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  • Writer's pictureFirstRateDenver

How to Finish Your Wood Fence

At First Rate Fence & Supply, a question we hear often is “How should I finish my wood fence”. We're big fans of a natural finish but you do have choices! The three most common options are Painting, staining, or leaving a natural finish. Of course, there are pros and cons to each choice…but don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the decision making process!


While painting looks pretty for a little while, it doesn’t last. We don’t recommend it! If you do decide to paint your brand new fence, be prepared for a lot of maintenance. Paint can chip, crack, peel, and start to look dingy pretty quickly. It’s highly likely that you will be scraping the old paint off, prepping the pickets, and repainting that fence every 1-3 years. Going the paint route is a lot of extra time, work, and money and we strongly recommend avoiding it.


We always prefer stain over paint. Not only does it require significantly less maintenance, it also does a better job of maintaining the natural beauty of the wood. While stain lasts much longer than paint, it will eventually fade and need to be redone, not nearly as frequently as paint though. Since it doesn’t peel or crack, re-staining requires much less preparation than repainting. In most cases, power washing your fence will be plenty of prep, no need for scraping and peeling.

There are many options when it comes to staining a fence. Everything from a ‘solid’ white stain for that white picket fence look to varying shades of brown for a more natural look. There are even transparent stains if you just want to protect your fence.


The third option is leaving the wood natural and letting it weather over time. Letting your fence age naturally requires little to no effort, but it does leave room for the elements to leave their mark on your fence eventually. We primarily use cedar for our fences since it tends to weather well and maintain its beauty even after years of weathering.

If your fence starts looking less “weathered” and more “rough”, a good power wash will help restore it to its former glory.

In conclusion…

No matter which route you decide to take, we’re here to help you bring your dream fence to life…we just hope your dream isn’t to paint it.

If you’re ready to get going on your brand new fence, contact First Rate Fence & Supply today to schedule your FREE ESTIMATE.

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