Michael Dresdner

straight talk about wood finishing

Don’t fence me in

Q: I have an older privacy fence made of staggered treated pine; the kind you buy in sections at Home Depot. Over the years the fence has grayed and I want to clean and stain it. My plan is to use deck cleaner and some light pressure washing to clean. Afterwards, I want to stain and maybe something to help maintain. I would like to spray. I have a 3-stage (model 800, 5.5 psi) and a 4-stage (model 1000, 8.0 psi) Apollo turbines but haven’t used them very much and never for this type of project. I also have a conventional spray gun, but a small 13 gallon compressor. Can you recommend a good stain or finish that would be appropriate with my equipment?
A: Most deck stains and sealers are quite thin, and can be thinned further. Thus, any of the three spraying options you have will work just fine. My first choice would be the four stage turbine, as it is portable, powerful enough, and easy to move around even outdoors on the deck. That’s what I use when I spray my own deck. As for brands of deck stains and sealers, there are lots of good ones out there, including Olympic, CW Flood, and the one I usually use, Wolman F&P.