After years of exposure to rain and sunlight, a once pristine wooden fence can be gray and dull. An untreated wooden fence is susceptible to damage caused by wind,microorganisms and fungus as well as water and sunlight. It is possible to restore a now-dingy wooden fence’s appearance while protecting its wood from future damage. Perform the necessary maintenance yourself in a matter of hours.
1. Place a plastic tarp over plants that are near the wooden fence. Put on a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, goggles and work gloves.
2. Clean the wooden fence with water from a power-washer. Use a power-washer that supplies 1,500 or 2,000 pounds per square inch (psi) of water pressure and features 15- and 25-degree spray tips. Standing 18 inches from the fence, slowly wash the fence with the power-washer, using long, back and forth motions. Continue the task until the entire surface on both sides of the fence is clean. Allow the fence to dry completely.
3. Examine the fence for damaged areas and missing boards. Mend or replace broken boards, and replace missing boards. Repairing broken or cracked wood with waterproof wood glue is recommended on The Family Handyman website.
4. Test an oil stain on an inconspicuous area of the fence to determine the product’s finished color. Revise the oil stain you will use if necessary. Apply a thin layer of the oil stain to all portions of the fence’s wood by using a medium-nap paint roller on the large sections and a paintbrush on edging and smaller slats. Use quick, fluid strokes in the direction of the wood’s grain.
5. Allow the first coat of oil stain to dry at least 24 hours, and then apply a second coat of oil stain. Apply a third coat of the oil stain, if desired, after the second coat dries at least 24 hours.
Tips. If the weather is damp or humid, allow a newly power-washed fence to dry for 48 hours before applying oil stain to its wood. Some home-improvement stores rent power-washers.