Toronto winters can be tough but does colder weather mean you need to put your woodworking projects on hold? Temperature and humidity can impact many home improvement projects, including wood staining. The good news is that specially formulated stain products enable you to work year-round, no matter the weather! Standard Fence, a top-rated Toronto fence company, has put together some cold-weather fence staining tips to ensure a good outcome when staining your Toronto wood fence in the winter. Keep reading for some pointers to keep in mind before you get started.

Temperature Levels Can Impact Drying Time

One of the most important elements to be aware of before beginning a wintertime wood staining project is the temperature. In Toronto, we have a relatively extreme climate, where temperatures can fall below -30℃ (-22℉) and rise above 30℃ (86℉), with humidity to boot! This large variation in temperature can affect the durability of the wood and the stain’s performance. Oil-based stains are definitely the best for staining wood in colder weather. When using a high-quality oil-based stain, freezing issues are not a concern since oil does not freeze. However, you do need to check that your wood is not frozen before you begin. 


Another important temperature factor to be aware of is the fact that oil-based stains take longer to dry. Since low temperatures can lengthen the drying time, be sure to follow the product’s instructions and once again, watch the weather forecast. If the temperature drops below freezing before the stain has thoroughly dried, it can hinder the curing process, and the stain’s adhesion could be compromised. 

Checking Moisture Content is Important

Another important point to consider before beginning your Toronto wood fence staining project is the moisture content. The moisture content of wood is tied directly to the relative humidity of the surrounding air. A moisture level of 12-15% or less is ideal for staining all year round. You can easily check the moisture level of your fence or deck with a moisture meter, which can usually be found at your local hardware store. After making sure the moisture level of your fence is in the correct range, it should be safe to begin. Certain wood types, such as treated pine wood, will need some additional drying time compared to cedar. Watch the weather for any forecasted rain or snow, as your project will need an appropriate amount of time to dry after applying the stain. 


Since we get a lot of precipitation from rain and snow here in Toronto, it’s nearly impossible to have any wood fence or deck completely free of moisture. Excess amounts of trapped moisture within your fence boards can reduce a stain’s ability to soak into the wood and last as long as the product says it will. Most staining products guarantee that the finish will last approximately five years. In our area, however, the best-case scenario is more likely to be 3-5 years. You will be much less disappointed if you accept that you may need to restain every 2-3 years to keep your Toronto wood fence protected and looking great.

Now is the Best Time to Stain Your Toronto Wood Fence!

Many people feel they have to wait for warmer temperatures in Spring or Summer in order to begin their wood staining projects, but that’s not the case. Staining in the winter can actually save you money because if you wait until the spring, mold and mildew may have already begun to build up on the wood. 


The ideal time to stain or paint your deck is when the temperature is above 10℃ (50℉) and below 27℃ (80℉), with relatively low humidity, and no rain forecasted for a few days. It is preferable that you have three to four dry days consecutively prior to your project. There has never been a better time than now to get started, and the experts at your Toronto fence company, Standard Fencing, are here to answer any questions and guide you through the next steps you need to take!

Let us Help With Your Toronto Wood Fence Project Today!

The Toronto fence company experts at Standard Fencing are ready to help answer all of your questions about staining your wood fence or any of your fence needs! When you need a company to meet your standards efficiently and professionally, Standard Fencing is your answer. Let us show you what we can do for you! You can reach us at (647) 417-4805  or contact us online and our courteous and knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you!