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Properly Maintaining Your Wood Fence, Pergola, Trellis, Arbor Or Deck From Elyria Fence

One of the most commonly asked question from our customers is in regards to staining. Our company doesn’t offer a staining service, nor do we sell stain. We feel that this allows us to be very unbiased in the products that we recommend. How do we come up with our recommendations? Mostly from feedback from our clients, and we take the time to do our own reading and research. So here are our recommendations for 2010!
In addition to customers asking for advice on maintaining their new fence, pergola or deck, we often hear their insistence that in order to have the classic white picket fence – it must be painted. Most are shocked to find out that this could not be further from the truth. To prove it – we have a picket fence in our showroom that is stained with a white opaque stain. While paint at one time was a solid classic choice, it’s also a guarantee to rot your wood fairly quickly. In addition, when the paint weathers – it begins to peel and chip and look quite unsightly. To repaint, you must sand, chip and labor for hours to regain that white picket fence you desire. On the other hand, if you choose to stain the fence with an opaque white or any of the other transparent, semi-transparent, opaque color choices you’ll simply need to reapply it when it fades. No chipping, no sanding, no back breaking labor under the hot sun.
There are a multitude of choices when it comes to brands of stains. The important thing to keep in mind is that the better quality stains will protect your fence, deck or trellis better. They will need to be reapplied less often, and in general just look nicer than the lesser quality stains. The best advice we can probably give is to encourage everyone to swing through their local paint stores, and to stay out of the big box stores. Discount stores sell discount stain, and while some products are well worth discounting – stain is not one of them. The cheaper the product the more work for you, and less protection for your fence. In the end, you’ll spend more on the cheap stain by using more of it, and applying it more frequently. So if have a local paint store, stop in and talk to them. Those are the people that live and die by staining and painting. it’s their life, and it’s their job to know all the best products currently on the market. In our local area, Elyria-Lorain Paints is a definite authority on the subject. If you are not a west-side, most areas have a locally owned paint store that is just as knowledgeable.
Benjamin Moore has come out with a new line this year called ArborCoat, a waterborne stain that boasts to beat out all the alkyd stain on the market. I’m sure most would agree that all things Benjamin Moore are good. The ArborCoat line is available as clear coat, transparent, semi-transparent, semi-solid and solid stain. It is a water repellent, UV protector, and is scuff resistant. Best of all it has a self renewing finish that renews itself year after year. If staining is on your to do list this year, I would certainly take a look at the ArborCoat stains. Here’s a link to their site: http://www.benjaminmoore.com/bmpsweb/portals/bmps.portal?_nfpb=true&_windowLabel=contentrenderer_1_3&contentrenderer_1_3_actionOverride=%2Fbm%2ecom%2F ContentRenderer%2 renderContent contentrenderer_1_3cnp=public_site%2 Articles%2fmain_page Articles%2ffh_findproducts Contentrenderer_1_3np=public_site%2 Articles%2Farborcoat_articles%2FArborcoatExp&_pageLabel=fh_findproducts
Duckback products, while not widely known or as well advertised, also offer a nice line of stains. Expensive commercials do not always mean a better product. The stain line is sold under the name SuperDeck, and it’s available in everything from a transparent to solid. Westsiders can find these products at Elyria-Lorain Paints on Lake Ave, East Siders can pick them up at Hambden Building Products in Chardon, for our southern area customers, you might try Gilbert Hardware in New London or Hoffman in Akron. For more information on their products, color choices, etc. take a look at their website. Here’s the link: http://www.superdeck.com/Superdeck-Products/index.html
The Flood Company has put out a good quality product since 1841. They’ve been around even longer than us! Depending on the color and the line you choose, their products boast a lifespan of 3-5 years. I think expecting 3-5 years on a good stain should be assumed. However, it’s nice to see that Flood publishes that right on their site. In today’s market, customers do not have the time to retain their fence or deck every year. A stain has to last that long! Take a look at what Flood has to offer at their website. Here’s the link: http://www.floodco.com/wood-care-solutions/help-me-choose/finish-products/index.jsp
Last but not least, Sherwin Williams. Most cities have a Sherwin Williams store front nearby. They are stocked with well trained, knowledgeable staff that can point you in the right direction. We’ve had good feedback on Sherwin Williams stains, along with all the other above mentioned stains. This link will take you to their stains page: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/do_it_yourself/sherwin_williams_products/exterior_house_paint/stains/index.jsp
A stain that has been getting some attention in the press lately is called One Time. This product boasts a lifespan of 7 years! It costs a bit more, but in the long run you pay considerably since it will not need to be reaplied as soon. Unfortunately, it is not available in a solid color, so for those of you looking for a solid white fence – this is not the product for you. If you like the look of the semi-transparent stains, and plained to go with a color that would be similar to a natural cedar, chestnut or something in that color range – take a look at their website. This just might be the product for you. If you try, and you like please let us know so we can pass along the advice. If you try it, and really dislike it – we need to know that too. Here’s the link to their site: http://www.onetimewood.com/
Lastly, while we cannot speak for other materials used by other companies, we can speak for our white cedar fences. You can stain a white cedar fence as soon as it is installed. White cedar takes a stain beautifully as you can see by the two photos below. If you’re busy, and you do not get the fence stained right away – no problem! You can stain it at a later date when it’s more convenient for you – even if it’s a year or two later! If you choose to not stain your white cedar fence at all you should still have a beautiful fence in your yard. White cedar does not twist, warp, or shrink like a treated fence board does. It will not lose its knots or crack like a red cedar fence board does. It will simply weather to a light gray, and should be a beautiful enhancement to your yard for at least 20 years. If you do decide to stain and protect your white cedar fence from the UV rays, rain, snow, and other Cleveland weather elements then be sure to use a quality stain like one of those mentioned above.
Hopefully, the feedback and experiences of our previous clients can guide you through the maze of stain options. If a DIY staining project isn’t on your to-do list, we always provide our customers with a couple of names of quality painters in the area that are happy to do the job for you. As always, we make every effort to guide each of our customers through any assistance they might need before, during and after their fence, deck or arbor is installed. If you’re a previous customer, and you’ve had a great experience with a stain – please post it. It’s a big help to all of our other clients!
For additional information on Elyria Fence, please see our website http://www.elyriafence.com/ or call 1-800-779-7581.

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