Is it Better to Spray or Roll Fence Stain?

Staining a Fence

Keeping your fence looking as good as its first day can be a real challenge. Because it is something we see every day, it can be hard to notice the brightness fade over the years. Since the cost of new fencing can amount to considerable investment, it makes sense to keep it looking good for as long as possible. A good stain can not only do that, but it can also extend the life of your fence at the same time.

With just a little effort, you can easily breathe new life into a fence that has been damaged by the harsh rays of the sun or the moisture from years of rain and extreme weather. The trick to success here is choosing the best method for applying the stain to your fence. 

Two commonly used techniques can get the job done, but only you can decide which method will work best: roller on spray. The answer depends on several factors, including how much time you have and the look you want to achieve.

How Much Time Do You Have?

The choice to apply your stain with a roller or a sprayer may depend on how much time you have. Rolling on a stain will take a lot more time. So, if you have a very long fence and you plan on staining with a roller, expect to dedicate several days or weeks to get the job done.

There is also concern over weather conditions. If you’re in an area that gets very hot, you may only have time to work on staining your fence for a few hours a day. Extreme heat or wet weather can also extend the time it takes to complete the job. 

Pros and Cons of Rollers

  • You get better coverage
  • A thicker coat so the stain will last longer
  • You don’t need any special equipment
  • Minimal risk of staining plants or the surrounding area 
  • Less likely to find unsightly drips
  • Less clean-up

There are also many cons to consider as well:

  • Much more time consuming
  • No special equipment is needed (just a nap roller and a stiff-bristle brush for touch up)

Pros and Cons of Spraying

While spraying may seem easier, other factors could make you rethink your choice

  • You can complete the job quickly
  • More even coverage
  • Easier to apply stain in hard to reach areas
  • Always a risk of over-spraying (you’ll cover not just your fence but everything else around it)
  • More chance of drips going unnoticed
  • The result will be a lighter coat
  • It can be very messy

There is no doubt that you can achieve a quality result with both roller or sprayer applications, and since no two fences will have the same conditions, it is up to you to weigh the benefits of each. If you are still struggling with making the right choice after considering all of your options, consider a third option; hiring a professional to take the load off. With the right skills, they can produce quality results every time with less worry on your part.

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