Staining your fence and deck can protect the wood, enhance its beauty, and boost your home’s curb appeal. But what will it actually cost? The price to stain a fence or deck depends on several key factors. This guide examines the costs in detail so you can budget for your project.
Key Factors That Impact Fence and Deck Staining Costs
The main elements that determine your total staining costs include:Surface AreaThe size of the fence or deck has the biggest impact on staining costs. More square footage requires more stain and labor. Measure the linear feet for fences or square footage for decks to estimate materials needed.Wood TypeSoftwoods like pine or cedar are cheaper to stain than hardwoods which may require additional coats. Exotic woods can increase cost but provide distinctive looks.Existing ConditionOld, weathered surfaces require more preparation which adds cost. Newer fences/decks in good condition are cheaper to stain.AccessibilityEasily accessed areas cost less to stain than hard-to-reach spots that require scaffolding or equipment rental.Stain TypePenetrating stains are cheaper than film-forming stains. Premium stains cost more than basic ones. Specialty stains can drive up the price.Labor CostsStaining yourself saves on labor versus hiring a professional. But DIY staining takes more time and work.Disposal FeesDisposal costs for old stain being removed and other debris can add expenses.Now let’s look at typical fence and deck staining costs using these factors.
Fence Staining Costs
Staining an existing fence averages $2-$5 per linear foot depending on the variables above. A professional will typically charge a minimum fee even for small fences.For a medium 150 linear foot wood privacy fence made of cedar, expect to pay:
- Stain (2 coats penetrating stain): $150
- Supplies/equipment: $50
- Labor for prep, staining, cleanup: $450
- Total Cost: $650
On a larger 300 linear foot fence, economies of scale would lower the per foot cost. For example:
- Stain (2 coats penetrating stain): $300
- Supplies/equipment: $75
- Labor for prep, staining, cleanup: $750
- Total Cost: $1,125
Higher end wood species, specialty stains, or film-forming stains would increase costs. While simple chain link fences with minimal surfaces would cost less.
Deck Staining Costs
Staining a typical 500 square foot deck averages between $1,500-$3,000. This breaks down to about $3-$6 per square foot. Variables like wood type, railing additions, and accessibility impact the final price.Here is an example cost breakdown for a 500 square foot deck:
- Decking boards and rails to be stained: 500 sq ft
- Stain (2 coats penetrating formula): $200
- Supplies – brushes, cleaners, etc: $100
- Labor for prep, staining, cleanup: $1,200
- Total Cost: $1,500
For a larger 800 square foot multi-level deck with hardwood surfaces, expect higher staining costs:
- Decking boards and rails to be stained: 800 sq ft
- Stain (2 coats semi-transparent premium formula): $450
- Supplies – brushes, cleaners, etc: $150
- Labor for prep, staining, cleanup: $1,800
- Total Cost: $2,400
As shown, the size, wood type, railings and other factors can significantly impact the deck staining price.
Cost to Stain a Fence vs Deck
In general, deck staining costs more than fencing per square foot since decks have more surface area. Decks also often require railings, fasteners, and steps to be stained which adds cost.However, extremely long fence runs or complex fences with multiple layers of boards can sometimes exceed deck staining prices. It depends on the specific project scope.When budgeting your project, carefully measure your fence linear feet and deck square footage. Get quotes from multiple professionals to compare pricing.
DIY vs Professional Staining
You can save 50% or more by staining your fence or deck yourself versus hiring a pro. But DIY staining requires:
- Buying or renting staining equipment like sprayers, sanders, ladders, etc.
- Correct surface preparation like pressure washing, sanding, scraping, etc.
- Working at heights safely if needed.
- Achieving a uniform stain application across all boards.
- Proper cleanup and stain/chemical disposal.
If you don’t have experience with deck and fence staining, hiring a qualified pro is often worth the cost. They have the tools, expertise, and manpower to complete the project efficiently.
How to Reduce Fence and Deck Staining Costs
Here are some tips to keep your staining costs down:
- Shop sales on stains at home improvement stores. Buy in bulk for big projects.
- Use the same stain brand already on the surface to minimize preparation.
- For fences, use lower cost transparent stain instead of semi-transparent or solid color stains.
- Only stain the rails and balusters on decks, not the underside boards no one sees.
- Hire painters during their off-season when business is slower.
- Split costs with neighbors if staining shared fences.
- Consider lower cost wood tone stains instead of richer colors.
- Remove old stain via sanding instead of chemicals to skip disposal fees.
- DIY smaller projects under 200 sq ft if you have staining experience.
Proper prep work and maintenance staining every 1-2 years reduces costs long-term. Weathered surfaces require extensive prepping and extra coats of stain.
- For most DIYers, hiring a professional for fence and deck staining is worth the investment. Pros have the tools, efficiency and experience to do the job right.
- Expect to pay around $2-$5 per linear foot for wood fence staining. For decks, costs range from $3-$6 per square foot on average.
- The total size, wood type, existing condition and required prep work largely determine staining costs. Request detailed quotes.
- While DIY staining saves on labor, the process is messy and time consuming. Make sure you can properly handle the scope of the project.
- Follow prep and application best practices to achieve results that last. And budget for maintenance coats
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