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Weatherproofing fences

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JonR View Drop Down
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    Posted: September-18-2005 at 11:20pm

Before the rainy seasons arrives, I'd like to apply something to my fence to protect it from the elements.  But after a visit to a couple of hardware stores today, I'm more confused than ever...there are so many different products out there.  Stains, sealers, clear coats, wood-toned coats, etc, etc.  How to choose??

Looks like Home Depot's main product is Behr, and OSH's is Olympic.  Yet one salesguy at OSH said he swears by Thompson's WaterSeal, and a salesguy at Home Depot said that he hears nothing but bad things about Thompson's WaterSeal.  I've heard several people say that I'd be throwing money down the drain if the neighbors on the other side of the fence don't also waterproof their side.

Anyone out there have any recommendations?  Better to go with a clear coat, or wood-toned?  If wood-toned, would cedar or redwood look better on the type of fences we have?  Since our fences are pressure-treated, would a water sealant be overkill?

The guy at Home Depot recommended Behr Premium Weatherproofing Wood Finish, but it's not inexpensive.

I wonder if this product would be good for our pressure-treated fences.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DANR49 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September-26-2005 at 5:04pm

I too will be needing to weatherproof my fence after I move in about 2 weeks. Do all the builders use the same fence sub-contractors or at least the same type of wood? If one of you Founding Fathers who have went through a winter of two and your treatment is holding up please share your experience.

Danr49

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September-26-2005 at 7:30pm

Danr49, I've done quite a bit of research since I originally started this topic.  I don't know what materials the other builders use, but Lennar uses redwood for the panels, and pressure-treated wood for the posts and board that goes across the top.

As for the different types of treatment products out there, it seems that the more color pigment there is, the more protection it provides (at least from sun-damage), and the more expensive it is.  I think Olympic has a good breakdown of the different types of protection that you can buy: http://www.ppg.com/ppgaf/lowes/oly_chooselook.html

I ended up buying Superdeck, which had some good reviews and is currently on sale at OSH.  Weather-permitting, I will be staining my fence this weekend.  One thing I learned through all my research is that preparation is key.  I pressure-washed my fence this past weekend, and I was amazed to see how much dirt buildup there had been in just over a year.  I've also decided to paint by brush.  I know some will think I'm a glutton for torture, but all the instructions I've read on each product say that if you use a sprayer, you still should back-brush to work the stain in and assure that it is spread smoothly and evenly.  If I'm going to be brushing anyway, I'd rather not even deal with a sprayer.



Edited by JonR
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DANR49 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September-26-2005 at 9:23pm

Thanks JonR,

That sounds like a good plan to me. Superdeck has some nice colors.

Danr49

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evdr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evdr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September-27-2005 at 12:03am

Hey Jon,

When you're done with your fence, swing on by my place! 

I actually bought the Behr Premium Wood Finish and haven't had the time to work on my fence. 

 



Edited by evdr
            
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September-27-2005 at 7:52am
$200
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September-27-2005 at 8:28am

Originally posted by DANR49 DANR49 wrote:

Superdeck has some nice colors.

That was one of the selling points for me, Danr49.  I went with the 1903 Redwood.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evdr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-07-2005 at 8:11am
Originally posted by JonR JonR wrote:

Weather-permitting, I will be staining my fence this weekend.  If I'm going to be brushing anyway, I'd rather not even deal with a sprayer.

Hey Jon,

Were you able to stain your fence last weekend?  If so, how did it turn out?  How long did it take you with a brush?  Inquiring minds want to know! 

            
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-07-2005 at 1:28pm

Jeff, I got through about 2 boards and quickly decided that if I continued with the brush, it would take me until next year to finish the job.  So I quickly borrowed a sprayer, and just my luck last weekend was one of the windiest weekends we've had in a while (and of course it got calm again right after the weekend...it's like when it rains after washing your car).  Between the brushing and then the wind, I found myself wishing for a moment that I had never even embarked on this project.  Nevertheless, I was now committed, so I continued spraying (at one point getting my prescription glasses covered with paint that blew back toward me), and probably ended up using twice as much paint as I would have on a calm day.  Fortunately the Superdeck stain was still on sale at OSH, so Saturday night I picked up some more, and I got about 95% of the job done on Sunday (and spent Sunday night picking up stain-covered newspapers that had blown all over the yard).  I will be completing the job this weekend...this time using a brush on areas that it wasn't practical to spray, like the lattice section.  Should be a much more pleasant experience this weekend.

As for how it turned out, it looks okay...a little darker than I expected, but I'm getting used to it.  I'm glad that I cleaned off the fence first with a pressure washer, because it would look a lot darker and uneven if I hadn't done so.  Now if only it weren't for all the wind around here...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-07-2005 at 5:31pm

Hi Gang,

Here's a PM reply from one of our neighbors (shall remain nameless). There's a house in Colebrook that used the same stain as the one our friend below talks about. You can see the fence right in front of you (the leftside house in front of you) when you turn left off of Tradition from Mascot. I think it's a beautiful color. Anyway, hope that helps. Good luck.

We did it ourselves.  If you want to know the brand, it's behr, redtone color.  Home Depot stuff.  I think the price was around $10-$11 at the time but they had a $5 rebate per gallon when we bought it. 

http://www.msdsvault.com/msds_customers_external.cfm?aa=261& amp; amp;ac=JDSF76854LKJAD8960-SFJ0-AO0GWO089887RHNFBJNAOPIGAeghP PFDHPAPOREGHAPHK&ad=pjuoikltisklJ64ujudt54768w4u5NAOPIGA iopilklfdgsiihreg954&ab=402

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shaman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-07-2005 at 5:37pm
Originally posted by JonR JonR wrote:

Jeff, I got through about 2 boards and quickly decided that if I continued with the brush, it would take me until next year to finish the job.  So I quickly borrowed a sprayer, and just my luck last weekend was one of the windiest weekends we've had in a while (and of course it got calm again right after the weekend...it's like when it rains after washing your car).  Between the brushing and then the wind, I found myself wishing for a moment that I had never even embarked on this project.  Nevertheless, I was now committed, so I continued spraying (at one point getting my prescription glasses covered with paint that blew back toward me), and probably ended up using twice as much paint as I would have on a calm day.  Fortunately the Superdeck stain was still on sale at OSH, so Saturday night I picked up some more, and I got about 95% of the job done on Sunday (and spent Sunday night picking up stain-covered newspapers that had blown all over the yard).  I will be completing the job this weekend...this time using a brush on areas that it wasn't practical to spray, like the lattice section.  Should be a much more pleasant experience this weekend.

As for how it turned out, it looks okay...a little darker than I expected, but I'm getting used to it.  I'm glad that I cleaned off the fence first with a pressure washer, because it would look a lot darker and uneven if I hadn't done so.  Now if only it weren't for all the wind around here...

Jon, I hate to foretell your self-torture but I think that you need to roller or brush that stain in but I sprayed my fence with 2 cans last year and it didn't hold up. After speaking to my buddy (see my first post on this topic), he did it gradually over time with a roller. His fenceline is waaaaaaaay longer than mine so I have something good going for me in that department. I guess the point is, I tried the sprayer and now I'm kicking myself because my friends fence is "bullet-proof" now because he spent the time to do it right.....by roller. At least that's how I look at it when I compare my fence (already suffering from the prior winter and my sprinklers) to his fence. I've got my project list on my dry erase board on my fridge. One of the projects is staining my fence before the end of Oct. We'll see how well I do.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-07-2005 at 6:01pm
Shaman, I agree that brushing is the way to go...if you've got the time.  The problem is that we will be diving into wet and wintry weather soon, and I didn't want to get caught with half the fence done when that time arrives.  If using a sprayer, the instructions on the can of stain say to back-brush after spraying it on, which is exactly what I did.  When brushing instead of spraying, I felt like the stain wasn't getting worked into the wood very well.  The spraying may have coated the wood with too much stain in parts, but overall I'm hoping it will hold up pretty well.  We shall see...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evdr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-10-2005 at 4:48pm

Originally posted by JonR JonR wrote:

The spraying may have coated the wood with too much stain in parts, but overall I'm hoping it will hold up pretty well.  We shall see...

Jon,

Staining a fence is better than not staining at all.

It sounds like using a roller is the best way to go.  I plan to pressure wash my fence this week and hopefully have time to stain my fence next week...(no rain, please!).

I have these high and thick bushes against one part of my fence and I'm trying to figure out the best way to stain my fence without damaging the bushes.  I can probably slide a large piece of plywood between the bushes and fence for clearance.  Any ideas?

            
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-10-2005 at 5:00pm

Jeff, the forecast looks good for this weekend: http://www.wunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/getForecast? query=95391

Just pray for no wind.

I had problems with bushes in the way in some places.  When possible, I tried to hold back the bushes while I was painting, but inevitably I got some stain on the leaves.  The bush will live.

I finished the fence this past weekend (the weather Sunday was perfect), but next weekend I'll be going back to touch up some spots that I missed -- mostly the sides of the vertical boards where the spray didn't cover very well -- and apply some more stain where the coating is a little too light (esp. around knotholes).  When I'm done, I hope to not have to worry about this again for at least five years.  My last project with the fence will be to nail down some of the horizontal boards on top of the fence that have warped and separated from the fence.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chau Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-10-2005 at 7:20pm

What happens if you stain your side of the fence, but your neighbors who share the same fence won't stain their side.  Will it still be effective? Or, will it still warp, but in a different way.  Just curious, since we might consider staining ours too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evdr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-10-2005 at 10:24pm

It probably won't be as effective.  One side will weather more quickly than the other side. 

I just want to make my fence last as long as possible...my horizontal boards have already warped considerably as Jon has mentioned.  Plus, a stained fence will look better too. 

            
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-11-2005 at 11:42am
Chau, you hit on the one thing that made me delay staining my fence so long.  I was going to stain it earlier during the summer, but then hesitated because I knew that some of the fence would not be stained on the other side (the salesguy at OSH said I'd be wasting money if the other side wasn't weatherproofed also).  But when I thought more about how staining would at least prevent graying and other problems on my side of the fence, I decided to go ahead and do it anyway.  And who knows...maybe my neighbors will eventually decide to stain their sides too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-13-2005 at 10:12am

I used to work in the paint department of O.S.H...  many many many years ago.
My thoughts:

Stay away from Thompson's Water Seal.  It coats, but then peels off after a couple of years.  When it comes to water sealants, you really get what you pay for.  Thompson's is the cheapest and most well known, but certainly not the best solution if you don't want to redo the job every two years.  It's more of a membrane sealant that does not penetrate the wood so well

Painting one side of the fence will protect the color to some degree.  If you have sprinklers that hit the fence directly, your still going to get discoloration.  The problem with painting one side is that the other side will absorb water and expand, bowing the boards.  Over time this can warp your fence.  at a minimum you'll start to see gaps between the slats.

Opinions and information provided by me are mine alone and do not necessarily represent the board or districts point of view.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote JonR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-13-2005 at 10:16pm
Guess I better try and encourage my neighbors to stain their sides of the fence.  Not going to be easy...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote localsun Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October-14-2005 at 1:04pm
I unfortunately do not have the time to do it myself. Can anyone refer us to a licensed contractor that they've had a good experience with? If possible, i'd like to try and also get this done before the winter...
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