When To Stain A New Cedar Fence? A Complete Guide

Knowing when to stain a new cedar fence is important. If you stained your fence without giving it some time, it will not stain properly because of the moisture in the wood. Allow then your fence to dry for a month or two and then stain it properly.

Cedarwood is famous for its durability and is, therefore, one of the best woods for fencing. If you stain your cedar fence at the right time, then it will serve you for years to come.

Unlike pine and spruce, cedar fences need way less maintenance and last much longer. Cedar fence lasts for about 15-30 years and is very sustainable.

when to stain a new cedar fence
Photo by Nazrin Babashova on Unsplash

This detailed guide will walk you through all the necessary information you need to know about staining your new cedar fence.

How long do you have to wait to stain a new cedar fence?

Now, how long you should wait before staining your cedar fence? A general rule is that you should wait for 5 to 8 weeks before staining your new cedar fence.

During this period the fence will become dry and ready to get stained. If the is fence made up of some pressure-treated materials, then you should wait for approximately 4 months to dry. You can easily check the moisture by using a moisture meter.

But remember you should not stain your new fence right away, as the wet wood does not allow the stain to penetrate the wood grain properly. Sprinkle some water on the wood, if you see that the water is soaking within 10 minutes, then it’s the right time to stain the fence.

However, if the water standing still on the wood’s surface, then your fence is not ready to get stained.

Should I stain my new cedar fence?

To get the most out of your cedar fence consider staining and sealing it. You should remember that weathering and decay are two of the major causes that are decaying cedar fences.

By applying quality staining and sealing on your cedar fence, you can protect it to a large extent.

You should also consider staining your fence with a stain that is semi-transparent to UV rays. You can get the best outcome by applying two coats of stain. You can repeat this process once every 2-3 years. Also, oil-based paint might last longer.

Staining the cedar fence could prove more expensive than sealing it. But staining usually lasts a lot longer than sealing and is therefore worth the extra money.

Do you need to clean the new cedar fence before staining?

If your cedar fence is new, then you do not need to clean it before staining.

 However, if your fence is old and has gathered some dirt then it is better to clean it before applying stain it. The cleaning process will remove all the dirt, dust, and other materials from your fence.

To clean a cedar fence, you can use a solution of mild dish soap and water. Simply mix a few tablespoons of dish soap into a bucket of warm water and use a sponge or brush to scrub the fence with the solution.

Rinse the fence thoroughly with water after cleaning to remove any soap residue.

How long will a cedar fence last without stain?

Cedar fences can last for two decades without staining, but you won’t be able to preserve their natural appearance. However, the lifespan of cedar is also determined by a multitude of other factors such as its maintenance and environment.

Exposure to sunlight, moisture, and other environmental factors can cause the wood to fade, warp, or crack over time.

If you like the natural color of your cedar fence then staining and sealing are worth considering. This will help to prevent the wood from deteriorating and extend its lifespan.

Does staining a cedar fence make it last longer?

Staining a cedar fence can help to protect the wood and make it last longer. Cedar is a durable wood that is naturally resistant to rot and decay, but it can still be damaged by exposure to sunlight, moisture, and other environmental factors.

Staining the fence with a high-quality wood sealer or stain can help to protect the wood from these elements, and can extend the life of the fence.

Additionally, staining the fence can help to enhance its natural beauty and improve its overall appearance.

However, it is important to use a high-quality stain that is specifically designed for use on cedar and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application carefully to ensure the best results.

Can I leave the cedar fence untreated?

Leaving a cedar fence untreated is not a good idea. Although cedarwood is considered naturally resistant to decay and usually stays intact in a dump environment, it is preferable to stain steel your fence properly.

If you leave a cedar fence on its own, it would gradually turn gray.

Some people may like the gray color but others prefer to preserve its natural look by staining. Water-resistant sealing is also a good option to protect the fence from rain and moisture.

Also, by sealing your fence you can shield it from the harmful UV rays of the sun. You would need to redo the sealing every one to two years. To check the time frame, you can check the product’s label.


So, when to stain a new cedar fence? To conclude cedarwood is one of the best options for fencing your yard. If you stain and seal it properly, it would serve you for years to come.

 For a new cedar fence, you should wait for 2 to 4 months before staining it.  Sealing is another way to shield your fence from warping and cracking. Also, try to renew the paint on your fence every 2-3 years. This will protect your fence from decaying and graying too early.

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