example of a privacy fence design
Photo: Barbeau Engh/California Redwood Association
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1. Stain the Fence

Why Now: Sunlight degrades the lignin that bonds wood fibers, allowing water to penetrate and causing the surface to gray. A semitransparent stain fortified with UV blockers can halt damage while giving pressure-treated pine a warm tone that mimics pricey hardwood.

How to Do It: Knock debris and flakes off the wood with a broom. Brush on a nontoxic deck cleaner, then rinse and let dry. Use a landscape pump sprayer to evenly apply a penetrating stain, such as Penofin Verde (about $56 per gallon; decksdirect.com). This high-tech finish, made from Brazilian rosewood oil, comes in 18 colors, offers 99 percent UV protection, and has zero VOCs, so it's safe for you and the environment.

The Payoff: Extend the life of your fence, and get the look of cedar for about half the price.
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