unlike paint, a wood stain will last for many years before wearing off. In addition, wood stain is not prone to the same peeling and cracking as paint. That means when it is time to re-stain, you will not have to go through the extra step of scraping off any peeling areas. However, it’s a good idea to power wash your wood fence prior to applying a new coat of stain.

Wood stains come in a variety of natural shades that match well with any landscape. This is why wood stains have grown in popularity in recent years. The only downside to staining your fence is the initial cost. Wood stain is typically more expensive than paint. However, it makes up for the initial cost in longevity. Applying stain to your fence is very similar to painting. However, depending on the type of wood your fence is made of and the color density that you are trying to achieve, you may need to go over your fence will multiple coats of stain.