After you’ve decided on the type of fence you want, next you’re faced with the decision on whether to have it painted or stained. Either of these two choices will help extend the lifespan of your fence by giving it some protection against wear and tear, pets, weather and insects. Painting and staining also helps prevent the wood from warping or twisting to keep the shape preserved.

As much as both techniques help to preserve the wood, there are differences to consider between both of the two. Here is TorOnCa’s guide to everything from duration to the price of staining fences or painting fences:

Finish Duration

Stain: Stain finishes do require regular maintenance and attention. This finish should be reapplied every three years. It can require more frequent attention due to harsh Canadian winter conditions or considerable rainfall. Stain finishes tend to show less wear than a paint finish. There may be areas of fading or deterioration, but they’re less noticeable.

Paint: Paint finishes also need regular maintenance and a paint reapplication may be required every five to ten years. Paint finishes can, unfortunately, show deterioration more visibility with cracks, bubbles and peeling over time.


Stain: Stain finishes often require two full days for the application process. The fence will soak up the finish rather than have it sit on the surface as the painting does. Wood can be stained with pigmented finishes or dyes leaving a permanent change of colour to the surface it touches. To apply a stain finish, you must wait until it is at least 10 degrees Celsius outside, with no rain forecasted for that day and the following two to three days. 

Paint: Paint requires a coat of primer to achieve a proper finish and good adhesive. For outdoor fences, you’ll need quality outdoor latex paint to have the surface dry within four to eight hours based on weather conditions. Wood often takes to stain much easier, and paint will require finishing with sanding and smoothing the surface. Paint can be applied in many different weather conditions, as long as there is no rain.


Stain: Stains are quite budget-friendly and can run between $20 and $35 per gallon. Staining is usually more affordable, but because wood soaks it up, you may require more stain overall which could be costly. The type of fence being stained will affect the overall cost. A fence that is over six feet will require more stain, and each fence stain job will need a professional’s estimate of the overall cost.

Paint: Paint may cost anything from $30 to $60 per gallon, plus you may have to factor in primer and wood preservative price. Fence painting service will inspect the structure to determine a cost estimate and the type of coatings and preparations needed. That will add to the other costs of painting.

Your dream fence isn’t complete without its stain or paint finish. Whichever you choose, TorOnCa guarantees it will look sleek and appealing on one of our fences.