Should I paint or stain my garden gate?

Should I paint or stain my garden gate?

Wooden gates enhance the elegance of your home, drive gates, side gates, and garden gates can be a feature as well as functional. For a premium look, bespoke wooden gates allow a range of styles and designs with a perfect fit. Wooden gates can be made from a variety of softwoods and hardwoods and with wooden gates on your property, you’ll want to keep them looking high quality at all times.

There are various wooden structures that can make a garden feel homely, such as summer houses, fences, and gates. There are a variety of stains, paints, and oils, and you should choose one that suits the particular look that you’re going for and is easy to maintain, in order to prolong the life of your gates.

Staining wood

Do I need to paint or stain my gate?

Painting and staining are both ways to preserve and enhance the look of your bespoke wooden gates. Both will preserve the integrity of the gates but there are some subtle differences between them. With paints, you can introduce a colourful finish that can be part of a design scheme. Paint also restricts the ability of the timber to breathe. This can increase moisture content, which results in potential problems with rotting. Stain soaks into the wood, leaving a longer lasting finish.

Benefits of staining my wooden gate

Stain is soaked into the wood for a deeper treatment that lasts longer. It also requires less preparation, and less likely to peel or crack like paint would.

Stain comes in a variety of finishes. You can achieve anything from transparent to completely solid colour. A more solid colour may give a less authentic wood pattern but will provide better protection in the long run.

Benefits of painting my wooden gate

Paint can completely change the colour of your wooden gate. This allows a design theme to be used throughout your garden. You can match the colour to a painted fence and other wooden structures in the garden.

Paint vs Stain?

It all comes down to what you are trying to achieve really. If you want a more dramatic change in the look of your fence and do not mind a more frequent maintenance regime, then go for paint.

However, paint will wear out over time. To avoid the appearance of peeling and cracking, it’s advised to repaint your fence every 1-3 years, or when any imperfections begin to appear. Keep in mind that once you do need to repaint, you will need to scrape off all the existing paint, prepare the surface, and then repaint it.

If you prefer less maintenance, and/or prefer a more natural-looking fence, a stain is your best bet.


Stain will not show its wear as obviously as paint, which can crack. When reapplying stain much less preparation is needed. Unlike paint, stain allows the wood to breathe and swell and contract with changes in the weather. If you have any further questions, please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss it with you.