FRIENDLY ADVICE: Avoid Biggest Wood Fence Stain Mistake

wood fence stainHi Steve!

Hope all is well with you…. Can I pick your brain once again about wood fence stain?   Our pressure treated wood fence is about 15 or so years old and still looks great.  We’ve never done anything to it but a friend of a friend was telling us that we should.  He said a clear water repellent product is the best product to use to give your fence a longer life.  Just spray it on. Is this true? How important is it to first pressure wash it?  I would assume this step is critical but I just want to be sure it’s advisable to use a pressure washer on a wooden fence. Looking forward to hearing from you Steve.  We’d like to get this project done at the first opportunity.

Thanks again for all your help.- JC


Hi JC!

I’d definitely leave your fence just the way it is. Don’t bother with wood fence stain or repellent in your case. Many people have the idea that a wood finish extends wood life, but that’s not true. Wood finishes are about looks, not preservation. Sure, a finish will prevent surface cracking, but only if it’s maintained. And in the case of your fence, the fact that you’re pleased with it after 15 years of no finish proves even more that there’s nothing that needs to be done. Just enjoy the maintenance-free approach you’ve taken so far. Does this help? I hope so.

Please let me know.

Bye for now,


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