Paint or Stain, which is better for your Fence?

paint or stain

paint or stainMurfreesboro, Mt. Juliet and Franklin, TN

You’ve taken the plunge and invested in a new wood fence for your property. Next comes deciding how you will protect your investment, either by painting or staining it. The purpose of this protective coating for your fence is to prevent it from weathering or warping and splitting, which naturally occurs to unprotected wood as it is constantly exposed to the elements. Your Middle Tennessee fence installers at M. T. Fence and Deck want to share with you the pros and cons of each so that you can decide which protective coating is best for your investment.


The cool thing about painting your fence is that paint comes in a variety of colors. As long as you do not have a Homeowners Association or HOA to contend with, you are free to choose a color that you like, one that will blend in with the outdoors or one to match your house.

Painted wood that is exposed to the elements tends to require a lot of maintenance. Expect to have to repaint your fence about once every one to three years as the paint will crack and peel, leaving your wooden fence unprotected. Remember that before you can repaint your fence, the old paint must be sanded or scraped off to ensure a proper seal of the new paint coat. This may end up being more maintenance than you have time for, and probably costs a lot in the long run.


Most homeowners who tackle the project usually prefer staining their wooden fence. Stain is much easier to work with and lasts longer, and maintenance is few and far between, so to speak. Although stain will fade at some point, you can easily wash your deck and start over with a clean slate, rather than have to peel and scrape the old stain off like you would with a previous layer of paint.

Stains are available in a variety of colors from light to dark, and you can even choose a clear coat if you prefer to preserve the natural color of the wood but provide the necessary protection. Stain also comes in different transparencies such as a solid stain, which is more like a paint since you won’t be able to see the wood grain beneath it, and semi-transparent, which adds a hint of color while preserving the natural look of the wood.


While you could choose not to apply anything to your wood fence, allowing the natural elements to change its color over time, this does leave your fence open to damage that is caused by the wind, rain, and sunlight. Regular maintenance of pressure washing your fence can restore its natural beauty, but you run the risk of your wood fence getting damaged if you don’t keep up the maintenance.

At M. T. Fence and Deck, we recommend applying some type of sealer to protect your wood, unless you choose a cedar fence, which natural weathers for a rustic look. Whether you choose to paint or stain your fence, the option is up to you. Just remember to consider how much time and money you will need to invest in the project. If you’re up for the haul and want that white picket fence look, then go for it! Otherwise, if you want to take the high road that requires less maintenance, we recommend opting for stain instead.

If you would like to receive a free estimate for a fence, please contact M.T. Fence and Deck by calling (931) 394-3400. We provide fence and decking services to the areas of Mt. Juliet, Nashville, and Murfreesboro in Middle Tennessee.

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