• In this video, This Old House host Kevin O'Connor shows three ways to stain a fence like a pro.

    1. Spread canvas drop cloths on the ground beneath the fence. Drape drop cloths over nearby surfaces and objects to protect them from stain spatters.
    2. Apply stain to broad surfaces using a ½-inch nap roller.
    3. Use a 4-inch-wide trim roller to stain narrow surfaces and to cut in around fence boards.
    4. You can also apply stain with an electric cup sprayer. Move the sprayer vertically to apply stain with the wood grain on the fence.
    5. Rent an airless sprayer, which draws stain from a 5-gallon bucket. Spray stain onto all surfaces of the fence. Be sure to maintain the proper distance from the fence and overlap each pass.
    6. Immediately after spraying a section, clean up any drips with the trim roller.
    • 30 to 60 minutes per 8 linear feet
    • About $20 to $30 per gallon of stain
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Requires patience, but no fence-staining experience
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • paint roller with extension
        Paint roller with extension handle
      • j-roller
        4-inch-wide trim roller, for applying stain
      • paint sprayer
        Airless sprayer (rents for $60 to $80 per day)
      • ladder
        Ladder, used to reach top of fence
      • tarp
        Canvas drop cloths

      Shopping List

      Clear-coat sealer

      Solid-body stain

      Semi-transparent stain

      ½-inch-nap roller covers