Fence Clean & Stain

I have a fence that I am going to clean soon. However, I may end up staining the fence. I have a 12V setup for sealing/staining that I haven’t used yet. It’s a portable situation with a 2.2 GPM pump. I’m wondering if this would work and if so what nozzle should I use to apply the stain???

2.2 a little much for staining but it will work. The Chapin brass gun you need only flows at .5gpm and same with most nozzles you’ll need.


Ditto on the Chapin…we used those exclusively when we were staining, they sprayed the stain real good (onto anything and everything in sight, hence why we quit staining…)…same for their composite one for concrete sealer.

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OK can you take a look at this fence? I didn’t finish today because I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve read all the threads on it. I wetted it down. Then 12V sodium percarbonate/surfactant mix. Agitated with soft brush. Then I ended up cleaning it with my soap nozzle. The gauge said 500 psi. I don’t know if my gauge is off, it seemed like more than that. Then I put F 8 in my chemical tank same ratio as F10 1 cup per gallon. I 12V the fence again. Then I rinse after 10-15 minutes.

Looks like you can see where the wood is clean at , i think the rest is last bit of the old nasty stuff you just didnt finish removing it in most spots 100%…
:man_shrugging: just a guess you might cpuld used a hair more psi to lift the old if thats the case , well see when someone who knows for sure haha

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I’m no wood expert but SH probably would’ve been a little more effective on this one, plus some oxalic after

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He applied F8 he said after which is oxalic

like I said im no wood expert… I just think the SH would’ve help a bit with the organic stuff on there

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When I got close up to the fence, those lighter areas that are “almost” clean looked like the wood was firred. I hope that it’s just the last bit of mold hanging on & not the wood getting blasted.

With percarb it kills organics but it isnt as potent as SH needs longer dwell for sure. Id hit it again try to get the rest off myself i think the clean looks way better akd will be soke furring its definitely not new wood as long as you arent “etching” into it like grooves you should be ok

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“[and] will be soke furring…” not sure what you meant here
Oh nevermind I think you meant there will be some furring as its old wood

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Anyone else have input on this? The more the better as far as I’m concerned.

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@MDA1775 may have some input?

So start with that fence had been neglectedfor a long time, that said sodium percarbonate is what I start with on decks but I’ve never used it on a fence. It will sit on horizontal surfaces and work but you need a bit more when it runs down the fence. I start with SH and bump up as needed. You have a good start on this fence but there is still algae in the wood but that may fade out when it’s dry. Personally I would have downstreamed SH with a 10 min dwell and rinsed/washed from end to end. You mentioned fuzzing or furring, I’m sure there is some. That fence has a combination of UV damage and organics that was destroying the wood those fibers are going to break. I’d suggest using Wood Defender semi transparent in Sable Brown or Coffee, both have do much pigment in them they cover anything to include furring BUT you have to mix them properly. That means drill mixer then pour off the entire bucket then mineral spirits in the original bucket stirred with a paint brush and then recombined. If you’re using a 2.2 , try the red T Jet tip. You might have stringers at the edge of your fan but it will blend right in. Hopefully that helps.

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LOL, Jason, you shouldn’t drink and read how to clean fences. OK, couple of things. The fence obviously in fairly bad shape. I would have hit with about a 2%SH mix, after wetting and then washed it. Hit with the ox, let dwell about 5min and rinsed.
Couple of things, if using the percarbonate don’t really need to neutralize if you actually wash it. Where did you ever read to wash with a soft brush, wasn’t on here? IF you’re going to brush, which I’ve never done except for a grease spot or two on a deck, you need something like a concrete brush. Next, take your pressure gage, walk to trash can and throw it in and shut the lid. Guys, wash means wash. 500psi won’t knock the dirt off vinyl siding, much less knock crud off a fence.

Take your white 40deg tip, hold wand so that spray on tip covers the width of a board (about 6"-7") and make nice steady pass the length of the board. It will probably be 12-15" from fence. Wear old clothes, can get messy at bottom, lol. May need to go up and down on each board. 4’-5’ wand works well. Quit babying them. They’re old pieces of wood. If you get a little furring, no one cares on a fence. It will lay down in less than a week. You’ve got to blast that old wood off of there. In the old days, no one used chems, they PRESSURE washed them. Reason you have a pressure washer. Nowadays we use a combination, but you still need to wash. On treated pine can easily go 1500 psi. I’ve gone more, if necessary. I’ve actually had one I used a turbo on it was so bad.

If you’ve got anymore sections to do, try one section like MDA and I said, using SH, wash like I said with white tip, OX it and rinse. Ox doesn’t have to stay on hardly anytime. It will brighten it almost instantly. Rinse well.

Now the next section, try not using any chems, and just pressure wash it.

Next try your Sod Perc on and wash aggressively. Don’t use Ox on it. Just rinse to knock any dirt off that you blow up from bottom. Take pics of each and report back

If you don’t have any sections that you haven’t touched yet, go out there and man up on your pressure washer using technique I told you above on a section or 2. Take pics and report back.


When a fence is bad like that step up to sodium Metasicilate or even a lighter mix of sodium hydroxide is an option.

Sodium Percarbonate = mildest cleaner
Sodium Metasicilate = light stripper/ stronger cleaner
Sodium Hydroxide = stripper/ strongest

Sodium hydroxide used here yesterday. 4oz per gallon. Helps with bad organics vs using SH.

But like @MDA1775 and @Racer said SH can work. They also have far more experience than I do.

My Wood Procedure:

  1. Wet wood.
  2. Apply Sodium Metasicilate(4-6oz per gallon of warm water), dwell 5-10 minutes.
  3. Rinse with white tip (40 degree tip) at 6-8 inches away in one continuous motion. Do not stop or go backwards. If you miss something don’t stop. Continue until the end, then start again. Do not go backwards.
  4. Rinse.
  5. Apply Oxalic Acid 3-6oz per gallon of water (cold is fine) leave Oxalic on fence. Wood Cleaning Procedure

I hit it with about 3% then White tip, then the oxalic. I 12V the oxalic not sure if I got enough on there, then rinsed w/12V to flush the pump. I went back to the first side and realized it wasn’t that bad after all but I still hit it w/the 3% with minimal dwell and then cleaned it again. I wanted to get it done & I think it came out great now.


Much better. Let dry a few days and ready to stain


A couple of fence pics that I may add over to the deck cleaning thread also.

Test I did last week - For some reason first pic I took showing completely untreated didn’t save, but I didn’t realize till later so took pic of section of backside right beside the ones I did. It’s pretty much how they looked when I started. All pics taken 3 days later. Fence approx. 15 years old, has never had anything done to it.

Front side of the area - section to left, gate and section to right

OK, on all sections DS’ed 2 applications of standard HW mix, that I’d just used on house. About 3 min in between.
Left section just normal rinse with my m5DS nozzle that I’d applied with

Middle section, gate, applied 3 rd coat and rinsed a little closer with same nozzle. About 12" - about 400psi at nozzle

Final pic right section- used 40 deg white tip at 2800 psi 18" away EXCEPT for very right 4 boards and post when nozzle held at 6". No noticeable furring on any.

No fancy chemicals, neutralizing etc. Right side looks pretty much perfect. Got to get the crud off guys
@An0nymousGh0st - you inspired this test


I wanted to say that in the end I felt like application of even pressure did the real work. The chemical itself maybe made it easier, but after using both am not sure it mattered which chemical I used.