How to Re-finish an Exterior Wooden Fence

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Looking for how to clean or re-finish your backyard fence? We purchased our home almost two years ago, and with so many projects to get done, our exterior wooden fence was neglected for a bit. When I stumbled upon a power washer on Marketplace for $40, the process for refinishing our fence began! Until we started cleaning it, I honestly didn’t realize just HOW dirty it was.

The process is honestly so easy, just a little time consuming. I really enjoyed it though, especially the power washing – so rewarding!

What you’ll need:

Power Washer (this is the one we used – very affordable!)
Stain brush
Paint tray for stain
Sponge brushes (I just buy a cheap variety pack at Home Depot)
Drop Cloth
Fence/Deck Stain (this is what we used in Cedar NaturalTone).

How to clean your exterior wood fence:

I actually didn’t realize how bad this fence was until we started powerwashing. WOW.

The Process for Cleaning an Outdoor Fence:

  1. Power wash your fence. We used this $90 power washer and it did a great job. You do have to have the stream of water pretty close to the fence for it to work effectively, but for the price — it has a lot of bang for its buck! Be careful not to get the water stream *too* close or you could cut into the wood.
This is after the fence had been power washed and left to dry for a week. It doesn’t take this long for the fence to dry out after washing. It actually just kept raining, so we had to wait a bit! I even loved it bare like this, but we knew we needed something on the wood to protect it. And also wanted it to match the cedar tone of our pergola.

2. Allow fence to dry out for at least 24 hours. Again, we let ours dry a bit longer than that because it kept raining.

3. Cover anything that you do not want stain to drip on. We just laid down a drop cloth for kneeling, as it’s just grass directly below.

4. Apply stain/sealer! We used this brush and foam brushes for tighter areas and the bottom of the fence. The stain literally brought this fence back to life!

This is the stain we used, in color Cedar NaturalTone. If you use this color, it goes on darker and will lighten as it dries, so don’t panic if it’s darker than you planned. It dried a perfect cedar color! And we only used one can (but only stained the inside of our fence).

Looking so much better!!

Hopefully this helps you in your wood fence cleaning endeavors!

Until next time,

Need more exterior home project ideas? Check these out!

Refinish Outdoor Wooden Furniture in One Afternoon

Boost Curb Appeal on a Budget

How to Build a Pergola

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