Should You Paint or Stain Your Fence

Whether you have a brand new fence that you want to protect, or an older fence that needs a little TLC, adding paint or a stain to your wooden fence are common solutions. Of course, they each have their pros and cons, and depending on your goals, you may prefer one or the other. If you’re debating between painting or staining your fence, you’ve come to the right place. Below we will dive into the top differing factors between paint and stain – longevity, aesthetics, and durability – to help make your decision a little easier.


The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time and money on your fence, only to have the color fade away or peel off after a short time. If durability is an important element in your decision, stain reigns supreme. As paint ages, it will peel and chip, quickly making your yard looking rundown and unsightly. At the maximum, paint will last only a few years, but there are instances when the paint won’t even last a year. Cedar in particular is not paint-friendly and if you choose cedar for its durability, you definitely don’t want to add paint.

Stain on the other hand simply fades as it ages – there’s no chipping and peeling involved. Wood absorbs stain, whereas paint sits on top of the wood, this means that the stain protects wood from rot, insects, and wear and tear, as it provides a nice touch of dark color. On top of that, many Texas homes and businesses choose cedar for their wood privacy fences, and stain complements cedar nicely.


Some might worry that wood stain won’t provide the range of colors that paint may, and while that’s true to an extent, the range of stains available is wider than many people realize. Whether you want a light stain to showcase the natural beauty of your wood, or a dark stain for a cool and contemporary feel, there is a fence stain color for you.

Of course, if you’re looking for a fence with an exotic color, like pink or purple, paint will be the only way to go. Keep in mind however, that many HOAs and business associations won’t allow such vibrant colors.


On top of aesthetics, you want to protect your fence so it maintains its condition for the long haul. As we briefly mentioned above, stain absorbs deep into the wood, protecting it from the natural elements. Paint on the other hand is oil-based, so it sits on top of the wood, which won’t protect it from sun, mold, and insects.

The key element with both stain and paint is that you need to regularly reapply it; stain only needs to be reapplied every couple of years, while paint needs to be removed and reapplied every one to two years. Because you have to remove the paint each time you reapply it, that extra time (and cost) needs to be taken into account, whereas a stained fence simply needs to be cleaned before the stain is applied – no scraping needed!

Staining your fence is clearly the best move to make when it comes to protection and beautification of your wood fence. For the best fence staining in the central Texas area, give our experts at Sierra Fence a call today!