7 Best Paint & Stain for Wood Fences

Are you bored of your old wooden fence? Are you just tolerating the wooden fence only because you have to save some bucks to get a new one? We, humans, get bored with things(even humans) pretty easily, and then we get frustrated to the point we want to throw that object out.

It’s okay if you feel the same way if you have gotten bored of the same old wooden fence you installed a long ago. What if I tell you there is a way to renovate the boring piece of wood? Painting is a cheap way to upgrade your front lawn’s look.

There are several types of paints and stains in the market and a gardener who knows nothing about paints gets overwhelmed by the variety of options available. Not all paints go well with the wood some are made for canvases, others for glass, and some for woods.

To give that boring wooden fence a new look I’m here with some suggestions. I’m not an expert but I have dedicated some of my childhood and teenage years to painting. So, I’m quite familiar with the “paints and stains world”.

To give you a quick idea let’s have a look at my suggestions, we will then go into the details.

Best Paint for Wood Fence

1. Ready seal exterior stain and sealer for wood

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Ready seal exterior oil-based stain and sealer is made to intensify the natural beauty of the wood. The uniquely designed formula safeguards the wood against mold, mildew, and UV rays.

This specific wood paint does not require primers or a clear finish to enhance its beauty. It looks darker in the beginning but it reaches its true color within 2 weeks.

For its exceptional results, the surface should be free of dirt, oil, mildew, stains, and grease. It sits best on dry wood so before staining give the wood 48-72 hours to dry out completely. It can be applied with a brusher, roller, or sprayer(whichever is feasible). 

Available in natural light oak, pecan, dark walnut, mission brown, burnt hickory, mahogany, redwood, and natural Cedar colors. Comes with detailed instructions.


  • Does not contain linseed oil
  • Does not stain hands
  • Biodegradable
  • Protects the wood against mold, mildew, and UV rays.
  • Easy to use
  • No laps run or streaks
  • No back brushing required 
  • No primer required 


  • Expensive
  • Uses more paint than claimed by the company
  • Gets lighter with years
  • Does not work on newly painted surfaces

2. Krylon exterior semi-transparent wood stain

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The innovative spray bottle design and the excellent staining results brought this Krylon exterior semi-transparent wood stain to my suggestions list. It gives the wooden fence a matt finish.

Easier to use design requires no topcoat as the stain is water repellent. The thoughtful consistency and the spray can design brings clump-free results.

The flawless finish bears up to the sun and the toughest weather conditions for a longer period. The UV-protection elements help in holding the rustic brown color. Ideal for wooden fences and furniture.


  • Semi-transparent
  • Dries in fifteen minutes
  • No runoffs, no clumps
  • Smooth matt finish
  • Easy to use, a spray can design 
  • Water repellent
  • Offers excellent UV protection 


  • Inferior spray nozzle 
  • A bit pricey for a small spray can

3. FolkArt Outdoor paint

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FolkArt is a well-respected brand not just for its high-quality art supplies but also for the contribution it has been making for the American Cancer Society,

The Gwinnett County Women’s Shelter, Children Healthcare of Atlanta, and the United Way. It’s been working and continuously upgrading its paints and stains since 1967.

The brush-on FolkArt outdoor paint holds an important place in my paints and stains shelves. The ultra-versatile design allows it to be used on most porous paintable surfaces.

The USA made, non-toxic acrylic paint dries off quickly, leaving a perfect finish. Safe for everyday use.


  • Non-toxic
  • No sealer required
  • No complicated application procedure
  • Dries off quickly
  • No prep required
  • Tough and durable 
  • Water-based


  • Inferior packing
  • Some users have complained about leakage.

4. DecoArt wrought iron black patio paint outdoor

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DecoArt wrought iron black patio outdoor paint has been in Amazon choice several times for its extraordinary results.

No running, no bleeding, no fading make this outdoor paint great for old wooden fences and other DIY art and craft projects.

It is being recommended because it doesn’t require much paint; one thin layer is enough to put life in a rough overly used wooden fence. No waiting required as it dries off quickly in just a few hours.


  • Gathered several positive reviews
  • Easy to use
  • No sealing and vanishing required
  • Weather and scuff resistant
  • Non-toxic
  • Water-based


  • Works great, no con came in to notice yet

5. FolkArt multi-surface chalkboard paint

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This FolkArt specific chalkboard paint is also doing a great job on wooden fences. This was specifically designed for surfaces that need writing on but the surprising results expand its use to wooden furniture and accessories as well.

The non-toxic, water-based paint is super easy to clean and maintain. The results are as attractive as the packing. This multi-surface chalkboard paint works equally well for both indoor and outdoor accessories.


  • Works for Indoor and outdoor accessories
  • Easy to use a brush on design 
  • Non-toxic
  • Water-based


  • Works best for chalkboard 

6. Krylon colormaxx spray paint and primer for indoor and outdoor use

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Krylon colormaxx primer and paint is holding this position because it is specifically formulated for DIY projects. It gives a new life to wood, metal, wicker, plastics, paper mache, glass, plaster, fabric, and paper accessories.

The fast-drying colormaxx paint+ primer offers adhesion, durability, and rust protection. The modern-sleek finish stays intact for a longer period.

To best results, it is recommended to apply when the temperature is between 55 to 75 degrees and the humidity is below 60%.


  • Prevents rust
  • Can be used for indoor and outdoor accessories
  • No runoffs, no drips
  • The easy push spray nozzle 
  • Available in all trendy colors
  • Quick-drying


  • No noticeable con yet

7. Shuttle Art 36 acrylic paint, brush, and palette set

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This 36 colored acrylic paint set is recommended for those who want to have a rainbow-colored wooden fence. Rich pigmented paints are made to match your creativity.

Thoughtful consistency provides more coverage with fewer brush strokes. The brushes and palette are useless for wooden fences but they can be further gifted to bring a smile to the art lover’s face.

These multipurpose creamy-textured paints can be used on wood, glass, rocks, nails, walls, canvases, ceramic, and clay, etc. Packed in well-sealed bottles.


  • Quick-drying
  • Water-based
  • Creamy textured
  • Comes with a palette and brushes
  • Highly pigmented 
  • Can be used on several surfaces


  • Not made to meet larger requirements

How to find the best paint for your wooden fence – Buyer’s guide

To find the right stain for the wooden fence you have to look for a few things.

It should be made to stain the wood

The first and foremost thing you need to notice that if the package clearly states that it can stain the wood? The stain that is made to be applied to the glass or metal is useless for the wooden fence. Acrylic paints can also be used to stain the wood even though it’s usually not mentioned on the packet but they do a great job on the wooden fences.

Water-based or oil-based?

There are generally two types of wood stains oil-based and water-based. Oil-based stains are much better than water-based stains even if they are expensive. 

Oil-based stains penetrate deeper into the wood and bring a deeper vivid color. Oil-based stains last much longer than water-based ones. But if the fence is less likely to face the direct sun, rain, and wind then water-based stains are a fine option. Water-based stains last 3 to 4 years whereas their competitor (oil-based stain) lasts a little longer.

It’s easy to pay and get the stain delivered at home but the actual work starts after that. If you have never played with paints in your life I suggest you go with the oil-based stains as they are much easier to handle and apply. 

Now you know what should be your go-to choice, let’s quickly take you through the next critical step.

How to stain a fence properly

Staining a fence can get overwhelming for a person who is new to paints and stains even though it does not require any professional skill. So, here how you can do it properly. 

What you need to have to stain the wooden fence.

There are some really common things that you need to have to start staining the wooden fence and they are;

  • Wood stain
  • Garden hose
  • Brush or roller (in case you are not using the sprayer, but if you are using a sprayer then mask and protective eyewear as well.)
  • Power washer
  • Bucket

Remove dirt and get it ready for the stain

Wash the fence thoroughly with water to get a good clean surface to stain on. Once it’s clean let it dry. Take your moisture meter and read the reading. The fence is ready for stain when the moisture meter shows a reading of 12%.

Cover the nearby area and plants

Remember! You are only painting the fence so you have to cover the nearby plants and pathways. You can cover these plants and the pathways with a cloth or something that does not let the paint go down.

Read the instructions

Even if you have been doing this for years I suggest you read and follow the instructions properly.

Find the aid

Find what makes it easy for you to stain the wooden fence if it’s a brush, roller, or sprayer? Brushes and rollers are much easier to use but if you choose a sprayer make sure you have eyewear and a mask on. Glasses and a mask would save you from the risk of ingesting the harmful chemicals.

Apply the product

If you are using a roller or a brush to stain the wooden fence make sure you are moving the object up and down. It would bring even and more eye-catching results.

Clean up your brushes when you are done

Don’t forget to clean up your brushes when you are done with your fence. Cleaning up will restore the brush or roller for further use. If you are using a water-based stain like acrylics you can simply clean the brushes with water but in the other case, you have to invest in some good mineral spirit to take the product out of the brushes and roller.

You are done!

Your job is complete as soon as you are done with the brushes. Now be patient to see the results. 

My recommendation for best stain

I’m not an expert but I tried staining the fences several times and have used several products as well. I found Ready seal exterior stain and sealer for wood quite good at its job than most of the expensive wooden stains. It may or may not work for you the same way but it did work for me and It still is working for me.Ā 


Stained wooden fences live a longer life. Oil-based stains are much better and long-lasting than water-based stains. Stains can be applied either by brush/roller or by sprayer. To stain the fence properly you have to provide the stain a clean surface to sit on.

There are several expensive brands in the market that are earning a handsome amount of money from their stains but I adore the Ready seal exterior stain and sealer for wood stain for this purpose.

It is engineered keeping in mind the needs and requirements of the wooden fences. It has worked pretty well for me. But I suggest you be the judge, do not go for my words blindly, find the right product for your wooden fence yourself.

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