How to Paint a Wooden Fence

hand worker holding brush painting white on wood fence

Learn More About What’s Involved in Painting a Wooden Fence

Painting your wooden fence can be an enjoyable experience with the number of color options available to match with your style preferences. However, beyond aesthetics, there are numerable maintenance, initial application details, and paint selections that should be taken in mind depending on the type of wood you have for your fence. It’s important to get familiar with your paint options and care responsibilities before committing to an application of paint. If you’d like to learn more about what’s involved before you paint a wooden fence than get in touch with your local fence company today for more information. Until then, here is some general background information regarding painting a wooden fence that may prove useful to you.

What kind of paint do you use on a wooden fence?

The type of paint to use when you need to paint a wooden fence is oil based paint as it is considered the most durable option. Make sure to do a test run by priming and painting a small part of the fence a bit out of the way and let it dry for 24 hours. This will allow you to see if you’re satisfied with the results and change the paint if need be.

Do I need to prime a wood fence before painting?

Bare wood and especially wood that’s outside should be primed before being painted. Primer will essentially allow for a better surface for paint to adhere to while protecting the wood. When you need to apply primer you’ll use the same methods as you would when you paint a wooden fence. Make sure to have you primer dry completely before paint application.

What kind of brush do you use to paint a fence?

You may be able to use a roller or hand brush to paint a wooden fence. Before you apply primer you can use a hard bristle hand brush to sweep away the dirt and debris from all areas of the fence. While you’re at it, it’ll also be a good idea to sweep away any leaves and grass cuttings from around the base of the fence so that nothing interferes if wind hits while painting.

hand with paintbrush painting wooden fence with brown paint

How do you prepare a wooden fence for painting?

  1. Trim grass and other vegetation in the areas around and at the base of the fence.
  2. Clean any cobwebs, dirt, or debris from around the fence.
  3. Power wash the fence. Use a mix of 1 part bleach and 1 part water to remove mildew or mold spots. Allow to dry thoroughly.
  4. Scrape off the old paint. If you’re dealing with a re-paint layer, then you should consider sanding it down.
  5. Check for termite infestation or damage.
  6. Tape all hardware and hinges, tightening any loose parts as you go.
  7. Place a tarp, drop cloth or plywood pieces around the fence area to protect nearby sidewalk, driveway, lawn, etc.

Does painting a wood fence make it last longer?

When you paint a wooden fence or stain it you are helping your fence have a longer life and look more pleasing to the eye. Essentially both will protect the wood from rot, wear, tear and insects. Particular woods, like cedar, however won’t work well with paint (as it doesn’t allow this type of wood to breathe) and staining is more recommended. In general staining a fence will allow for deeper absorption than paint as it won’t chip or peel down the line. Keep in mind that the climate of the area you live in will affect the life of the paint as well. 

Is it better to stain or paint a fence?

It will depend on what your goal is when it comes to staining versus painting a fence. The stain will be more forgiving than paint, you won’t have to work as hard to get a uniform color, you’ll only need one coat, and you may not require a primer. If you have a rough-hewn or textured fence stain will work better than paint as it enhances the raw wood’s natural texture and beauty. Stains will also not crack, peel, or blister over time. There has been an increased number of stain selections with manufacturers and you may choose anything from clear, opaque, to a hint of color. Another coat will be required every 3 years at the very least.

Can you paint over old fence paint?

Yes, you may be able to paint over old fence paint yet make sure to sand the fence lightly first to remove any dirt, loose bits of wood, and weathered stain before a new application. Keep in mind that you can’t stain over paint but you can paint over a stain.

How long does paint last on a fence?

Paint will be able to last anywhere from five to nine years with its thick barrier against weathering. With this long of a time it’ll possibly chip with the toner and the semi-transparent will fade. 

How often should a fence be painted?

You should paint a wooden fence every three to five years depending on sun exposure or watering practices.

How do I keep my wooden fence from rotting?

If you wish to prevent your wooden fence from rotting you must first understand what wet rot and dry rot are. Consider rot when choosing fence materials and types of wood as some react differently than others. Stain your fence to allow for better protection and absorption. Clear your fence of debris. When rot-affected sections appear replace that area so it doesn’t spread over to other areas.

Contact Your Local Fence Company For Assistance

When it comes time to paint a wooden fence get into contact with a professional fence restoration company in order to get the right guidance on what may be done with your fence. Trained experts will be able to determine the right kind of paint for your wood type and climate. Create a nice aesthetic for your property with a clean and uniform paint job. 

If you need to paint a wooden fence in Fort Worth and Arlington, TX call Pro Seal Restoration at (817) 506-7722 today!