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Discussion Starter #1
back again...
I put up a backyard fence in 2015. just your basic 6ft rail & slat job, nothing fancy, pressure-treated wood. So far I've just been coating it each year with Thompsons Waterseal Clear, but it's starting to show its age... not real pretty any more, but not as bad as some others around, that just aged with nothing applied..Da wife would like it spruced up a bit, so I thought I might give a stain job a go.
I'm looking for something in a semi-transparent (not solid) very light shade of brown...
just "hint" of color. Years ago, in old house I used Thompsons "Honey Gold" product & it was not bad...
Just wondering if the handymen / painters here on CMF could offer up any good current options that might fit the bill. As always, cost IS an object..lol Thanks.
 

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I wonder if your staining job will make a mess on the other side of the fence for your neighbors, especially if you change color?

ltr
 

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I would use a solid oil finish. Semi won't hide the aging. You shouldn't need to address the finish on a fence more than once every 5 years even on the Rock.
 

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Staining now will likely mean staining again every few years. My parents pressure treated fence is over 40 years old. I don’t think it looks bad at all. Replace the odd rotten boards (usually the top ones).
 

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Your easiest solution, would be to just pressure wash the fence. It will come back looking quite good!. If not, sand it a bit and use Pressure+PLus. https://www.lowes.ca/product/exterior-stains/pressure-plus-light-semi-transparentsemi-solid-exterior-stain-851357

For our new deck and railings, I used Pressure+PLus. It is water based and made by Sansin, in Canada. Easy to apply and cleanup! Been on now for about 9 months. Not long, but it still looks like new. Bought ours at Lowes:

Because your fencing is weathered, it will need some preparation - the hard part! Our decking was new pressure treated wood and it now looks like cedar! I do plan to use same product on some older decking and railings.
How-To: Pressure Plus | How To

This product soaks into the wood and does not create an external coating. You will be sorry if you use a solid stain or any product that builds up on surface. Eventually those types will flake off, look like hell, and require a lot of work to get back to wood.

On our old cedar we used numerous products over it's 30 year life. Only one that really worked well was by CIL and oil based. Also totally soaked into wood - no surface coating. But these days CIL, and just about everyone else, no longer make oil based stains or paints. (For environmental reasons)
 

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Theres a difference between cedar & pressure treated wood...pressure treated doesn't absorb much.
 

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The whole point of pressure treated wood is that the pores of the wood have a solution that discourages bugs from boring into the wood and also stops moisture (rain) from getting into the wood and rotting it. That's why a deck made using non-pressure treated pine will rot much faster than a deck made using pressure treated pine.

Since the pores have been 'filled up' and therefore sealed with the pressure treating solution though, that means any stain or any other product like Thomson's Water Seal, will NOT in fact be absorbed into the wood to any appreciable degree. They will in fact, sit on the surface. Even transparent stains will sit on the surface and be subject to peeling. Transparent, semi-transparent and solid simply refer to the amount of pigment that has been added.

The good news with a fence is that the boards that are vertical do not peel the way the boards that are horizontal on a deck peel. Our deck peels enough to need redone every few years while our garden shed needs done far less often. The only side of the shed that needs done every say 5 years is the side that gets the most sun and bad weather, that is the west side.

I would not stain a pressure treated deck or fence at all if I had my way. I like that sliver gray colour that ALL woods will naturally become with time. My wife however, prefers a different colour and so I am stuck with a maintenance job that must be done every few years that could have been totally avoided. Now I just hire a local high school student for the job.
 

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Theres a difference between cedar & pressure treated wood...pressure treated doesn't absorb much.
That is why the surface has to be sanded to open the pores - at least with new PT wood. We applied two coats to new Sienna PT boards and it soaked in fine. Pressure+Plus provides instructions. It is designed for PT wood. Most stains say to wait a year before staining PT. But P+P can be used even on new PT.

BTW, Ignore what LTA said. PT wood does not have a water repellent layer unless one is applied. Even then, it doesn't last for long. I suspect Jargey's is long gone :)

If you want to just add a water repellent coating, coat new PT with Thompson's water seal. If you want to stain your PT so it is cosmetically more appealing, use Press+Plus making sure to follow manufacturer's application instructions. It will look good and it will also repel water.
 

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That is why the surface has to be sanded to open the pores - at least with new PT wood. We applied two coats to new Sienna PT boards and it soaked in fine. Pressure+Plus provides instructions. It is designed for PT wood.
LOL, so you are removing the seal that pressure treated wood has to repel water and replacing it with a different seal to repel water. Uh huh, that makes sense. Not.

Pressure treated wood may need NO maintenance whatsoever for 40 plus years. Staining it is ONLY about aesthetics, not longevity of the deck or fence. Not all pressure treated wood is created EQUAL however. Some will let more moisture in that others depending on the 'treatment' used on them. So that will affect how long they last.

Read point 3 here: Wood Myths: Facts and Fictions About Wood | Building and Construction Technology | UMass Amherst
Note particularly this part.
"Better yet, buy treated wood that has water repellent chemicals included as part of the pressure-treating process. UltraWood by CSI, Charlotte, NC and Wolmanized Extra by Hickson Corp., Smyrna, GA are 2 examples of this product. The repellent gets injected deep into the wood along with the preservative. This type of decking will perform better for a longer period of time. UltraWood guarantees water repellency for 50 years! I’m a skeptic, but that is quite a promise. It is a great idea to purchase KDAT lumber (kiln dried after treatment) whenever the budget allows. You will have less initial shrinkage and the deck will look much nicer for years."

Read about the different types of pressure treatments here: Pressure-Treated Wood: Types, Grading Standards & More | Decks.com

Besides the possibility of you just getting a 'better deal' on your wood when you buy it from one retailer vs. another, it is also possible you are simply buying a lower quality pressure treated wood. Duhhhh.
 

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There are many different grades of pwf wood as well, from direct bury to marine to deck grade. Each should be treated differently for appearance finishes.
 

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There are many different grades of pwf wood as well, from direct bury to marine to deck grade. Each should be treated differently for appearance finishes.
Regardless of type of PTed, wear an N95 mask when cutting. Luckily I still had a supply left over from my last deck project. The old green type is no longer sold in stores, because of toxicity. Too bad, it worked well.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
the PT wood we get around here is pine, I think, pretty soft...and the "pressure-treatment" is pretty thin. With the constant pounding it gets from our weather - 7 months of mostly rain & wind, & 5 months of mostly snow & rain & wind, NOTHING stands up very long..it gets ugly pretty quick.
not a pretty picture...
 

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Buy the stuff for direct bury...it is good for 100 years. Pine is the best wood for the wolmonizing process...Home Depot etc like to sell cheap crap they call pressure treated...junk like Sun Wood etc is for tourists.
 

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Many deck boards have mill glaze from the planning process, which burnishes the wood surface making it hard and impenetrable for stain, and paint won't adhere well. Mill glaze can be removed by sanding, or with a chemical treatment then power washing. Don't use too much pressure if power washing though, because it can damage the surface leaving a fuzzy texture that won't stain well either.

I don't like the look of old PT wood fences, but I like staining a fence even less.
 

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direct bury? what is that?
Some PT wood has a different more resistant treatment meant for burying. It's mainly available in sizes used for posts and wood foundations. Other PT is designed for above ground use, typically available in sizes for deck boards and fence planks.
 

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It is PWF used in foundations for houses...rated for direct contact with wet clay...there's even a more durable pwf used for marine uses is UC5A. I used UC4C back in the day on many building in Alberta...the oldest was 1974, an 8' basement built near Edmonton in clay....people still happy as of a few years ago. The lumber came wth a 100 year warranty although the original manufacturers are no longer in business.
I also built a minimum security prison foundation using pwf in 1978.

UC4B and UC4C—Wood placed in contact with ground in high or severe decay hazard areas, and wood that is structur-ally critical Wood treated to UC1, UC2, UC3A, UC4B, and UC4C is not kept in stock in many retail lumber yards but can usually be ordered for specific projects. For most preservatives, retentions are the same for UC1, UC2, UC3A, and UC3B.
 

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Hey Jargey - Time to tear that fence down and use Eder's good stuff :)

Our cedar deck had deteriorated and rotted out in parts after 30 years. However, the pressure treated structure was still excellent and I re-used almost all of it when redoing the deck. But that was the old type with the better preservative. This time re-decked with pressure treated from Lowes - the brown stuff. Some of it very poor quality and had to be returned. However, deck now looks amazing. I don't need it to last another 30 years, but it may.

We also have plain old pressure treated on and around our dock. I just let it weather. It's been there for years and still looks fine. We also have a small PT fence. It gets grungy - mainly due to not getting much sun (like NFLD?)
 
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