10 Best Fence Stains 2017

If you spend a lot of time outside in your yard, you understand what an asset a good fence stain can be. Your backyard fence is a great way to extend your living space, enjoy the outdoors, and create a unique setting for entertaining; however, wood fences are constantly exposed to the elements. Rain, sunlight, and extreme temperatures will quickly take their toll on unprotected wood. By applying a good quality fence stain to your wood fence, you will be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Staining your backyard fence is usually an easy, do-it-yourself job that will keep your fence looking great for years of enjoyment. The best fence stain will both look great and require minimum maintenance.

Pre-Shopping Tips

  • You should wait at least three weeks after installation before you stain your fence; this allows the new wood to settle and open its pores allowing the wood to absorb the stain better.
  • If you are applying stain to an old fence, first make sure it is free of all dirt, debris, and any mildew. It is best to clean the surface of older fences a few days before you plan to apply your stain.
  • Always wear protective gear such as goggles and latex gloves. Most stains contain toxic chemicals, so you’ll want to properly protect your skin and eyes.

Top 10 Fence Stains Chart

PictureNameType of StainPriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameType of StainPriceRating (1-5)
1. Penofin #F3MCLGA - Ultra Premium Stain, Clear ~ GallonClear$$5.0
2. Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey EXTERIOR - Caspian Clear - GallonClear$$$5.0
3. Thompsons WaterSeal TH.A21711-16 Advanced Natural Wood Protector, gallon Clear$$4.8
4. Defy Extreme Wood Stain Cedar Tone 1-gallonSemi-transparent$$4.6
5. Ready Seal 512 5-Gallon Pail Natural Cedar Exterior Wood Stain and SealerSemi-transparent$$$$4.6
6. Woodrich Brand Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain for Wood Decks, Wood Fences, Wood Siding, and Log CabinsSolid$4.6
7. Bond One Time Wood Protector Solid$$$4.5
8. Tall Earth ECO-SAFE Wood Treatment - Stain & Preservative Clear$4.4
9. Krylon K03604000 Exterior Semi-Transparent Wood Stain, Redwood, 12 OunceSemi-transparent$3.9
10. THOMPSONS WATERSEAL 041851-16 Transparent Stain, CedarSemi-transparent$3.6

Buying Information

Don’t buy any stain for your fence without first reading this section.

Which product you choose to stain your fence depends on how much of the wood’s natural grain you wish to showcase, as well as how much time you are willing to invest on maintenance. There are three basic options when it comes to fence stains, each with its own pros and cons.

  • Solid Fence Stains. Generally lasting up to three to five years, a solid fence stain is a good choice if you don’t want the hassle of yearly reapplication, as this type of stain is the most weather-resistant. These opaque stains will hide the grain of the wood and may peel or crack like paint over time.
  • Semi-Transparent Fence Stains. Semi-transparent stains let a bit of your wood’s natural beauty show through. They are a great option for cedar fencing or any wood finish you want to showcase. Not as resistant to weather as solid fence stains, you will have to reapply semi-transparent stains about once a year.
  • Clear Fence Stains. Ideal for showcasing premium wood, a clear fence stain lets all of your wood fence’s natural grain shine through. You should expect to reapply clear stains every year. These stains provide only minimal protection from the weather and elements, so you should expect to see your wood fade to gray over time.

Top 3 Best Fence Stain Reviews

1. Penofin #F3MCLGA – Ultra Premium Stain

Penofin Ultra Premium Stain is a favorite fence stain among do-it-yourselfers. It is easy to apply, simple to maintain, and incredibly affordable. It features built-in mildew protectors for an extra shield on your wood fence.

This clear fence stain is made with a Brazilian Rosewood oil base from sustainably harvested seeds, so if you are environmentally conscious, this is the stain for you.

This stain works well on a variety of woods and is guaranteed to bring out all the natural beauty and color of cedar, teak, redwood, mahogany, and even inexpensive pine. No matter what wood your backyard fence is made from, Penofin Ultra Premium Stain is the best fence stain for the job.

2. Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey EXTERIOR

Vermont Natural Coatings PolyWhey is a nontoxic option made from renewable resources that is safe for both people and pets. It cleans up easily with just simple soap and water, yet has all of the protection against mold, mildew, and weather that more conventional methods offer.

This stain goes on easily, with a slightly milky appearance, but dries crystal clear in under an hour so that you can enjoy your backyard fence almost immediately. It holds up well, even through cold, wet winters and doesn’t fade or yellow through the intense sun exposure of harsh summer heat. It is a great natural stain option for any climate.

3. Thompsons WaterSeal Natural Wood Protector

Thompsons WaterSeal Advanced Natural Wood Protector offers low sheen protection for your wood fencing. It creates a waterproof barrier so strong that you’ll be able to see the water bead right up on the surface of the wood. It works great on both chemically treated and untreated lumber.

Clean up is easy with just simple soap and water. It applies to either damp or dry wood in just one coat, dries clear, and allows the natural grain patterns of the wood to shine through. Offering great protection against sunlight, mildew, mold, and water damage, this product will leave your wood fence looking great under even the harshest of conditions.

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