4 Best Sprayers for Staining a Fence: Reviewed & Compared

Runner Up
  • Spray directly from paint bucket
  • Spray More Projects Each Year
Top Of The Range
  • Perfect Airless Finish at Any Speed
  • Triax Triple Piston Pump with ProConnect

Using a paint sprayer to stain fences is the fastest and most professional way to handle the job. There is a wide range of sprayers available on the market, so it’s difficult to find the best fence stain sprayer around if you don’t know what to look for.

With our comprehensive guide, it’s much easier to find the best fence paint sprayer available to you.

Types of Sprayers Used on Fences

Pump Sprayer

It’s possible to use a pump garden sprayer to apply stain on a fence. When staining a fence with a pump sprayer, the process might go faster, but you may also need to back-brush as well. A fence pump sprayer doesn’t get the stain deep into the pores, but the agitation of the brush helps you achieve that finish.

Paint Sprayers

There are two types of paint sprayers for fence stain. You can opt for an airless sprayer which sprays the material out a gun without the use of compressed air. They are the fastest variety of paint sprayers, but also tend to have the most overspray.

Airless paint sprayers are the best choice for large, exterior projects. That’s because the speed of the pump gets the job done fast. They also come in a variety of styles. You can use a handheld version for portability. There are also some with a cart or stand, which is helpful if they are heavy.

An HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) paint sprayer uses air to push the material out. This creates a mist-like pattern. While these are slower than the airless variety, they do offer a finer, more detailed finish with less overspray.

Most people don’t use HVLP sprayers with thick materials. They are designed for smaller, detail-oriented projects around the house. 

Which Type of Sprayer is Best for Staining Fences

Pump

When considering a pump sprayer for staining your fence, there are several reasons why this would be a good option. First, you’ll be able to accomplish your tasks with ease. The pump sprayer is a good choice for smaller fences.

If you experience issues with blotchy paint or puddles you’ll need to get out your paintbrush to smooth it out slightly. This will be important if you want the best finish possible. You might also need to use a brush to get into the corners and tight crevices.

Airless Spray Gun

With an airless spray gun, you stain large surfaces very quickly. This is great when you want to work on your fence, deck or other exterior surfaces. The only thing you need to consider is how much time it will take to protect the items around the fence.

If you don’t have shrubbery or outdoor furniture near the fence, this shouldn’t be an issue. Otherwise, make sure everything is covered as airless paint sprayers tend to suffer from overspray. Aside from that, it should be an easy job since you won’t need to thin the stain first.

Electric spray guns are also easy to get started with and tend to clean up without much hassle.


4 Best Fence Stain Sprayers Reviewed

To help you make the best decision, we’ve put together the best fence stain sprayers on the market.

1. Chapin 30600 Professional Tri-Poxy Steel Deck Sprayer

Chapin International 30600 2Gal Steel Deck...
  • Durable 2-Gallon Tri-Poxy tank with a 4-inch...
  • Compatible with deck cleaners, sealers and...
  • 3 poly fan nozzles for fine, medium and...
  • Poly shut-off with reinforced hose

This durable tri-poxy tank holds two gallons of material and features a four-inch wide funnel opening. This larger mouth helps you to fill and clean the canister easier. With this sprayer, it’s easy to apply your favorite transparent stains, sealers and deck cleaners.

It also features three poly fan nozzles. Choose from fine, medium or coarse spray patterns to get the finish you desire. There’s even a poly shut-off with a reinforced hose for maximum versatility.

Considering this weighs just 6.4 pounds, it won’t become a burden to carry around with you as your spraying. Plus, it has an ergonomic handle which makes carrying and pumping simple.

The downside to this unit is that we can’t seem to find any warranty information on it. That leads us to believe that there’s no coverage if something should go wrong. It’s also important to note that some people felt it didn’t supply the finish they had hoped for.

Pros

  • Durable tri-poxy tank design
  • Sprays many materials
  • Has three nozzles for varying spray patterns
  • Features a reinforced hose
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Have to carry it around while working
  • No warranty

2. Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint Sprayer

Graco Magnum 262800 X5 Stand Airless Paint...
  • CONTROL PAINT FLOW: Fully adjustable pressure...
  • SPRAY PAINT UNTHINNED: Stainless Steel Piston...
  • SPRAY DIRECTLY FROM PAINT BUCKET: Flexible...
  • SPRAY MORE PROJECTS EACH YEAR: Annual use...

The Graco Magnum x5 is an airless sprayer so staining a large fence or other bigger outdoor surface is recommended with this type of spray device.

The fully adjustable pressures allow you maximum control over the flow of stain. Because of the stainless steel piston pump, you shouldn’t need to thin your materials either. It’s possible to spray directly from a 1 or 5-gallon container if that suits you better.

With an annual use recommendation of up to 125 gallons per year, you could use this for other household projects as well. With the maximum tip size of 0.015, there are many jobs that can be accomplished with this machine.

When you’re ready to clean up, the easy to use PowerFlush Adapter connects to your garden hose to make the task simple. In addition, you can attach up to 75 feet of hose with this unit in order to reach further during your projects.

This trusted paint sprayer uses a ½-horsepower motor and produces a spray of up to 0.27-gallons per minute. The Graco brand is a leader in airless sprayers, which shows when you read the reviews.

Finally, with the RAC IV SwitchTip, you have the option to reverse your tip in case of a clog. This keeps you painting or staining without interruption.

Pros

  • Flexible pressures
  • Durable construction
  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Can accommodate up to 75 feet of hose

Cons

  • Not meant for smaller projects
  • Slightly expensive for occasional use

3. Graco Ultra Max Cordless Airless Handheld Sprayer 17M367

Graco Ultra Max Cordless Airless Handheld...
  • Powered by DEWALT XR Lithium Ion System
  • Perfect Airless Finish at Any Speed - Without...
  • Triax Triple Piston Pump with ProConnect
  • Fully Repairable for Extended Life, Uses RAC...

Because Graco is the leader in airless sprayers, it makes sense to look at a higher-end option from their line. This cordless variety does cost a good amount of money, but when you don't have access to power, it’s invaluable.

The Triax Triple Piston Pump is durable and offers superior performance. This lightweight sprayer also features carbide and stainless steel components. You can expect 500 to 2,000 PSI with this sprayer. It also supports tips sizes between .0.08 – 0.16. Battery power is provided by the DeWalt XR Lithium Ion system, so you know it’s reliable.

On one battery charge, you can spray up to a gallon, but with your purchase, you get two batteries. The SmartControl Spray system allows you to complete your job with a professional finish every time. You can even spray hot solvents if you need to.

Imagine all the places you can spray when you aren’t held back by power cords and paint hoses.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Powered by DeWalt technology
  • Durable Triax Triple Piston Pump
  • Lightweight
  • SmartControl Spray system

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Can only spray as long as the batteries hold out

4. Wagner 0518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Paint Sprayer

On Sale Today
Wagner Spraytech 0518080 Control Spray Max...
  • HVLP PAINT SPRAYER: The Control Spray Max...
  • SUPERIOR NOZZLE: The sprayer comes with a...
  • USE WITH A WIDE VARIETY OF MATERIALS:...
  • ADJUSTABLE SETTINGS: Customize your paint...

HVLP sprayers are best for smaller portions of fence or decks. Wagner has been seen as the leader in creating HVLP sprayers and the price of this highly reviewed model is quite reasonable.

With the variable air pressure control, you have complete power over the finish you receive. There are also three spray patterns to choose from for a professional look.

The unit comes with a 20-foot hose, which isn’t as long as some people like, but you could plug into an extension cord. There are also two cups that come with this sprayer. You receive a smaller professional-grade metal cup for your household projects and a larger 1-1/2 quart plastic cup for your large tasks.

With this versatile sprayer, it’s possible to use interior latex, sealers and stains. That’s because it features a powerful two-stage turbine system. This unit even comes with two air filters that prevent dust from ruining the finish.

Pros

  • Less overspray
  • Multiple controls over the spray
  • Comes with two material cups
  • Has two air filters
  • Powerful two-stage turbine system

Cons

  • Not designed for large projects
  • Short hose

Why are Sprayers a Good Choice for Staining Fences?

Speed

It takes twice as long, if not longer, to stain your fence with a brush or roller. With a quality sprayer, staining a fence takes only a fraction of time. On top of that, the setup and cleanup doesn’t take much longer either.

Quality Finish

Most professionals know that using a paint sprayer for fence stain results in a high-quality finish. There are less roller or brush marks in the paint because everything is applied evenly. On top of that, it’s less likely that you’ll experience uneven paint thickness if you spray in a continuous motion.

Manoeuvrability

With the best paint sprayer for a garden fence, you’ll be able to move around as you need to. This allows you to reach one end of the fence to the other with ease. You don’t have to drag your stain container and materials with you through the entire process.

Adjustable Spray Angles

A high-quality fence sprayer allows you to apply the materials from varying angles. This helps you to achieve a fine finish in the corners, cracks and smaller crevices with ease. The consistency and quality of spray won’t change when you angle the best pump sprayer for staining a fence.


How to Stain a Fence – Beginners Guide

Do you wonder how to stain a fence with a sprayer? We’ve got you covered. Whether you choose to use these tips for staining a fence with an airless sprayer or staining a fence with a pump, the results will be the same – beautiful!

Check the Wood

Before you begin, it’s crucial that you scrutinize the wood carefully. You need to look for nails, staples, screws or broken pieces. All of this must be removed or fixed so you get a smooth finish. 

This is always a good time to gather all your supplies as well. Determine what type of sprayer you’re going to use for your project and purchase the stain.

Clean up the Wood

Now you want to clean the wood on your fence. There are plenty of deck cleaners that are ideal for fences as well. By taking the extra time to clean the surface, you ensure a quality finish from spraying.
Before you apply any cleaning agent, make sure you protect yourself. Wear gloves or goggles if needed.

If the dirt is stubborn, use a mop or soft bristle brush to scrub it off. Be sure you rinse it completely and then let it dry all the way before moving on. 

If you choose to use a pressure washer for cleaning, make sure you read our list of the best electric power washers.

Stain Your Fence

Once your wood is prepped and dry, you are ready to stain. This is a simple process that anyone can do. Either apply your stain with a brush, roller or sprayer. Of course, we recommend using a sprayer because it will take less time to complete and provides a quality finish.

If you decide to spray, make sure you use a continuous movement to apply an even finish. If you’re using a pump sprayer, you may need to utilize a brush to even things out slightly or to get into tighter corners.

Wait for Drying

Once you’ve stained the fence, you must allow it to rest. Don’t touch it or do anything further with it until you’ve let the stain to dry for a full 24 hours. Sometimes this process takes 48 hours, so use your discretion before touching.

Sometimes the humidity causes the fence to stay wet longer than normal. You can alleviate this by applying the stain at a time when the humidity is low.

Maintain the Fence

All that’s left to do is enjoy your fence. Kick back, relax and marvel at all your amazing work. To keep it looking nice, you’ll want to clean the fence at least once per year. If you are looking for a company to help maintain or repair your fence, Skilled Fencing is our preferred provider.


Tools & Supplies for Staining a Fence

Unlike painting a wall, staining a fence requires a lot more materials. Especially if there is a stain already on the fence that you want to remove. Below is a list of the items you will most likely need to get the job done.

  • Latex or vinyl gloves
  • Soft bristle brush and natural bristle brush
  • Pressure washer (or garden hose with high-power nozzle)
  • Sander (block or powered) with fine and ultrafine grit paper.
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drop cloth
  • Roller and pan, or
  • Paint sprayer
  • Stain stripper
  • Oil-based stain
  • Outdoor rated wood sealant

Safety Tips When Using Sprayers for Staining Fences

Even though you will be outside, you still have safety precautions to watch out for. Paint fumes can still get into your lungs and cause health issues, so you should still wear a respirator or face mask.

You will also want to use latex or vinyl gloves to protect your hands from the stain and strippers. When you are using a paint sprayer, you will need to be cautious of static electricity build-up, fire hazards, and electrical shorts. It will be assumed that you are using an extension cord, which should be grounded and inspected before use.

If you are working on a ladder, you should ensure the feet are sturdy and won’t sink into the ground. Placing a piece of plywood under the ladder will help you from sinking in and potentially falling off the ladder.

Always make sure you are hydrated, comfortable, and take regular breaks. Heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration can occur without any onset symptoms when working outdoors.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How long does stain last on a fence?

The duration of your exterior stain will depend a lot on the brand and application. Most stains will be guaranteed for up to 5 years, with the average being 2 to 3 years.


How long should I wait to stain a fence after pressure washing?

If the weather is dry, hot, and sunny, you can begin staining in as little as 24 hours. However, for most applications, it is a good idea to wait at least 48 hours after pressure washing before you start staining the fence.


Do I have to sand the fence before staining?

Yes, you need to sand the fence prior to staining. For painted fences, the sanding will remove loose or chipped paint and smooth the surface for application. For pre-stained fences, sanding will rough the surface to help the new stain adhere better.


How many layers of stain should I apply on a fence?

Depending on the type of stain you are using, you can usually apply a single coat and be done for a few years. With semi-transparent stains, though, two coats are generally warranted.


Can I stain an already stained wood?

Not if the previous application has a topcoat. You will need to use stain stripper to remove the previous layer of stain and topcoat before you can wash, sand, and apply the new stain.


Conclusion

Spraying stain on your fence makes a tedious task seem less daunting. Purchase the best paint sprayer or pump sprayer for fence stain and you’ll have the job done in no time. Then, you can have more fun in your backyard while admiring the fruit of your labor.

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