How to Stain a Gray Fence

Wooden fences naturally turn a silvery gray after a few years' exposure to the elements.

Restore color to a gray fence with wood stain.Restore color to a gray fence with wood stain.
Sun bleaches the wood and water can damage the structure of the fence. Staining a gray fence can restore some of the natural color and help to protect the fence from further weather-related damage.

Lay a drop cloth around the bottom of the fence to protect the lawn.

Scrub the surface of the fence with soap and water or wash the wood with a power washer. Concentrate on discolored, stained or moldy areas, being careful not to damage the wood. Stain will accentuate damaged areas instead of covering them. Use bleach diluted with water on stubborn stains. Allow the fence to dry after washing it.

Sand the wooden surface with power sander until it is smooth.

Apply the stain with a roller to a three-foot section of the fence. Go over the section with a paintbrush to work the stain deeply into the wood. Continue with the next three-foot section.

Allow the stain to dry and apply a second coat of stain to darken the color if desired.

Things You Will Need

  • Drop cloth
  • Scrub brush
  • Soap
  • Garden hose
  • Bleach
  • Power washer
  • Power sander
  • Wood stain
  • Paint roller
  • Paintbrush

Tips

  • Add a wood sealant to the fence after the stain has dried to further protect the finish.
  • Check the weather forecast before you stain the fence. Plan your project for days that are projected as sunny with no rain.
  • Look for a stain with ultraviolet inhibitors to slow down bleaching from the sun and a mildewcide to retard the growth of mold.

About the Author

Chasity Goddard has been writing poetry, fiction and nonfiction since 1996. Her work has appeared in "Backspace" magazine, "Sepia Literary Magazine" and the "Plowman Press." Goddard holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing with a specialization in women's studies from the University of Tennessee.