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Can A Sprayer Be Used For Fence Staining?

Airless sprayers are one of the most useful time-saving pieces of equipment for painting or staining tasks. In this article, we will cover what an airless sprayer is, if it can be used for fence staining, and what considerations need to be made when using an airless sprayer for fence staining.


fence staining
Fence Staining in Verona, WI

What is an airless sprayer?

An airless paint sprayer is a tool used for applying paint or stain to various surfaces without the need for compressed air. Instead of relying on air pressure to atomize the paint, an airless sprayer uses a high-pressure pump to force the paint through a small nozzle opening at the spray gun's tip, creating a fine spray (or mist). This method enables the paint to be applied evenly and efficiently, covering large areas in a much shorter amount of time compared to traditional brush or roller methods.


Airless paint sprayers are commonly used in a variety of commercial and industrial settings, as well as by DIY enthusiasts tackling home improvement projects. They are capable of spraying a wide range of coatings, including latex, oil-based paints, stains, varnishes, and lacquers. The adjustable pressure settings allow for control over the paint flow, enabling users to achieve different spray patterns and finishes. With proper technique and maintenance, airless paint sprayers deliver professional-quality results while significantly reducing application time (i.e. labor costs).


Can an airless sprayer be used for fence staining?

Yes, an airless paint sprayer absolutely can and should be used for staining fences. Its high-pressure pump allows for even stain distribution onto the wood and it can cover large areas really quickly. It has adjustable pressure settings so users can control the flow or intensity of stain, allowing for customization of spray patterns to suit different fence types, sizes, and user preferences. 


Using an airless sprayer for fence staining can significantly reduce application time compared to traditional methods like brushing or rolling, making it a preferred choice for both professionals and DIY enthusiasts looking to achieve a uniform and professional finish on their fences.


One thing to note: airless sprayer use does require some experience and expertise to look good. Improper use is risky as it can lead to an uneven finish on a fence. This is obviously not ideal and fence staining with a sprayer should only be done if you are confident in your abilities and have had some practice.


sprayer fence
Sprayer in Action in Menasha, WI

Considerations to Make

  • Preparation of the Surface: Ensure the fence is clean, dry, and free from dirt, debris, and previous coatings. Pressure washing is likely the easiest way to achieve all of these goals. Repair or replace any damaged areas and sand rough spots to achieve a smoother surface for optimal stain adhesion.

  • Weather Conditions: Choose a day with mild temperatures and low wind to prevent overspray and ensure proper drying of the stain. Avoid staining in direct sunlight, as it can cause the stain to dry too quickly, leading to uneven application.

  • Sprayer Settings: Adjust the sprayer's pressure and nozzle settings according to the type and viscosity of the stain being used. Test the settings on a scrap piece of wood to achieve the desired spray pattern and coverage.

  • Protection and Ventilation: Protect surrounding surfaces from overspray by using drop cloths or masking materials. Ensure proper ventilation in the work area to prevent inhalation of fumes and overspray buildup.

  • Technique and Coverage: Maintain a consistent spraying distance and speed while applying the stain to the fence panels. Work methodically, overlapping each pass slightly to ensure even coverage and avoid streaks or blotches. Take breaks regularly to inspect the application and make adjustments as needed. The ideal technique for most fences is to work up and down for each section of the fence in a squatting technique to avoid too much variation in distance or angle of spray.


Spraying a fence is by far the most useful technique for a typical suburban wooden fence. If you are looking for more advice on this topic or help with an existing or upcoming fence staining project, reach out to EcoWash.

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