Non-Paint Painting

Article From: Products Finishing,

Posted on: 3/1/2002

Question: This is written regarding your November 2001 clinic piece on staining oak fences.


This is written regarding your November 2001 clinic piece on staining oak fences. First, unlike painting, which puts a solid color on the surface, staining adds transparent to solid color to the wood grain. The application of a stain is called “staining.” All stains, especially those used in exterior applications, require a topcoat to protect the surface of the wood. Topcoats may be varnishes or lacquers. Uncoated exterior wood stains will discolor, and the wood will deteriorate quickly, especially oak.

Next, the application of stain to 1,500 linear ft of fence could be done by brush, roller or rag, in order of ease of control of flow of material. One generally applies the stain, waits a minute and then wipes off the excess. After a day or two, the topcoat is applied. I hope that this information is of some value to the questioner. J.B.


Thanks, J. B., I couldn’t have stated it any better myself. Here again is a person willing to share his knowledge with me and the readers of this column. My only comment is that some of these so-called stains are designed to be applied as one coat finishes without the need for a topcoat. However, using a topcoat as J.B. stated will greatly extend the life of the finish. This means that the need to repaint will be greatly delayed. I noticed that the solid stain on my shed, which was tinted to match the bricks, is fading after two years. Perhaps the use of a clear topcoat would have prevented the fading.


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