Healthyhandyman is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Best Fence Stains 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Best Fence Stains

As wood weathers and ages, the finish of your fence will start to degrade. Staining is one of the best ways to give a wooden fence a whole new look without spending a lot of money or hiring someone to do it for you. If you have looked at the different wood stains available today, chances are that you felt overwhelmed. With the number of products on the market, which would be the one you should choose?

When choosing a stain to refinish your wooden fence, durability, ease of application, and color selection are all things to consider. Does the stain come with a sealer? Some do, some don’t. if you choose one without a sealer, it will be necessary to apply one prior to starting your staining process. Even though there are many things that you should remember, we have simplified this process by reviewing the best products for staining your fence.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Ready Seal 112 Exterior Wood Stain & Sealer Ready Seal 112 Exterior Wood Stain & Sealer
  • Biodegradable
  • Comes in 8 colors
  • 2-in-1 stain & sealer
  • Best Value
    Second place
    SaverSystems Deck Premium Wood Stain SaverSystems Deck Premium Wood Stain
  • Will resist peeling, graying and fading
  • Stain & sealer in one
  • Is water-based
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Sashco Transformation Deck & Fence Stain Sashco Transformation Deck & Fence Stain
  • Rich, deep look
  • Hybrid formula with oil-in-water
  • A pleasure to apply
  • Woodrich Brand Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain Woodrich Brand Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain
  • Doesn’t run
  • You can apply it to your new wood
  • DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain
  • Comes in 7 finishes
  • UV-resistant to protect the wood
  • Water-based
  • The 10 Best Fence Stains – Reviews 2020

    1. Ready Seal 112 Exterior Wood Stain & Sealer – Best Overall

    Ready Seal 112 Exterior Wood Stain & Sealer

    With more than 8 shades from which to choose, we love the selection that Ready Seal 112 exterior wood stain and sealer gives us. However, even better than its selection is the performance. It saves you a lot of money and time because it’s a combination of stain and sealant. In addition, it doesn’t require any thinning or diluting, and you can use it with your paint sprayer. We found it very easy to use with our sprayer. That being said, there weren’t any runs or drips when we applied it with a brush.

    In spite of all of the positive qualities, it’s a very affordable product. It also is biodegradable, so there’s no worry when you are washing off your paintbrushes and other tools. Even though it’s fine to add another coat after just 45 minutes, for a complete cure you’ll need to wait between 48 and 72 hours. Otherwise, we think this is the best exterior wood stain and sealer in 2020.

    Pros
    • Biodegradable
    • Comes in 8 colors
    • 2-in-1 stain & sealer
    • Affordably priced
    • Does not require thinning or diluting
    • Can be used with a sprayer
    Cons
    • Needs 48 to 72 hours curing time

    2. SaverSystems Deck Premium Wood Stain – Best Value

    SaverSystems Deck Premium Wood Stain

    This high-quality wood stain from SaverSystems comes in 1-gallon or 2.5-gallon containers with 4 options for finishes from which to choose. It is water-based, so it’s easily cleaned up and VOC-compliant. Because it’s a combination sealer and stain, it resists mildew and mold. However, we didn’t believe that it’s quite as good at sealing when compared with the Ready Seal that’s in the top spot, so that is why it’s in our second spot.

    This durable formula resists fading, peeling, and graying for years when you use it on the softwoods. It isn’t recommended to be used on hardwoods. The 4 color finishes are easy to apply and look great. It has a nice consistency and isn’t very runny. We had success both with spraying and brushing it on. All in all, we believe this stain and sealer system is very high quality and we think it’s the best fence stain for the money in 2020.

    Pros
    • Will resist peeling, graying and fading
    • Is water-based
    • Stain & sealer in one
    Cons
    • Should only be used on softwood
    • Sealer isn’t very effective

    3. Sashco Transformation Deck & Fence Stain – Premium Choice

    Sashco Transformation Deck & Fence Stain

    If you are searching for a luxurious and deep finish on your fence, Sashco Transformation Deck & Fence Stain is one of the most gorgeous finishes of the stains that we tried. This stain is semi-transparent, so the grain of your wood shows through, and it’s available in 6 different color options.

    This stain is a bit more expensive, so you are going to be paying the premium price for this quality. We should mention, however, it was so easy to apply the stain. It’s not runny, but not overly thick. We tried brushing, spraying, and rolling it, and all three got great results.

    In spite of being among the most expensive stains, it doesn’t come with a built-in sealer. Of course, this is going to cost you more money and time, but when you see the rich finish the stain offers, we’re certain you’ll agree that it will be worth the additional expense. If you’re willing to spend a bit more for the results you want, we recommend this stain. If you are looking for something that’s more budget-friendly, Ready Seal 112 is the one to choose.

    Pros
    • Rich, deep look
    • Hybrid formula with oil-in-water
    • A pleasure to apply
    Cons
    • Very costly
    • Does not come with a sealer

    4. Woodrich Brand Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain

    Woodrich Brand Timber Oil Deep Penetrating Stain

    This stain gives you a natural, rich finish that helps with accentuating the wood’s natural beauty. We really liked how easy it was to apply, with hardly any dripping or running at all. Brushes and sprayers both provided finishes that looked great. Not only that, but the stain can also be used on new lumber. A lot of other stains can only be used on aged wood, so this is a huge advantage.

    It’s great overall stain, but far from perfect. To begin with, it is very expensive, and it falls somewhere between our number one choice and the premium choice. Even though it’s more expensive, it doesn’t come with a sealer, so you will be spending extra money and time. We prefer using products that have the sealer already built in because they offer so many benefits. We really like this stain, but in our opinion the value isn’t good for the price you pay.

    Pros
    • Doesn’t run
    • You can apply it to your new wood
    Cons
    • Very pricey
    • Does not come with a sealer

    5. DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain

    DEFY Extreme Semi-Transparent Wood Stain

    DEFY Extreme semi-transparent exterior wood stain is fortified using zinc nanoparticle technology. What does this mean? It means that sun’s UV rays, which can be very harmful to your paint and wood, will reflected. This should improve your fence’s weather resistance. Not only that, but probably helps with preventing mold and mildew, too. This formula’s a stain and sealer together, so there’s no need to apply a separate sealer. It’s water-based, so it’s easy to clean up and comes in 7 different colors. This makes it easy to find the color that works best for you style and taste.

    Even though it’s a nice overall finish, it’s our opinion that DEFY’s a bit costly. The price is among the highest of the tested stains, even though there isn’t anything about the stain that makes it more special than the rest. We weren’t really impressed with the sealer the product has, either. When we tested it, it only lasted around 6 months and then our wood started to absorb water. However, our biggest gripe was a somewhat patchy finish. For this price, we expected better.

    Pros
    • Comes in 7 finishes
    • UV-resistant to protect the wood
    • Water-based
    • Sealer & stain in one
    Cons
    • Very expensive
    • Sealant will only last around 6 months
    • Looks very patchy

    6. Olympic Stain Maximum Wood Stain

    Olympic Stain Maximum Wood Stain

    When you are looking for something affordable, we recommend Olympic Stain Maximum Wood Stain. This 2-in-1 stain and sealer comes in 8 beautiful finishes. However, the eye-catching finish didn’t last very long. In just a year, the fence we’d stained was beginning to show major signs of weathering. Its color had drastically faded, so we had to put a brand-new coat on. We weren’t impressed with how the second coat covered the original look – it appeared kind of tacky.

    Pros
    • 8 great finish colors from which to choose
    • Price is affordable
    • Sealant & stain in one
    Cons
    • Doesn’t last long
    • Color isn’t appealing

    7. Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain

    Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain

    Are you looking for a fence stain to get the job done in a hurry and forget about it? We recommend Restore-A-Deck Wood Stain. This stain has same-day sealing and staining, and UV protection for weathering the sun. That’s the good news.

    Unfortunately, it can’t be used on new wood. The fence needs to be weathered for at least a year before you can apply this product.

    The stain comes in 4 finishes, although we wish it came with more. The biggest drawback with this stain is the very high price. You’ll pay for the convenience of same-day sealing and staining, and other products on this list have a better reputation.

    Pros
    • Provides UV protection
    • Water-based
    Cons
    • Only comes in 4 colors
    • Very expensive
    • Wood must be weathered at least a year before application

    8. Wood Defender Transparent Fence Stain

    Wood Defender Transparent Fence Stain

    Wood Defender Transparent Fence Stain gives you a good product at an affordable price, but it’s not among our favorites. It comes in just 4 colors, which is a very mediocre selection. Even though the majority of similarly-priced stains come with a built-in sealant, this one doesn’t. The best things about the stain are its even, deep finish, and it can be used in extreme climates. It also comes with a 2-year guarantee, which gives us some breathing room. However, we would prefer if it lasted longer than 2 years.

    Even though a lot of the other formulas are run-free and drip-free, we noticed a lot of drips when using this stain. We had no trouble cleaning them up to create a beautiful finished coat. However, we’d prefer if it didn’t run in the first place.

    Pros
    • Affordable price
    Cons
    • Only 4 color choices
    • Doesn’t have a sealer included

    9. SEAL-ONCE Penetrating Wood Sealer & Stain

    SEAL-ONCE Penetrating Wood Sealer & Stain

    We love the 11 color sections offered by SEAL-ONCE nano-penetrating Wood sealer and stain. However, those options come at a price, because this stain is very expensive. The wood sealing properties of the product are excellent, and it helps to stop moisture from seeping into your wood. That being said, it lacks important UV. But we really didn’t like this product’s runny and thin consistency. We had so many runs and drips that we had to pay close attention and make sure we smoothed it out before it became tacky. We recommend choosing one of the top 3 stains before choosing this one.

    Pros
    • 11 colors
    • Great sealer
    Cons
    • Extremely expensive
    • Doesn’t provide UV protection
    • Really thin and will drip and run
    • Rust-Oleum 321637 Fence Stain Redwood

    10. Rust-Oleum 321637 Fence Stain Redwood

    Rust-Oleum 321637 Fence Stain Redwood

    Redwood is one of the most durable and decay-resistant types of wood, but its Achilles’ Heel is moisture. If you live in a wet climate, a redwood fence needs to be cleaned and stained once a year. Fortunately, most major brands make a reliable stain for redwood. Rust-Oleum could have been one of them.

    The best thing we can say is the Rust-Oleum 321637 Fence Stain has a unique application process. Rather than using a sprayer or brush, you simply hook a hose to its bottle and spray it. Even though this is a unique idea, we didn’t really think it worked well. Although it applied the stain quickly, it also left a huge mess that we had to clean. There was a lot of overspray and we didn’t have a lot of control over the spray pattern. it’s also pretty expensive for a singular fence stain for redwood only. If your fence is made of different wood, you won’t be interested in this product.

    Pros
    • Fast application
    Cons
    • Really messy
    • A lot of material is wasted
    • Costly

    divider 7

    Buyer’s Guide

    Now that you have seen the stains that we recommend, you might be wondering how you can choose the right one for you. Well, wonder no more because we’re going to give you some tips on choosing a fence stain.

    Match or Compliment the Colors on Your Property

    Think about the colors of other features around your home. You want to complement the other colors rather than clash with them. Also consider your garden’s patio stone, pergola, or shed. The color you choose should fit in with their design theme.

    Consider Your Fence Type

    If you’re considering the stain colors for your privacy fence, it’s a good idea to choose a color that’s commonly used such as rich redwood, dark brown, or warm cedar.

    If you’re staining a rail fence on a ranch, you might want to choose a bright color like white.

    For a fence that is modern looking, a color pattern that is staggered with two colors of stain or a grey might be a good choice.

    Think About Your Neighborhood

    Sometimes, it’s possible you’ll want to make a bolder statement using your fence. However, if you live in an HOA, you might be limited. So, know what the rules are before you make your choice.

    Complement Your Property or Home: 3 Tips & Tricks

    1. If you’re staining a fence around the perimeter of a commercial property or neighborhood, sometimes you want to choose a darker color.
    2. If the fence you’re staining is around your house, choose a color that will add to your home’s overall aesthetic.
    3. Along with colors, there are some clear-coat stains that can simply use to give the fence a look that’s ‘wet’.

    Don’t Allow the Fence to Compete

    If you’re showcasing your landscaping or you have a pool that’s your property’s focal point, your fence shouldn’t compete. It should complement your property’s best parts and not draw attention away from those things.

    divider 8

    Conclusion

    Now that you have read the reviews of our top 10 fence stains for 2020, we hope you are ready to choose the stain for refinishing your fence. To recap what we have already said, our choice is Ready Seal 112 exterior wood stain and sealer. We like that it came in 8 colors, it’s biodegradable and has a built-in sealer. We really thought that its overall finish was gorgeous and that it was great at withstanding the elements.

    When you are looking for the stain with the best value, our recommendation is SaverSystems #1 Deck premium wood stain. This stain comes with a sealer built-in and is water based, but the thing we love is the beautiful finish. When you are looking for a stain with a premium price, our suggestion is Sashco Transformation deck and fence stain. This stain has a rich, deep look that is going to rejuvenate your fence. It also has a luxurious finish that you will love applying. We are confident in recommending any of those options to help you give your fence a whole new look and life.


    Featured Image: Amazon

    Related posts

    Other categories

    Project ideas

    Hand & power tools

    woodworking

    Garden

    Automotive