1. Fence Staining
  2. Staining a Composite Fence
  3. Preparing the composite for staining

Preparing a Composite for Staining

Learn how to properly prepare a composite for staining with these easy-to-follow tips and advice.

Preparing a Composite for Staining

Staining a composite fence is a great way to protect it from the elements and give it a stylish look. But before you can begin staining, you need to properly prepare the composite for the job. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to do just that. We'll cover the materials and tools you'll need, as well as tips and tricks to get the best results.

Read on to learn how to prepare a composite for staining and get your fence looking great!The first step in preparing a composite for staining is to clean it thoroughly. You should use a mild detergent or cleaner specifically designed for composite materials, as harsh chemicals could damage the surface. Be sure to rinse off any detergent or cleaner with water, and allow the composite to dry completely before beginning the staining process. It's also important to use a pressure washer to remove any dirt, debris, or other contaminants that may have built up on the surface over time.

Once the composite is clean and dry, you'll need to sand it down with a medium or fine-grit sandpaper. This will help to create a rough surface that will help the stain adhere better. Be sure to sand evenly, and avoid sanding too much in one area. Once you've finished sanding, use a vacuum or brush to remove any dust or debris that may have been created during the process. The next step is to apply a wood conditioner.

This product helps to seal the composite's surface, preventing the stain from being absorbed too quickly. Allow the conditioner to dry completely before moving on to the staining process. When applying the stain, be sure to use long, even strokes and start at one corner of the composite before working your way out. Depending on the type of stain you are using, you may need multiple coats in order to achieve the desired color and finish.

Once you've applied the stain, allow it to dry completely before applying any additional coats. Finally, you'll need to seal the composite once the staining process is complete. This helps to protect the color and finish of the composite from fading due to exposure to UV rays or moisture. A sealant specifically designed for composite materials is recommended for best results. It's important to remember that proper preparation is key when it comes to staining a composite material. Following these steps will help ensure that you get the best possible results from your staining project.

Applying Wood Conditioner

Applying wood conditioner is an important step in preparing a composite for staining.

Wood conditioner helps to ensure that the stain is evenly absorbed into the composite material, resulting in a more even and consistent finish. It also helps to reduce the risk of blotches or discoloration when staining, as it prevents the stain from soaking into some areas more quickly than others. Applying wood conditioner to the composite before staining will help you achieve a beautiful, professional-looking finish.


Sanding is an essential step in preparing a composite for staining, as it helps to create a smooth surface for the stain to adhere to. Sanding can also help to remove any dirt or debris from the surface of the composite, which can interfere with the staining process.

It is important to use a fine-grit sandpaper, such as 220-grit or higher, to ensure that the surface is as smooth as possible. Additionally, it is important to sand in the direction of the grain of the composite, as this will give the best finish and help to ensure that the stain adheres properly.


Cleaning is an essential step in the staining process for any composite material. It helps remove dirt, dust, and other debris that may be on the surface, as well as any oils or waxes that may be present. By thoroughly cleaning the composite before staining, you will ensure a better bond between the stain and the composite material, resulting in a more even and professional-looking finish.

Furthermore, cleaning will help to prevent the stain from running or pooling in certain areas. It is important to use an appropriate cleaning product when preparing the composite for staining, as some cleaners may leave a residue that can interfere with the staining process. A mild dish soap or a specialized composite cleaner is recommended. For best results, use a soft-bristle brush or a cloth to apply the cleaner in gentle circular motions.

Allow the cleaner to sit on the surface for several minutes before rinsing it off with water. Once the composite has been cleaned and allowed to dry completely, it is ready to be stained.


When it comes to staining a composite, it is not enough to simply apply the stain – the surface must also be sealed afterwards. Sealing a composite helps to protect the stain from fading or peeling over time due to exposure to the elements.

It also helps to prevent stains from being absorbed into the composite, which can cause discoloration and damage. When it comes to selecting a sealant for a composite, it is important to choose one that is formulated for use on composite materials. This type of sealant is designed specifically for composite surfaces and will provide the best protection and results. Look for a sealant that is water-based, non-yellowing, and UV-resistant.

It is also important to make sure that the sealant is applied in two coats, allowing it to dry between each application. This will help ensure that the sealant bonds with the composite properly and provides the best protection.


Staining a composite can be a great way to add color and personality to your fence or other outdoor structure. Before staining the composite, it is important to ensure that the surface is adequately prepared. This includes cleaning, sanding, and priming the composite.

Once the composite has been adequately prepared, the staining process can begin. Staining a composite fence typically requires two coats of stain. When applying the first coat, it is important to use long, even strokes to ensure an even finish. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.

To apply the second coat, use a brush or roller and apply the stain in the opposite direction of the first coat. This helps to ensure an even finish with no missed spots. When applying stain to a composite fence, it is important to avoid over-saturating the material. Too much stain can cause pooling, which can lead to an uneven finish.

It is also important to avoid applying too little stain, as this can cause streaking or blotching. To ensure an even finish, it is best to apply several thin coats of stain instead of one thick coat. When staining a composite fence, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully. Each composite material may require different staining techniques and products for optimal results. Following the manufacturer's recommendations will help you achieve the best possible finish. It is essential to take the necessary steps when preparing a composite for staining to ensure the best results.

This process involves cleaning the surface, sanding it, applying wood conditioner, staining, and sealing. Cleaning removes dirt and debris from the composite, while sanding provides a smoother surface for the stain to adhere to. Applying wood conditioner helps the stain penetrate deeper into the composite. Once the surface is prepared, you can apply the stain of your choice, followed by a sealant to protect the finish.

Taking these steps will help you achieve a beautiful, long-lasting finish.

Timo Dijkstra
Timo Dijkstra

Subtly charming twitter nerd. Passionate twitter specialist. Amateur beer practitioner. Freelance music expert. Lifelong student.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *