Give that Old Bamboo Fence New Life
Looking for an affordable way to give you backyard a face lift for the summer? Look no further than that bamboo fence you installed last season. After a year of weathering, a bamboo fence is porous enough to accept a sealant, varnish or other restoring treatment.
First of all, make sure the fence is free from rot or mold. Mold can be cleaned off easily by laying the fence flat and gently scrubbing away any damage with a brush and soapy water; use laundry soap and a soft brush. For particularly tough mildew or mold, add 5% by volume of bleach to the water mixture. Additionally, sand paper can be used to smooth out rough edges and other damage. Let the fence dry in the sun and make sure it is completely dry before re-installation.
The tough outer shell of young bamboo will reject any liquid applied directly to it. In order for a varnish or stain to take, it must have a texture to hold on to. A silver gray weathered fence will hold a stain without trouble, or you can use a low grit sandpaper to achieve the perfect texture.
If you are staining a bamboo fence made of whole bamboo canes, make sure you can reach all parts of the bamboo with a rag or a sponge; you may need to disassemble or loosen the galvanized wire to ensure even application. Apply the stain quickly, wiping it off with a clean rag before it dries. Allow the stain to dry enough to gently sand the bamboo in between coats. Repeat this process until the desired color is achieved.
Remember that to avoid significant weathering, apply a seal or varnish as often as every year and make sure the fence is installed an inch to 2 inches off the ground so that minimal water is absorbed. Also, remember to apply the seal not only to both sides of the fence, but to the top and bottom as well for maximum protection and the most even color.