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Protecting a new fence


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One thing that you should do is buy some vinyl caps at Lowes/Depot to go over top of the 4x4 posts. Water will soak in a lot easier if a cross-section of the grain is exposed to weather, and the tops of your posts will be. The caps are very cheap (20 cents each or so) and you can just glue them on. TThis will prevent splitting and cracking of the posts. You'll sometimes see Rednecks using Hubcaps for this purpose :doh: :laugh:

Whatever treatment you do apply to the fence, wait 6 months to a year to allow the pressure treated wood to 'cure' fully before you stain/paint/seal/etc.

If you want to paint the fence a certain color, I would ABSOLUTELY use a high quality primer first. Follow it up with a hi-quality paint. You get what you pay for when you buy paint. Never buy it at Wal Mart... I would even suggest not going to Depot/Lowes either. Sherwin Williams or Pittsburgh paints would be your best bet. Buy the best outdoor latex paint they offer, trust me you won't regret it. But be sure to use a primer first.

If you like the look of natural wood, you can apply a sealer also. Sealers come in all sorts of colors from clear to redwood, and they can really look nice in addition to giving your deck/fence a lot of protection. Again, you get what you pay for. Deck Stain from 'Olympic' got rated #1 in Consumer Reports a few years back, I used it and it was very good. But I'm sure there are other good products as well on the market, just be sure you don't go with anything cheap.

I would also recommend renting or buying a paint gun if you plan to do the work yourself. It will take a lot longer than you think by hand. Trust me I know. :)

You might have a bit of sticker shock as well... quality paints and stains can run you up to $30 / gallon, and you'll need quite a bit if your fence is of any size.

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