Blog Stories Stain Your Fence - Change Your Life!

Stain Your Fence – Change Your Life!

By Lauren Dahl, June 20, 2018

One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Portland several years ago is the number of wooden fences in disrepair. It’s a weird thing to notice, I know, but it’s true – I hate the look of a sunbaked/water-damaged/otherwise sad fence. Luckily, the solution is (relatively) easy and inexpensive, but it requires a little elbow grease. If you’ve just bought a home that has an untreated fence, deck or railing, the best option is to stain/seal it as soon as humanly possible. If your fence is already in disrepair, not all is lost.

I recommend starting out with a good pressure washing. You can either rent a pressure washer or purchase one at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Mine is a 3400psi model that cost around $600. I use it ALL. THE. TIME. as a homeowner, and I think it’s a great investment! The trick is to very carefully wash your fence so you don’t damage the wood. You want to clean it but not knock sections of wood out of it with the insane pressure.

Once you’ve cleaned it and let it dry out a couple days, check the forecast. You don’t want there to be any chance of rain within 24 hours of staining/sealing. Then, head to your favorite hardware store to purchase your stain. I personally prefer this product in natural cedartone as it only requires one coat and holds up pretty well. I use a combination of a 4″ and a 2.5″ Wooster stain brush (depending on if I’m doing detail work or large planks). My method is to go fast and heavy and really grind it into the wood.

Some will recommend using a roller or sprayer (or spraying then back rolling/brushing), but I still prefer the brush for precision and really saturating the wood. I also find it a little bit zen to paint with a brush. Try to keep a wet edge so you don’t have any ugly overlapped spots.

No worries if it’s not perfect – just get it done! Your home and pocketbook will thank you when you increase the value of your home and avoid prematurely replacing the fence!

Lauren Dahl

Earth Advantage Principal Broker & ADU Specialist

Lauren Dahl moved to SW Portland from the Utah desert in 2014 with her rock-climbing husband, three young children and two cats. A self-confessed pluviophile, Lauren loves the frequent rain, tall trees, vibrant culture and clean air that Portland embodies. Prior to her time in Utah, Lauren grew up in south Alabama and also spent several years in Aspen and Denver, CO. Lauren began her real estate career in 2009 and quickly ramped up to being one of her former brokerage’s top agents. She was named a finalist for the sought-after Rookie of the Year award by the Salt Lake Board of Realtors and also became part-owner and landlord of dozens of rental units ranging from single-family homes to a 15-unit apartment building (all of which she served as the selling agent). When it comes to working with home buyers, Lauren is a visionary who understands that the perfect home is more than just a checklist of features. Whether it’s abundant natural light, a tree-covered landscape, an open floor plan or or a minimalist, modern design, Lauren works tirelessly to find homes that complement her buyers’ lifestyles both now and for many years to come. She spends a great deal of time getting to know her clients as well as previewing homes to make the process more efficient and enjoyable for everyone involved. To the benefit of her sellers, Lauren possesses a unique combination of marketing ability, attention to detail and a love for numbers. She is committed to providing her sellers with up-to-the-minute, comprehensive data so she can further assist them in making pricing and timing decisions. She then puts on her marketing hat to get as many qualified buyers through her listings as possible. Finally, she uses her keen negotiation and communication skills to ensure a smooth transaction right up until closing. Lauren also finds great joy in assisting real estate investors (and aspiring investors!) in pursuing buy-and-hold and renovate/resell (flipping) properties. From the first-time homebuyer looking to maximize her return by purchasing an owner-occupied, four-/tri-/duplex to the seasoned investor looking to fund multiple short-term projects, Lauren has the tenacity and skill to make profitable deals happen. In addition to her experience in real estate, Lauren holds a master’s degree in advertising management from the University of Denver and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Alabama in mass communication. An accomplished sewist and knitter, Lauren also makes most of her (and her children’s) clothes. She teaches online sewing pattern drafting courses, designs sewing patterns and was a Janome sewing machines ambassador for two years before transitioning back into real estate. Catch up with Lauren on her Portland real estate blog and website, You can also tune into her YouTube Channel by clicking here.
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