What Type of Brush to Stain a Wooden Fence?

Written by ryan lawrence
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What Type of Brush to Stain a Wooden Fence?
If left unfinished, a wood fence will turn grey. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

If you've travelled down most any neighbourhood street, you've probably noticed row after row of grey wood fencing between each home. If left unfinished, wood will weather to a dull or silvery grey. To prevent this occurrence and prolong the life of your fence, finish it with a waterproof stain. Use the right brush based on the type of stain you are using, or you will end up with a damaged tool.

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Oil-based Stain

Synthetic polyester and nylon paintbrushes aren't suited for oil-based stains, because their bristles are unable to tolerate the harsh petroleum base. If you would like to apply an oil-based stain to your wooden fence, use a natural-bristled paintbrush. These types of brushes are equipped with bristles made from animal hair. This characteristic leaves them well-suited for petroleum-based finishes.

Latex Stain

If you use a natural-bristled paintbrush to apply latex stain to your wooden fence, the bristles will become misshapen. Latex stain contains water; when water comes into contact with natural brush bristles, they become deformed. If you plan to finish your wooden fence with a water-based latex stain, use a synthetic polyester or nylon paintbrush.

Cleaning

It's critical that you choose the right cleaning solution based on the brush you're working with. Choose clean tap water to rinse latex stain from synthetic polyester or nylon paintbrushes; use white spirit to wash oil-based stain from natural-bristled paintbrushes. Don't replace one for the other, or you will permanently damage the paintbrush.

Considerations

Wooden fences are usually made from inexpensive softwoods, such as pine or cedar. While these fences are well-suited for oil-based stains, they tend to darken and flake over time. Water-based latex stains tend to provide longer-lasting results on wooden fences. Although you may use a synthetic polyester paintbrush to apply latex stain, nylon brushes tend to prove more effective on rough wooden surfaces.

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