Seal a Wooden Fence
LESLIE: Sandra in Rhode Island’s got a fence that needs some help. What can we do for you?
SANDRA: In my money pit I am surrounded by stockade fencing.
SANDRA: And I want to put up a new back fence and I really hate that gray, New England look. I’d like to know what I can do to that; not only to make it look nicer but to actually preserve the wood so I don’t have to replace it again.
LESLIE: So you’re hoping to start off with something fresh or spruce up what’s already there?
SANDRA: Something new. I only have one back area that I have to fill. My neighbors fill both sides. (chuckling) So it’s just a back of the yard; the whole back of the yard; maybe about 40 feet.
TOM: Do you like the look of the vinyl fencing, Sandra?
SANDRA: That really is beautiful but where it’s going to go it’s not going to be appreciated as seen.
TOM: Well, you know I’ll tell you what. There’s nothing wrong with using some spruce fencing and you could spruce up the spruce (Leslie chuckles) by using a solid color stain on it.
SANDRA: Spruce rather than the regular stockade fencing, you mean?
TOM: Regular stockade fence is spruce.
SANDRA: It is spruce.
TOM: But it’s also available in cedar; although, if you put it in properly and you’re going to finish it correctly –
TOM: – and by putting it in properly I mean make sure the fence sections are above the grade so they’re not in contact with the grade because that can shorten their life and secondly make sure it’s finished properly. And Leslie, I’d finish this just the same way you finish a deck.
LESLIE: Oh, absolutely. And actually, if you find that the wood on your existing stockade fence is in good condition, you might be able to just get away with, you know, a wood cleanser and a pressure washer. You know, I would start off first – if the wood’s in good shape and doesn’t need repair or replacing, I would start off with a product something like Flood’s DEKSWOOD, which is made to restore and refresh the look of aged wood. It gets the gray out. So you would be surprised, just using a cleanser like that with a pressure washer is going to get you almost to brand, spanking new looking wood.
At that point, I’d say let it dry out and then, depending on how it looks, go for either a clear or a semi-transparent or a solid stain, which could then put you in a variety of looks from something natural to something, you know, outrageous in color but still seeing the grain to even something that’s as saturated in color as paint but it goes on the way a stain would. It penetrates into the wood. And all of those, you know, will help it be resistant to moisture; sun damage; blistering; checking.
So that’s what I would do if you find that your wood on your – on your fence, rather, is still in good shape and just needs some freshening up. If you’re beyond that, you know, look for styles that will enhance that back portion of your yard. I’m not really sure how much of it you’re going to be seeing. You know, of course, depending on what the aesthetic is and how much you’re going to see will vary to the costs and, you know, how much you want to invest in this.
LESLIE: But make sure, like Tom said, that the wood pickets themselves are not touching the ground because that could invite rot and bugs and all sorts of infestations you don’t want.
SANDRA: Right, we’ve learned that one the hard way.
LESLIE: Oh, yeah.
TOM: Bet you have.
TOM: Sandra, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
SANDRA: Thanks, guys. I enjoy the show.