Summertime is just around the corner and it’s time to start getting our outdoor space ready for entertaining. In the previous years, you may have purchased, built or installed a bamboo fence to add a tropical flare to your backyard. However, over the past season perhaps this once tan or cedar colored fence has weathered to a silvery gray and perhaps this new “worn in” color does not match your island themed perceptions. Not to worry, bamboo can be easily restored to close to its original color with a few quick steps.
First of all, it is not recommended to stain bamboo until at least after its first season of weathering. The waxy cellulose fibers that cover the cane do not absorb stains or seals very well; the stain requires a grittier texture to adhere to. If desired, you can sand new bamboo with sandpaper and then apply stain; use lower grit sandpaper for a more thorough application. After sanding, be sure to wipe the bamboo clean with a tack cloth or rag.
To stain, dip a rag or a sponge into the stain, seal or varnish and apply directly to the bamboo. Before the liquid dries on the bamboo, wipe it off with a clean rag. Allow the stain to dry and gently sand the surface to ready it for another staining. Repeat until the color is to your liking.
To avoid weathering you will need to repeat the sealing/waterproofing process up to annually. This will also protect against rotting, water damage and bug infestation. However, if you don’t mind the silvery gray weathered color, no maintenance is required for a bamboo fence to last multiple seasons - given correct installation and appropriate climate.