How to Re-Stain a Fence

Re-stain your fence every five to seven years to prolong the lifespan of the wood. Stain seals the wood to keep out moisture, mildew and insects. You'll be able to tell when the wood needs to be stained again, because it will begin to turn gray. Stain it before this graying takes place and you won't have to pressure wash it. If your fence has already turned gray, you'll need to pressure wash and recondition the wood before re-staining.

Stain keeps wood fences looking like new.
  1. Hook up a garden hose to a water source, then connect the hose to the pressure washer. Look for the garden hose coupler somewhere on the machine. The location will vary depending on the brand.

  2. Plug in the pressure washer or pull-start it, if you have a gas-powered unit. Turn on the water and put on a pair of safety glasses.

  3. Hold the spray nozzle of the pressure washer gun about 15 inches away from the fence. Pull the trigger and pressure wash the fence from side to side and top to bottom. Wash one fence slat at a time. Wash away all dirt, grime and gray wood fibers. Don't get too close to the wood or the pressure washer will damage it.

  4. Allow the fence to dry for 72 hours or more. This depends on the humidity and weather. The fence must be completely dry before re-staining.

  5. Pour wood conditioner into a weed sprayer.

  6. Spray the fence with the conditioner. Allow to dry for 24 hours.

  7. Fill the weed sprayer with wood fence stain and spray the fence with stain. Roll over the sprayed slats with a mini roller to ensure the stain is evenly applied. The roller will also ensure the stain evenly penetrates porous areas of the wood.


  • Protect vegetation by covering with painter's plastic.
  • Wear a paint respirator while spraying.
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