If you’re thinking about installing a new wood fence, you might have questions about the finish. While you can choose to leave your fence bare, this may shorten its lifespan. Over time, an unfinished wood fence could warp, twist, split or develop mold. To protect it from the elements, consider either painting or staining your fence. You may also want to consider alternatives to wood fencing if you prefer to do neither.

Painting a Fence

Years ago when stain options were limited, paint was the obvious choice. However, painting requires a lot of maintenance, and these days, there are numerous ways to get just the right look with stain.

If you decide to paint your fence, expect it to start cracking and peeling after just a few years, depending on the quality of the paint you choose. When the time comes to repaint your fence, you have to scrape off the existing color, prep the surface and then apply the new paint. This takes a great deal of time and costs more in the long run.

Staining a Fence

Most of the time, staining is better than painting a fence. It’s true that stain eventually fades and must be reapplied, but not for several years. Also, because stain doesn’t peel or crack, it requires less preparation than repainting. Simply power wash the fence to produce a clean, prepped surface for staining. Stain often costs more than paint upfront, but because you don’t have to re-stain nearly as often, the long-term cost is lower.

Stain comes in many different shades and transparencies. Some are clear, which provide waterproofing and protection for your fence without changing its color. Then, some are semi-transparent. They darken the wood but still allow the grain to show through, emphasizing its natural beauty. Others are more opaque, mimicking the appearance of a painted fence without nearly as much maintenance.

Other Options

If you want the look of a traditional white picket fence, but you don’t want to repaint it every few years, vinyl fencing is a low-maintenance alternative. Vinyl never needs to be stained, painted or maintained beyond a quick cleaning with a hose. White is the classic color for vinyl fences, but it’s certainly not your only option.

Ornamental and chain link fences are other options for your property. These provide another way to enclose your yard with minimal maintenance required.

Paramount Fence Inc installs wood, vinyl, ornamental and chain link fences in Chicago. Each material is available in various finishes and styles based on your preferences. We have been in business for over ten years, and our team boasts more than 50 years of combined industry experience. Let us help you make the right selection for your home or business. For additional information about the finishing options for wood fences – or to learn more about fencing that never needs to be painted or stained – please call us at (630) 239-2714 or contact us online today.