Should I Paint My Fence? Paints, Stains & Oils

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Should I Paint My Fence? Painting, Staining & Oils

A white fence panel being painted with a brush


Are you looking to refresh your garden on a budget? Are you considering painting your fence? Well first, let's look at whether you should paint your fence or not. Painting or staining your fence has a host of benefits but is it something you need to do and if so is it worth it? We hope to answer these common questions about painting or staining your fence.

Why Treat Your Fence?

Painting or staining your fence are both ways of 'treating' timber fencing after the fence panels have been made. But the vast majority of timber for garden fencing is already treated to protect it against the elements. Our wooden fencing is made from tanalised timber and has a 15-year guarantee against rot. This treatment protects against insect and water damage. However, as the panels are exposed to the elements, the colour will fade from as seen to a silvery grey. This can be prevented by using a clear oil. Alternatively, the panels can be painted or oiled to prevent this. Painting, oiling and staining when done correctly can extend your fences' life further by adding an additional barrier, plus they can produce different, beautiful designs in your garden.

Stains, Oils & Paints for Fence Panels

There are 3 options for fence panels before or after installation; painting, staining or oiling/preservatives.


By using a clear oil or preservative on your fence, you will protect your garden fence panels, posts and trellis from mould, algae and insect attack. They also act as a colour preserver to maintain the original colour of your garden fence panel. If you don't want to change the colour and merely maintain and protect, oils are the right choice for your garden fencing.


Garden fence stains are designed to add character and style to otherwise ordinary garden fence panels. They also protect the timber further from weathering and insect attack. You can choose stains in a commonly chosen garden fence colour or select something a bit more unusual like Slate Grey or Pastel Green. Stains sink into the surface of the wood, unlike paint that sits on top of the wood. If you would like the beauty of the wood grain to come through, a stain is the option for you.


Paints give you the ability to completely transform your garden fencing to any colour you want. Paints for the fence are readily available and affordable but may need re-applying more frequently than stains and oils. As said above, paints sit on top of the wood so this makes them more vulnerable to chipping and damage. This maintenance can put people off as paint will need to be reapplied every 1 - 3 years and the prep needed to repaint is more than a stain. If the colour choice is particularly important and you cannot find it in a stain, then painting is the one to go for. If you plan on painting your new fence, we recommend giving the timber a couple of weeks to dry to prevent moisture from cracking the paintwork.

How to paint or stain your fence?

If you have decided on staining or paint for your garden fence, our advice is to buy the best quality coatings you can afford and follow the manufacturer's guidelines. We recommend:

  1. When your garden fence panels arrive, including posts and caps, let the timber dry thoroughly through several weeks of dry/ warm weather, ideally undercover.

  2. Select a microporous finish that allows the timber to breath. This will reduce the risk of rot setting in as otherwise moisture will be held inside the timber.

  3. Thin down the first coat of finish to allow it to dry as quick as possible. Extra coats will then go on quicker and dry quicker too.

  4. Build up the finish with 3 or 4 full coats depending on the depth of finish required and what the manufacturer recommends. If you do just 1 or 2 coats you will have to reapply it more frequently.

  5. Make sure to let each coat fully dry in between applications. This will make the material more robust.

Browse Our Coloured Tempo Vibe Range

If you would rather not have the hassle of painting or staining, check out our Tempo Vibe range. We provide a selection of five signature colours and also provide a full-colour match service, allowing you to get the perfect colour for your garden. Get in touch if you have any questions, or check out our FAQs page.