By Samantha Daly -

How to Prevent Termite Infestation by Painting or Staining Your Fence

Termite infestation: a scary prospect, but one with a variety of simple solutions. If you want to avoid having these pesky critters ruin your wooden fence, painting or staining it may be your best bet for prevention.

You will need:

Safety goggles

Safety mask


Paint brush


Borate-based wood preservative

Painting materials

  • Oil-based primer
  • Termite-proof paint (AKA finish coat)

Staining materials

  • Wood sealer
  • Oil-based stain


1. Begin with a borate-based wood preservative - this will be either an easy-to-apply liquid or a powder that you'll mix with water. Brush or spray this onto your entire fence, from posts to slats.

  • Optional: Before installing your posts, fill the base with another borate-based solution. The soil and the wood will soak up the preservative, which adds another layer of protection.

2. If you will be painting your fence, apply an oil-based primer first. Once dry, you may want to apply a second coat for additional defense. Follow these with a termite-proof paint as your finish coat.

  • Check the instructions from your paint brand on how many coats they suggest for maximum benefit.


2. For those who desire a rustic finish, consider an oil-based stain!

Use a wood sealer to even out the wood's surface and allow for consistent coverage. Don’t fear using a heavy hand: the more coats of sealer and stain you apply, the deeper the oils and chemicals from these products can absorb.

Another Option: Termite-Proof Wood

If you opt to build your own fence, termite-proof wood is a smart choice. Common woods include redwood and yellow cedar, but Laotian Teak and Tallowwood will also work if they are accessible. If none of these are available or are simply not in your budget, most hardware stores or lumber depots will be able to supply you with pressure-treated wood.


Did you try your hand at this DIY project? If so, we want to hear from you! Tell us about your process and product below.


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