A fence is only as good as the finish you put on it. For a fence to last test of time, it will need protection from the elements. And you will also want it to look good while doing so.
We regularly get clients asking for tips and advice on fence finishes, and they always add ‘and I want it to last.’
‘So do we,’ is our answer to that one.
A good list of fence finishes that stand the test of time includes:
- Staining for a wood fence
- Paint always looks good
- Rustproof an iron fence
- Waterproof sealer is a must
- Galvanized steel, vinyl and aluminum last too
Staining for a wood fence
Wood rots: it’s what nature intended, and there’s not much to gain from fighting mother nature.
You can, however, prevent rot from setting in and preserve the life of your fence for many, many years.
A good wood stain will do the job and will have the fence look looking great.
A pine fence will take on the color of the stain, while the stain will enhance the strong colors of cedar.
Stain soaks deep into the grain of the wood, and you will need to apply a regular coating over the first few years, to build up a level of resistance.
It keeps water out, and termites do not like the smell, keeping their distance.
Ensure your stain has a UV inhibitor, to protect against sunlight and the damage it can cause.
Paint always looks good
Before stain, paint was the go-to product for those looking for a nice finish, which also protects.
Paint is excellent as a finish, as you can choose from so many colors and it is very easy to keep clean.
It will keep termites at bay, protect against water and stop the sun’s rays from doing any damage.
You will need to paint the raw wood with a primer first, and also use pressure-treated wood for extra protection.
Only buy a recommended outdoor paint, from a seller you trust and of a brand name that you know.
The paint should be a durable, latex one with a UV inhibitor.
Annual painting may be on the cards, but the better the paint, the longer it will last.
Rustproof an iron fence
Nothing says character and lasting stability than an iron fence.
You see examples all around you, and often the finish is what makes it look so good.
Iron rusts and the first thing you should do with the fence is apply a coat of rust-proof primer.
Often our clients go with the primer as a finish, as they like the look.
The right color paint, one that will last the test of time, can complete an iron fence.
Waterproof sealer is a must
Back to the wooden fences.
Many wood products are not naturally suited to outdoor life, and they can deteriorate very quickly.
A waterproof sealer is vital to protect the fence from rain, damp conditions and long winters.
Cedar and cypress contain a level of sealant, while pine is very open to rot and will need sealing.
Ask your fence supply agent about the wood used in the making of your fence and if it will need sealing.
Galvanized steel, vinyl and aluminum last too
Buying a fence readymade to stand the test of time is an obvious way to get a lasting finish.
Aluminum does not rust and will look as good as day one, if you care for it.
Galvanized steel also keeps rust away, but you will need to clean it regularly as it can stain easily. A good paint job will make the steel look even better.
Modern vinyl is very durable. It cannot rust and is naturally resistant to termites, while the built-in UV inhibitors protect from the sun.
Vinyl looks as good as wood and comes in a range of colors to match any design idea.