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Fence Staining Made Easy with Ready Seal


When it came time to re-stain a shadowbox fence, I wanted to work smarter rather than harder, so I tried a promising product called Ready Seal. This is an oil-based semi-transparent wood stain and sealer in one. Ready Seal is a professional-grade product but is formulated with unique “goof proof” features that make it especially attractive for do-it-yourselfers.

Typical wood stains require back-brushing to smooth out runs, streaks and brush marks and to work the coating into the grain. I was dreading this part of the job. Spraying typical wood stains requires spraying one section of the project at a time and immediately back-brushing the area to prevent lap marks or runs. The back-brushing process requires a helper, or it requires the person spraying to serve double-duty by performing both jobs. This involves a great deal of labor, especially on vertical surfaces such as fences. If you eliminate the back-brushing, you eliminate half the work, making the project much easier for a lone DIY’er like myself. Ready Seal is formulated to require no back-brushing, and that’s the selling point that convinced me to try the product.

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First step is to pressure-wash the fence to rejuvenate the wood.


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I used the Hyde Pivot Nozzle Wand, which pivots with the twist of the handle to direct the water stream where you want it.


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After the fence dries from the washing, it becomes evident how much dead wood and grime pressure-washing can remove.


It turns out that it’s also easy to apply with an airless sprayer. Whereas some finishing products require a multi-step application process, Ready Seal is formulated to add color and seal the wood from moisture in one step. This saves time, money and sweat.

Plus, the product is a penetrating sealer, which I prefer over the film-forming type. Instead of forming a rigid film on the wood surface, Ready Seal penetrates deep into wood fibers with waterproofing oils to create a flexible barrier that keeps moisture out. The oils expand and contract so the coating won’t crack, chip, flake or peel, which can lead to failure.

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It’s always best to strain the stain/sealer when using an airless sprayer to keep solid particles out of the system.


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Spraying the fence was easy, but back-brushing the stain was even easier (no back-brushing required!).


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After a single coating, the fence looks good as new.


In the end the project was a success. After some critical prep-work in which I pressure-washed the fence a day earlier to blast away dead gray wood, mildew and grime, the fence was ready for a fresh new coating. And after a day of spraying Ready Seal’s redwood tone stain/sealer, the fence looked good as new. Not bad for a one-man job.

Check out Ready Seal at

– M. Weber


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