Thinking about staining your fence? The right fence stain can upgrade the overall look of your home while adding on a variety of benefits to your outdoor space. However, many homeowners don’t know where to start when choosing a fence stain color.

Whether you decide to go bold or are looking for something more subtle, we recommend taking your time when choosing a fence stain color. Read on for more tips on how to find the right color for your outdoor space.

The Benefits of a Fence Stain

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, there are a number of benefits that come with choosing to stain your fence.

  • Preventing Rot – A high-quality stain can prevent rotting of the wood, as it will function as an extra seal keeping out water.
  • Limit UV damage – A good stain can limit the UV damage that can occur, as sunlight will not directly hit your fence and may be reflected out.
  • Enhance Wood Grain – You can enhance wood grain (like cedar) by properly applying the right wood stain.
  • Increase Life of Fence – The right fence stain can increase the overall lifespan of your wood.

When planning out the color of your fence stain, there are some important factors to keep in mind.

Consider the Dominant Color in Your Yard

Take note of the elements that already exist in your yard. Assuming you are not planning on completely renovating your yard and you have some permanent fixtures in place, it’s likely there is a dominant color already in play.

Pay attention to features like patio furniture, garden beds, decks, and even playground installations. You’ll want a color that compliments these pre-existing features.

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Test Your Color Choice

If you’re torn between colors, you may choose to test several colors at the same time. Most paint supply stores will allow you to test out the paint beforehand. If you don’t want to buy several colors of stain, you can test it by simply bringing in the same type of wood that your fence is made of and painting a small sample of each on the wood.

It’s important to make sure the wood is an exact color match for your existing fence. Pine, cedar, and oak will give you different outcomes when using the same color stain.

You will also want to make sure you see how it looks at home, rather than making your decision in the paint store. Most colors will look different in natural lighting.

Pay Attention to the Lighting

Speaking of lighting, keep in mind that lighting does play a large part in the color of your fence stain. That’s because depending on the amount of light, your fence color can look up to three shades lighter. Know how you’re fence will look throughout the day before making a decision.

Also, if your fence is a wrap around and receives different sunlight depending on its location, you’ll want to pick a color that isn’t too strongly affected by the lighting so it continues to look like the same color.

Know Your HOA Regulations

While you may find a color that you love, it may not mean that you’re able to stain your fence that color. Most communities have a specific range of colors that are allowed for paint colors and stains. This is to ensure a more uniformed look throughout the community.

Consult your HOA regulations prior to choosing your stain color. Choosing one that isn’t permitted may mean having to restain the fence completely or having to pay an additional HOA fine.

Sherwin Williams also has an archive of HOA-approved colors. Check to see if your HOA is included.

Fence stain color choice

Know Your Color Types

While fence stains may look similar, there’s a big difference between the various color types available. When choosing your fence stain color you will be choosing from:

Clear Sealant Wood Stains: You may decide that you don’t want specific stain color at all and just want to highlight the natural color of your wood. In this case, clear sealant wood stains are a great choice!

Toner Wood Stain Colors: Toner wood stains bring just a tad more color than a clear sealant wood stain. It won’t be very apparent to the naked eye, but the slight color will help highlight the features of your wood.

Semi-Transparent Wood Stain Colors: Semi-transparent wood stains are for those who are looking for coverage, but don’t want to completely change the color of their wood.

Solid Stain Colors: Finally, solid stain colors provide the most coverage and the most benefits! They create a bold statement while bringing out some warmth in your outdoor living space.

Create Contrast

When choosing the color for your fence stain, while you want to coordinate with the rest of the colors in your yard you want to make sure you’re creating enough contrast with the color of your house.

Remember, your house will serve as the backdrop of the fence, especially if you’re staining the fence in your front yard. Be sure the color compliments your home instead of clashing with it.

fence stain color options

Consider Future Plans

If you are planning on redoing your outdoor space, it’s important to consider this possibility ahead of time. You don’t want to spend time and money staining your fence, just to find the stain color doesn’t work with your new design concept.

It’s better to wait until your outdoor space is exactly the way you want it, then add your stain color as one of your final details to pull the whole look together!

Compare Brands

When it comes to fence stain colors, not all brands are created equal. While one may have more aesthetic appeal, it may not stand the test of time like another brand. Do your homework prior to purchasing your stain and see what experience other homeowners may have had with the stain.

Reviews are a great place to start. You may also consider asking a professional what brand they recommend for the job.

fence stain colors

Creating the Look You Love

From your fence stain color to your interior paint colors, it’s important to find a look you really love. The ambiance of your home is important, so take your time choosing what works best for you and your family.

If you need help getting started, feel free to check out our blogs on creating the perfect look for your home.

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