How to Pre-stain Fence Pickets Without Making a Mess

May 21, 2024 | Fence Staining, Deck Staining

Are you tired of messy staining jobs when pre-staining your fence pickets?

Fear no more!

In this blog post, we’ll guide you through 8 easy step-by-step instructions on how to pre-stain fence pickets without making a mess.

wooden pool fence with chair


We’ll explore how the StainTrac machine can simplify the staining process, especially for contractors.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

Ensuring you have all the necessary materials before pre-staining your fence pickets is a crucial first step.

Gather fence pickets, what wood material are you using?

Cedar wood or Redwood?

What are the appropriate stain?

Are you using brush or sprayer for application?

How about the drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect your workspace, gloves for hand protection, and a stirring stick to mix the stain evenly.

choosing the right wood

This preparation not only saves time but also guarantees a smooth and organized staining process.

Having all your materials ready at the outset sets the stage for a successful project.

By collecting everything you need upfront…

You eliminate the frustration of interruptions and ensure a focused staining experience.

Efficient, right?!

Also, let’s not forget the best time to stain your fence!

You should plan out ahead if it your project falls on a certain season so you will know when it is expected to be done.

Proper preparation lays the groundwork for achieving a clean and professional finish on your fence pickets, making the effort well worth it.

Step 2: Prepare the Work Area

Creating a conducive work environment is paramount when pre-staining fence pickets.

This step involves preparing the work area by laying down drop cloths or plastic sheeting to safeguard the ground against potential staining mishaps.

staining wood fence

This simple yet essential step not only protects your surroundings but also streamlines the cleanup process post-staining, saving you time and effort.

By establishing a designated workspace, you can focus on the task at hand without worrying about accidental spills or stains on unintended surfaces.

It’s important to note…

Setting up a well-organized work area promotes efficiency and precision during the staining process.

By containing the project within a defined space, you create a controlled environment that minimizes distractions and maximizes your ability to concentrate on achieving a flawless finish.

And ultimately!

Properly prepared work area sets the stage for a successful and stress-free staining experience, ensuring that your focus remains on enhancing the appearance and longevity of your fence pickets.

Step 3: Mix the Stain

This step plays a crucial role in the pre-staining process by emphasizing the importance of properly mixing the stain before application.

Begin by thoroughly stirring the stain using a stirring stick to ensure a consistent and uniform color.

stain selection

This step is vital as it helps distribute any pigments that may have settled at the bottom of the can, ensuring a smooth and even application on the fence pickets.

By taking the time to mix the stain adequately, you set the foundation for a professional-looking finish that enhances the natural beauty of the wood.

One must understand…

Consistency in the stain’s color and thickness is key to achieving a seamless and attractive end result!

Mixing the stain well also helps prevent streaks or uneven coverage on the fence pickets, ensuring a uniform appearance across the entire surface.

By dedicating attention to this step, you not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of the wood but also improve the overall durability and protection provided by the stain.

Properly mixed stain sets the stage for a successful pre-staining process, allowing you to create a beautifully finished fence that withstands the test of time.

And now, the exi

Step 4: Apply the Stain

This step involves the application of the stain onto the fence pickets, a critical step in the pre-staining process.

Whether using a brush or sprayer, it is essential to apply a thin and even coat of stain to ensure optimal coverage and absorption into the wood.

Working along the grain of the wood helps prevent streaking and promotes a smooth finish on the pickets.

additional stain coats

By paying attention to the application technique, you can enhance the natural beauty of the wood while providing protection against the elements.

Once the stain is applied, it’s important to wipe off any excess product with a clean cloth.

Removing the excess stain helps prevent drips and uneven coverage, resulting in a more professional and consistent finish on the fence pickets.

By taking the time to apply the stain carefully and wipe off excess, you ensure that each picket receives the right amount of product, enhancing both its appearance and longevity.


This meticulous approach to application sets the stage for a successful staining process, resulting in beautifully stained fence pickets that stand out in both quality and aesthetics.

Step 5: Wipe Off Excess Stain

This step, wiping off excess stain, is a crucial step in ensuring a clean and professional finish when pre-staining fence pickets.

After applying the stain, use a clean cloth to gently wipe off any excess product that has not been absorbed by the wood.

restaining wood fence

By removing the surplus stain, you prevent drips, runs, and uneven coverage, which can detract from the overall appearance of the pickets.

This meticulous process not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the wood but also helps maintain a consistent and smooth finish.

Wiping off excess stain is essential for achieving a polished look and ensuring that the stain penetrates the wood effectively.

By taking the time to carefully remove any leftover product, you can eliminate the risk of blotches or streaks on the fence pickets.

This attention to detail contributes to a professional-quality finish that not only enhances the visual appeal of your fence but also provides added protection against the elements, prolonging the lifespan of the wood.

Step 6: Allow to Dry

This step, which involves allowing the stained fence pickets to dry thoroughly, is a crucial stage in the pre-staining process that impacts the overall quality of the finish.

After applying the stain…

It is essential to let the pickets dry completely according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

pre-stain wood fence

Proper drying time ensures that the stain fully penetrates the wood, enhancing its color and providing lasting protection against the elements.

Adequate ventilation in the drying area is important to facilitate the drying process and prevent any potential issues like uneven drying or odors.

Allowing the stain to dry completely before proceeding to the next steps is crucial for achieving a professional-looking result.

Rushing this stage can lead to smudges, smears, or damage to the finish, compromising the appearance and durability of the fence pickets.

By exercising patience and giving the wood sufficient time to dry, you set the foundation for a successful staining project that showcases the natural beauty of the wood while ensuring long-lasting protection.

This step is an essential part of the pre-staining process that cannot be overlooked if you want to achieve a flawless and durable finish on your fence pickets.

Step 7: Flip and Repeat

This step involves flipping the fence pickets over once the first side is dry and repeating the staining process on the other side.

This step ensures that both sides of the pickets receive thorough and uniform coverage, enhancing the overall appearance and protection of the wood.

Spray Staining

By flipping and repeating the staining process, you guarantee that all surfaces of the pickets are properly treated, resulting in a consistent and professional finish that withstands the test of time.

Consistency in staining both sides of the fence pickets is crucial for achieving a balanced look and ensuring that the wood is adequately protected from environmental elements.

By following this step, you maintain the integrity of the wood and minimize the risk of uneven exposure or discoloration over time.

Taking the time to flip and repeat the staining process demonstrates attention to detail and a commitment to producing a high-quality end result that enhances the aesthetic appeal and longevity of your fence.

Step 8: Clean Up

And the last final step, in the pre-staining process, emphasizes the importance of thorough cleanup to ensure a tidy work area and proper maintenance of your tools.

After completing the staining of both sides of the fence pickets, it is crucial to clean your brushes, sprayer, and any spills promptly using the appropriate cleaning solution.

applying stain

Removing excess stain from equipment helps prolong their lifespan and ensures they remain in good condition for future use.

Additionally, dispose of used cloths and materials responsibly to maintain a clean and organized workspace.

A diligent approach to cleaning up after pre-staining your fence pickets not only contributes to a professional finish but also helps prevent stains and spills from drying and causing damage to your tools or work area.

By promptly addressing any spills or drips and cleaning your equipment thoroughly, you set yourself up for success in future staining projects.

Maintaining a clean and organized workspace not only promotes efficiency and safety but also reflects a commitment to quality craftsmanship and attention to detail in your work.


Streamline Your Staining Process with StainTrac Machine

To enhance the efficiency of your staining workflow, consider incorporating the StainTrac machine, an innovative solution tailored for contractors seeking a streamlined approach.

staintrac staining machine

This automated device simplifies the staining process for fence pickets by seamlessly applying a uniform coat of stain.

This is the best way to stain a fence especially when you are running a fencing business!

How To Stain A Pergola

Just load the pickets onto the machine, adjust the stain settings to your preference, and witness the StainTrac efficiently completing the task with precision.

Wood Staining Machine

By utilizing the StainTrac machine, you not only save time but also minimize the chances of spills and excess product, resulting in a flawless finish.

Its accuracy in application guarantees a professional outcome, making it an essential asset for professionals and DIY enthusiasts alike.

StainTrac Commercial Fence Stain Sprayer

Embrace the StainTrac machine to revolutionize your staining endeavors and consistently achieve impeccable results.

Incorporating tools like the StainTrac simplifies the pre-staining process of fence pickets, enabling a hassle-free and effective workflow that delivers perfectly stained pickets effortlessly. 

Staining Can Be Made Easy by Using StainTrac Staining Machine

The StainTrac Staining Machine is a game-changer for fence staining projects.

It’s designed specifically for contractors who prefer to pre-stain wood before fence installation — a process that can be messy and time-consuming.

StainTrac Staining Machine

The StainTrac system revolutionizes the process of staining fence pickets by ensuring a precise, uniform application of stain on all sides.

Utilizing a series of stain-infused brushes, it guides the pickets through, guaranteeing comprehensive coverage and eliminating the common issue of missed spots often encountered in manual staining methods.

With its time-saving capabilities, the StainTrac system proves to be a valuable asset, significantly expediting the pre-staining process and allowing for increased productivity.

By significantly reducing the time required for staining each picket individually, the StainTrac Staining Machine offers the dual benefit of time efficiency and flexibility for attending to other essential tasks.

The system minimizes waste by repurposing excess stain, leading to reduced stain consumption, cost savings, and a positive impact on environmental sustainability.

To learn more about the StrainTrac Machine, check the video below!

To Conclude

StainTrac machine is an investment!

It not only offers time and cost savings but also spares you from extensive manual efforts, providing a practical and convenient solution for your fence staining requirements.

Are you ready to simplify and expedite your fencing ventures?

Elevate your projects with the StainTrac Staining Machine and experience firsthand the transformative impact it can bring to your workflow. 

Contact us now and know you’re in good hands!