How to Restain a Cedar Fence


Cedar is one of the choice woods used for fencing because of its beauty and durability. Over time, however, the finish of a cedar fence can become discolored or dull. In many cases, this leaves the cedar vulnerable to damage caused by weather, moisture and insects. It is necessary to regularly add a layer of finish to the fence, but this may not always happen, especially in fencing that is part of a property owned by someone else before you. In this case, it is safer to completely refinish and restain your cedar fence because you don't know what kind of maintenance, if any, took place.

Things You'll Need

  • Orbital sander
  • 80-grit orbital sander paper
  • Dust mask
  • Roller (with extension handle)
  • Roller pads
  • Pain brush
  • 80-grit square sandpaper
  • Outdoor stain and sealant combination
  • Water hose (with sprayer)
  • Roller paint pan
  • Sand the large areas of the cedar fence using the orbital sander and the special 80-grit sandpaper. Your goal is to remove the top sealant and get down to the wood. This also aids in opening up the pores of the wood to soak up the stain.

  • Use the sheets of 80-grit sandpaper squares to sand the corners and other areas where it is inappropriate to use the orbital sander.

  • Rinse the entire cedar fence with the garden hose and sprayer attachment to a medium or high setting. Allow the fencing to dry for at least two weeks.

  • Mix your stain and sealant combination thoroughly to ensure all oils are consistent.

  • Pour some of the stain combination into the roller pan and apply to the fencing following the grain of the wood (usually up and down instead of left and right).

  • Use the paintbrush to get the areas where you cannot use the roller, like finials, cross work, and the posts.

  • Apply a second coat in the same manner once the first coat has dried (in about three hours). Apply more coats until you achieve the desired color darkness, allowing time for each coat to dry before adding another.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear the dust mask to avoid breathing in harmful particles and fumes.

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  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
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