• How To Paint a Fence

    | by Holly Wood

    Over time, exposure to the elements can leave your fence looking worn and weathered. However, with a little effort and the right technique, you can breathe new life into your garden by learning how to paint a fence.

    In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process of rejuvenating your wooden fence with a fresh coat of paint, ensuring that it not only looks impressive but also stands the test of time.

    In the latter part of this blog, we will also cover painting fence panels with concrete posts – demonstrating how to achieve a seamless blend between wooden panels and durable concrete posts.

    Let’s begin!

    Gather Your Supplies

    Before you start painting fencing, it’s crucial to gather all the necessary supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

    • Fence Paint: Choose a suitable fence paint with a tough and durable formula.
    • Paint Sprayer or Paint Brush: You can opt for a paint sprayer for quicker coverage or a paint brush for more precise application.
    • Dust Sheets: Lay down dust sheets to protect your surrounding vegetation and the ground from paint splashes.
    • Stiff Brush: Use a stiff brush to clean and prepare the fence surface.
    • Paint Tray: If you’re using a paint brush, you’ll need a paint tray.
    • Plastic Sheeting: Use plastic sheeting to cover areas you don’t want to paint.
    • Wood Preserver: Consider applying a wood preserver before painting.
    • White Spirit: This will be handy for cleaning brushes and removing excess paint.
    • Step Ladder: For hard-to-reach areas.
    • Soapy Water and Warm Water: Prepare a cleaning solution with soapy water and warm water for cleaning the fence.

    Prepare Your Fence

    1. Clean the Fence: Start by cleaning the fence using a mixture of soapy water and warm water. This will remove dirt and grime, ensuring a smooth finish.
    2. Remove Old Paint: If your fence has old paint that’s peeling or flaking, use a paint scraper or sandpaper to remove it completely. Sand rough areas to create a level surface.
    3. Repair Any Damage: Check for any damage, such as loose fence panels or cracked wood. Repair these issues before painting to ensure a long-lasting finish.
    4. Apply Wood Preserver: If your fence is made of wood, apply a wood preserver according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This helps protect the wood properly and enhances the paint’s adherence.

    Choose the Right Weather Conditions

    Before you start painting, check the weather forecast. It’s essential to paint on a dry day with no rain in the forecast.

    Avoid painting in direct sunlight, as it can cause the paint to dry too quickly and result in an uneven finish. A warm day during the summer months is ideal for painting a fence.

    Protect Your Garden

    Cover any surrounding vegetation with plastic sheeting to protect it from paint splashes. You don’t want your garden to bear the brunt of your fence-painting endeavor.

    Prepare Yourself

    Wear suitable shoes that you don’t mind getting paint on and consider wearing old clothes.

    Start Painting

    Now that your fence is prepped and you’re geared up, it’s time to start painting. Here’s how to paint a fence effectively:

    1. Pour Paint: If you’re using a paint brush, pour your chosen fence paint into a paint tray. If you’re using a paint sprayer, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for loading the paint.
    2. Paint One Panel at a Time: Begin by painting one fence panel at a time. If you’re using a paint brush, apply the paint evenly, following the wood grain for a smooth finish. For a paint sprayer, maintain a consistent distance and motion for even coverage.
    3. Apply Two Coats: To ensure full coverage and a long-lasting finish, apply two coats of paint. Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat.
    4. Pay Attention to Tough Areas: Use a brush or paint sprayer to reach tough and hard-to-reach areas, such as wooden fence posts and corners.
    5. Rinse Immediately: If you accidentally get paint on areas you didn’t intend to, rinse it off immediately with white spirit or a diluted general-purpose cleaner.

    Let It Dry

    After you’ve applied the second coat, allow your newly painted fence to dry completely. This will give your garden fence a fresh coat that will protect it for years to come.

    Painting Fence Panels with Concrete Posts

    If you’re the proud owner of a garden fence with robust concrete posts, you might be contemplating the idea of giving those posts a fresh coat of paint to match your wooden panels.

    The good news is that painting concrete fence posts is entirely feasible and can be an excellent way to harmonise your fence’s appearance while enjoying the durability of concrete.

    In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of painting concrete fence posts to achieve a flawless finish.

    1. Timing Matters

    Painting concrete posts requires some strategic planning, particularly concerning the weather. It’s essential to select a 2-3 day window with dry, warm conditions, ideally with temperatures of at least 8°C (46°F). These weather conditions are crucial for the paint to cure correctly and prevent potential issues, such as paint scorching.

    2. Surface Preparation

    Before diving into the painting process, it’s vital to prepare the concrete posts thoroughly:

    • Begin by clearing any vegetation or debris from the vicinity of the posts, creating a clean workspace.
    • To ensure an immaculate painting surface, use a pressure washer to clean the concrete posts thoroughly. Allow ample time for the posts to dry completely before proceeding.

    3. Primer Application

    Concrete possesses a porous nature, underscoring the importance of selecting the right primer for effective paint adhesion.

    Opt for an acrylic latex primer specifically formulated for outdoor use. Applying two coats of primer is recommended, especially if you intend to use coloured paint.

    Allow each layer of primer to dry thoroughly. Additionally, this is an opportune time to seal any existing cracks in the concrete, preventing potential future damage.

    4. Paint Selection

    When choosing paint for your concrete fence posts, steer clear of standard fence paint, as it may not provide the necessary durability and adhesion for concrete surfaces.

    Instead, opt for paint explicitly designed for concrete, such as acrylic latex paint. This type of paint boasts superior elasticity, capable of withstanding temperature fluctuations. You can even coordinate the paint colour with that of your fence panels. Masonry paint serves as an excellent choice for painting concrete.

    5. Paint Application

    To achieve a professional finish while painting concrete posts, adopt a meticulous approach during the application:

    • Consider employing a roller, which can facilitate a more even and efficient paint application.
    • Apply the paint methodically and uniformly, ensuring comprehensive coverage of the concrete surface.
    • Allow each paint coat to dry thoroughly before applying subsequent coats. It’s essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s specified drying times.

    Can Fence Paint Be Used on Concrete Posts?

    While certain fence paints claim to be compatible with both wood and concrete fence posts, it’s generally recommended to opt for masonry paint when dealing with concrete surfaces.

    Masonry paint offers enhanced adhesion and longevity, ensuring that your painted concrete posts endure longer while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance.


    In conclusion, painting a fence is an easy job that can give your garden a new lease of life. By following this step-by-step guide and taking the time to prepare and protect your fence properly, you’ll achieve a long-lasting finish that not only looks great but also protects your fence from the elements.

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