How Long Does Your Fence Stain Need To Dry Before It Rains?

May 30, 2024

Painting fences in rainy weather can definitely be troublesome. While you can wait for summer, if your fence needs it, do not wait. This guide will tell you exactly how long your fence stain needs to dry before it can handle rain.

The Dry Time for A Fence Stain Before It Can Get Wet Again

The dry time for a typical wood fence stain before it can get wet again due to rain or other exposure depends on a few factors like:

  • The stain type
  • Temperature
  • Humidity levels
  • Air circulation
  • Moisture content of the wood

Generally, you need to wait at least 24-48 hours after staining for your fence to dry out before exposing it to moisture.

What Affects The Drying Time Of a Fence?

Factors that affect the drying time include:

  1. Stain Type and Product Instructions
    Every stain type has a different drying time. You must strictly adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the can for the specific stain being used.
  2. Moisture Content of the Wood
    Before you start applying the stain, use a moisture meter to ensure the wood has a percentage of 15% or less. Doing so on wet wood can make the stain wear off sooner in case of rain.
  3. Weather Conditions
    It is best that you carry out staining on a cloudy day. At a temperature of 50°F and no forecasted rain for 2-3 days can you give your freshly stained fence time to dry out completely. Warmer days dry stains faster; however, extreme heat should be avoided.
  4. Humidity Levels
    The higher the humidity, the more time your fence will take to dry, putting it at risk of washing away if it rains.
  5. Air Circulation
    Have you seen clothes drying faster when there is wind? Similar is the case with your fence too. Good air circulation system around your fence aids in quickening the drying process. In such a case, moisture evaporates more efficiently from both sides of the fence panels.
  6. Amount of Rain
    Well, rain does not always create a menace for your freshly stained fence. Light drizzles do not cause much of a problem compared to a heavy downpour.

What To Do If It Rains Before Your Fence Stain Dries Completely?

So, what do we do if the inevitable happens? What if it rains before your fence dries out? For starters, do not panic. There are a few steps you can take to minimize the damage:

  1. Wait for the rain to stop and allow your fence to fully dry before assessing the damage.
  2. Inspect your fence for any blotchy marks, pockets, or white spots that may have been caused by the rain.
  3. If you can spot that the damage is minor like a few spots are seen, try fixing it by lightly sanding the affected. Next, you can reapply the stain according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  4. If extensive damage has occurred, such as the rain washing away large parts of the stain, sand the entire deck lightly using 80-grit sandpaper. Then, reapply a fresh coat.
  5. When reapplying the stain, start working in smaller sections to see whether your plan is getting the desired results.

Closing Note

If you plan to stain your fence and avoid rain damage, always check the weather forecast before you stain it so that it dries completely. The recommended dry time is around 12-48 hours before moisture exposure, depending on the stain type and weather conditions. If you want to learn more about this or have a fencing job on your wishlist, rely on us to fulfill all the obligations regarding your fencing needs. Contact Ark Fence Company by dialing (281) 789-4081 for an appointment today.


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