5 Top Tips For Painting Your Garden Fence

Posted by Dillon O Callaghan on

A good looking fence can make all the difference. Your grass can be perfectly cut with luscious green stripes, and your flower beds can be pruned and colourful, but if you’ve a fence with faded or peeling paint then the garden just won’t look its best. 

Here’s our 5 Top Tips for painting the garden fence this Spring.

Just like any good painting job, preparation is key. 

Make sure that the fence is free of dirt, grime or algae before painting. This can be done either with a pressure washer or simply with water and a hard bristled brush. In the case of mildew and algae, apply a diluted bleach solution and scrub with a hard bristled brush. Also make sure to scrape away any flaking, cracked or chipped paint.

Trim any grass or hedges around the fence, and sweep away any dirt or debris from near the fence in case the wind blows dirt onto the fresh paint while painting. 

Remove or tape up any hinges, handles or barrel bolts to ensure that no paint gets onto the metal work. 

Cover any decking, concrete and shrubs with dust sheets to make sure they don’t get dripped on.

Always make sure that the fence is completely dry before beginning to paint. 

The best time to paint your fence is in dry conditions above at least 5°C. If it’s too cold the paint won’t dry, and if it rains soon after you’ve painted then the paint will drip.

If it’s a particularly hot day then try to wait until the fence is in the shade as if the wood is too hot then the paint will dry too quickly before it has had a chance to soak into the wood properly. The paint can only properly protect the wood if it’s had time to soak in.

Choosing a high quality fence paint is a worthy expense, as the extra quality will mean that the condition of the fence and the condition of the paintwork will stay better for longer. The quality of the paint really makes all the difference, and we always recommend getting the best product for the job, even if it means spending a little bit more than the budget paint.

Before purchasing your paint make sure to know whether your fence is smooth or rough sawn, as different paints are made for different type of fence texture. 

Also make sure that you have the correct brush for the job. A specific fence brush is what’s needed. These are typically big, thick brushes, coming in 4” or 5” which are perfect for doing thick, broad strokes and getting the paint deep into the timber. 
The all round perfect brush would be the Ronseal FenceLife Plus 4" Brush or the Praxis 4" Fence Brush

Goggles or safety glasses are recommended to avoid getting paint in your eyes.

Some products we recommend are:

Ronseal Fence Life One Coat:
Formulated specifically for rough sawn fences, this product boasts a quick drying formula and is ideal for getting the job done quickly. Coming in 6 great colours, and an opaque finish with each, a single coat is enough in almost all cases. This paint hides minor surface imperfections, becomes water repellent in only 2 hours, is 100% shower proof and delivers a beautiful colour which lasts for up to 2 years. 

Ronseal Fence Life Plus:
This is the perfect paint if you want a low maintenance fence. A highly durable paint which is formulated to withstand all weather and elements, and provides up to 5 years of protection. A thinner paint than the Fence Life One Coat above which can be used on either rough sawn (2 coats) or smooth planed wood (3 coats). A great variety of colours available, and becomes shower proof in just 1 hour. 

Cuprinol Ducksback:
A high quality, wax enriched paint which provides great protection. This product colours and weatherproofs sheds and fences for up to 5 years. A non-toxic formula which is ideal to use around pets or plants, and this product becomes shower proof in just 1 - 2 hours.

Make sure to apply a thick, even coat along the grain of the timber. Always apply your strokes in the direction of the grain, being careful to apply the same amount of paint to each section. 

Avoid dripping by ensuring not to overload the brush. Make sure to catch any wet edges before they begin to dry into a drip shape. Do not let the fence paint collect in pools or crevices as this will eventually run.

If using a sprayer use long, sweeping movements along the direction of the grain, making sure to apply the same amount of paint to each section. Hold the nozzle approximately 15cm from the fence, and overlap each pass by around 50%. Use a paint brush to paint any difficult to reach areas.

Make sure the paint has completely dried before removing any dust sheets or replacing any metal work on the fence. Once dry check to make sure the paint is applied evenly and that the fence doesn’t need a second coat.

Clean your brushes and / or sprayer immediately after use to preserve them for future use. Most fence paints are oil based and will require white spirit for cleaning. Using white spirit will make for an easier and quicker clean up, but make sure to wear gloves whilst using and to wash your hands very well after use. 

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