Can You Varnish Bamboo Fencing? [And How To]

Varnish can help protect wood from weather damage. But can it provide similar results to bamboo fencing? If so, how do you use varnish on a bamboo fence? We researched the answers to these questions and here’s what we found.

Homeowners can use relatively any wood polish or stain on natural bamboo fencing. But some products use distinct formulas that may provide enhanced results when used on bamboo. Nonetheless, using varnish on a bamboo fence will typically follow these steps:

  1. Load a pump sprayer with your preferred varnish.
  2. Apply the product to the bamboo fencing with the sprayer.
  3. Repeat the previous steps until you cover the entire structure.

Varnishing a bamboo fence might look like a reasonably straightforward project. But it’s still important to make the necessary preparations to avoid damaging the surroundings. Continue reading as we talk about this procedure in greater detail.

Gorgeous bamboo perfect for fencing, Can You Varnish Bamboo Fencing - And How To?

Can You Use Varnish On Bamboo Fencing?

It’s possible to use varnish on bamboo fencing. However, the best results may come from a varnish with a special formulation to provide better protection to that material as compared to the typical wood varnish. Still, relatively any wood furniture polish should work on bamboo, as long as it still has its natural coat.

clear coat wood varnish

Check out this wood stain for bamboo on Amazon.

How Do You Apply Varnish On Bamboo Fence?

beautiful Japanese bamboo

The first step is to prepare the area for the operation. You’re likely going to do this task outside, which means that you need to cover things like plants and outdoor décor. You can use tarp or a large plastic wrap to help prevent the varnish from landing on those objects.

Also, it may be ideal to do this project while it's reasonably sunny. An overcast day without strong winds might be the best outdoor condition for this job. Otherwise, wet and windy weather conditions could make it more challenging than expected to apply the varnish to the bamboo fencing.

The last part of the preparation is to clean the bamboo fence. Dirt and debris that are still on the material during varnishing can ruin the output.

After making the necessary preparations, continue this task by following these steps:

What You’ll Need

  • Wood varnish
  • Pump sprayer

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Load the pump sprayer’s container with your preferred wood varnish.
  2. Use the pump sprayer and apply the varnish on the bamboo fencing using an up and down motion.
  3. Repeat until you coat the entire bamboo fencing with the varnish.

Check out this pump sprayer on Amazon.

Don’t touch the varnished bamboo fencing for 24 hours. Wait for the product to dry and cure to avoid damaging the protective finish.

You may also use a paintbrush to apply the wood stain if you don’t have access to a pump sprayer. But this alternate method takes longer to complete. Also, the outcome may have streaks, particularly if you have shaky hands.

Watch the short video below if you want to see the steps for this process in action:

How Do I Protect My Bamboo Fence?

Bamboo or cane fence with blue sky

Aside from applying wood stain on bamboo fencing, homeowners can take advantage of other methods to help safeguard the visual and structural integrity of this structure. Some of these care procedures are:

Routine Inspection

Walk along the side of the fencing to inspect the material for any visible signs of damage. Take note that natural bamboo isn’t impervious to harm, particularly from pests. Some things to look out for if your bamboo fence has pests are:

  • Bite marks
  • Ash-like film
  • Webs
  • Ants near the fence
  • Leaves and twigs

Use the correct repair method based on the source of the damage. For example, you can replace a damaged portion of the fence with another piece of bamboo if you found bite marks from insects and other critters.

Otherwise, remove the leaves and twigs, which would otherwise be indicative of an animal nesting in that particular spot.

Maintain the Metal Parts

Some bamboo fence constructions use metal hardware like bolts and screws to secure the structure to their locations. If so, use the appropriate product to remove corrosion, rust, and other types of weather damage on those items.

An alternate solution would be to replace the fasteners with variants that are highly resistant to corrosion and rust. Perhaps an excellent example would be to use stainless steel screws, which typically have protective films to help prevent weather damage.

Check out these stainless steel Phillips screws on Amazon.

How To Prevent Mold On A Bamboo Fence?

Applying bleach to the bamboo fence can help remove mold from that structure’s surface. However, this strong disinfectant may also remove the material’s natural color. Also, using bleach near plants may potentially harm and even kill them.

An alternate and safer solution to bleach is to use an environment-friendly fungicide to remove mold from bamboo fencing safely. The following guide will help you remove mold from bamboo using that product:

What You’ll Need

  • Eco-friendly fungicide
  • Bucket of water
  • Mild dishwashing liquid
  • Scrub brush
  • Garden hose
  • Clean cloth

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Mix 1 tablespoon of the fungicide into about 2 gallons of water in the bucket. Then, add a small amount of dishwashing liquid, which should help loosen the dirt on the bamboo fence.
  2. Dip the scrub brush in the mixture and use it to remove the mold.
  3. Repeat the steps until the entire bamboo fence is clean.
  4. Let the solution sit for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off with clean water from the garden hose.
  5. Wipe the excess moisture away with a clean rag.

Remember to practice proper safety protocols when doing this task. For instance, wear gloves and safety goggles to avoid direct contact with the chemicals from some of the products used.

Check out this plant-safe fungicide on Amazon.

The video below explains additional details about this task. The person in the video also tackles an alternate method of removing mold from bamboo fencing:

How Long Does Bamboo Fencing Last?

bamboo fence and tropical tree in Asian green garden

High-quality treated bamboo fencing generally lasts about 20 years. However, different weather conditions, such as extreme cold and heat, can reduce the material’s lifespan. Practicing proper bamboo care and maintenance routines can help reinforce its integrity, allowing it to provide optimal serviceability for extended periods.

On the other hand, untreated bamboo may only possess about half of the lifespan when compared to its treated counterpart. On average, homeowners should see their untreated bamboo fencing in need of significant repairs or replacement in about 2 to 7 years of continuous exposure to the elements.

Is Bamboo Fencing Expensive?

Generally, bamboo fencing costs about $12.68 to $24.88 per linear foot on average. The costs for the installation often depend on the quality of the material and any additional labor costs.

In comparison, the typical wood fencing is more expensive than installing a bamboo fence. Wood fences usually demand an overhead of approximately $14 to $31 per linear foot.

Surrounding the property with wooden fencing will typically require lot owners to spend about $1,996 to $4,448 on average. Some wood fencing options may even increase the overall costs to approximately $7,489.

Final Words

Gorgeous bamboo perfect for fencing

Varnish bamboo fencing with your choice of wood stain. But take note some varnishes are more proficient at providing weather protection to bamboo than others. If used correctly, the addition of this protective layer may extend the lifespan of that structure.