DIY Fence Restoration: What NOT To Do!

Hello Friends! Today I am starting with a disclaimer--don't let the pretty before and after photo fool you...

DIY Fence restoration

Yes, I am happy with my finished results but this project required me to experience the four stages of DIY recovery. Can you relate? We all enjoy those inspired times when the project goes according to plan and all is right with the world but let's face it--even the best intentions can go awry. Wrong fabric choices, faulty recipe substitutions, or severely under estimating the time/cost involved can drive even the most dedicated DIYers to seek their Higher Power in order to complete the task at hand! To be honest most of us are just too stubborn to quit and so I share my journey with you.

DIY Fence Restore

Step 1 Inspiration: This is that light bulb moment when a bright idea is born.  In my case after seeing my faded discolored fence and deciding it definitely needed some tender loving care. I started by cleaning it with a vinegar water solution--just spraying and leaving it on for about 10 minutes, then rinsing it off with the hose.  Next, I had some cedar stain from a previous project I brushed on with a large brush which actually moved along pretty quickly.  I ran out of stain when I was about half way finished.  

DIY wood fence stain

Step 2 Frustration:  I needed several things from the dreaded W store--you know the one that ends in m-a-r-t?  Living in a small town forces me to make the occasional stop there which almost always ends in frustration, so there was my first mistake. Since it was on the other side of town from Home Depot, origin of the first cedar stain, I thought I would save a trip so I picked up a a second can there.  As you can see from the picture, what follows next is not pretty! The second stain on the left is the color I would call redwood-- so much so I found myself checking the can label more than once. Yes, I should have known better but in my defense, I have used different brands of cedar colored stain in the past with consistent results.  Before this fiasco, I thought cedar stain was kind of like white spray paint--safe to purchase in varying brands without worry of matching.  I was wrong! 

DIY Wood Fence Restore

Step 3 Resignation:  Unfortunately, I had painted several sections of the fence before I realized the color was not improving as it dried. Ugh!  Did I mention my fence is very long--78 feet to be exact.  Fortunately, I had the pretty color to motivate me to finish even if it meant buying another can of the good stain and re-staining the ugly.  More time and money but I was resigned, so I was off to Home Depot.  Pictured above are the stains I mentioned, though not visible in the photo, both are named cedar. I have nothing against redwood, it simply doesn't match the rest of my existing fence. If you are looking for a true cedar stain, this is a good example of what to use and what not to use!  

DIY wood fence restore

Step 4 Victory:  Success at last--I can hear the hallelujah choir singing! I was concerned that the good stain might not cover the darker color, but my doubts were soon put to rest.  I may have spent more time and money than intended, but I have walked the steps and learned from my experience. Maybe it will save someone else some grief. Best of all, I am pleased with the finished project...finally!  What about you? Have you had to persevere or overcome obstacles to complete a DIY project? I would love to hear your feedback! 

Signature My Thrift Store Addiction

Party link

Would you like to comment?

I absolutely love to read your thoughtful comments and enjoy responding to each one! I will respond to your comments here. You may check back to see my response or check the "notify me" box. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!