If you have a fence, sooner or later you will have to paint or treat it in some way. So what should you do when it’s time to paint the fence? What are the best tips for the preparatory work, the actual painting and the maintenance? In this article you will get the answers you need.
First of all – do a proper job!
You obviously want your fence to withstand the elements for a long time. Of course, you also want it to last nicely for a long time. The key to both results is that you do a proper job!
Don’t take shortcuts. Follow our best fence painting tips to get a fence that stands up to the forces of nature and adorns your property in the best possible way. If you do a solid job today, you will thank yourself tomorrow.
Part 1: Preparation
Before you can start painting, you need to make some preparations. You need to make sure you have the right tools and of course you also need to prepare the material itself.
ATTENTION! Exactly which steps you need to do and which you need to focus on the most depends on how your fence looks today.
1. Use the right tools
When painting the fence, you need the right tools for the job. With the right tools, the work becomes easier and the result better.
You need these tools when painting the fence:
● Hose with nozzle (spray nozzle)
● Paint wash/algae wash/mold wash
● Steel brush
● Brushes in different widths and thicknesses
You may also need some additional tools such as a hammer (to knock down nails that have traveled up) and sandpaper.
2. Clean the surfaces
The first thing to do when painting your fence is to clean the surfaces. It is basically the age of the material that determines how extensive the work will be.
For cleaning, use paint wash and a brush. With that combination, you remove most of the surfaces. If you have grown algae or if there are traces of mold, you need to use more specific cleaning agents.
3. Scrape and brush and sand
To remove old paint, you need to use three tools, namely paint scraper, wire brush and sandpaper (sandpaper).
With the paint scraper you remove paint that is not stuck to the wood. With the wire brush, you continue the process of removing paint. You use sandpaper to make the surface more matte (including shiny parts on existing paint).
4. Hammer in nails and sweep clean
Nails and screws can eventually start to creep out. They can also become rusty. As a final step in the preparations, it is wise to inspect the nails for possible hammering or replacement.
Finally, you need to sweep! Sweep the material clean of dust and other things that can negatively affect the painting. Also make sure that there are no paint residues and dust on the ground near the fence.
What does the base oil actually do?
Base oil for wood usually consists of linseed oil together with anti-fungal agents. The oil has two functions, namely to prevent the wood from drying out and to repel moisture.
Part 2: Painting the fence
After the preparations, it is time for the painting itself. How do you paint in the best possible way for a result that lasts? Here are our top tips.
5. Paint the fence when the weather is right
There are two basic rules to keep in mind when painting outdoors. These rules apply to all types of painting, regardless of whether you are painting a new fence or one that has been painted before.
The rules are:
● Paint only when the weather is dry
● Do not paint in direct sunlight
The first rule has to do with moisture content. You don’t want the wood to be damp, and as a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t paint if the wood’s moisture content exceeds 15 percent.
The second rule has to do with drying. Sunlight can cause the paint to dry too quickly with the result that it does not adhere properly.
What is a moisture meter and why is it wise to have one?
A moisture meter measures water content in wood. It is a useful tool for any home owner. The meter can, for example, be used to measure moisture in the facade and in the wood you have for the stove. You can also use it to see if the water content of the material you are going to paint is low enough.
6. Treat with a base oil
Before the actual painting, you need to treat the wood with a base oil. The oil impregnates the wood, that is, it penetrates the material and makes it resistant to moisture and rot.
Normally only one ironing is needed, but for really dry wood you may need two ironings. Don’t forget cap surfaces and end timbers!
ATTENTION! For already painted wood, you normally do not need primer.
Can I paint directly on pressure-treated wood?
It is perfectly possible to paint the fence with pressure-treated wood. However, it is wise to wait at least a year before painting to allow the wood to dry out properly.
7. Paint with base color
Now we come to the first of the two steps when you actually have to paint the fence. The first part is about painting with base color.
Why should you use primer? The basic color has three functions. It is about that it:
● Provides an even base
● Makes the surface water-repellent
● Provides better conditions for the topcoat to adhere
8. Paint with topcoat
The last step when painting the fence is to cover paint. Check that the surface is dry and apply a coat of topcoat. Wait until the first layer has dried and apply once more.
Part 3: Maintain the fence
If you have properly prepared the fence and followed the instructions for painting, your fence is now ready to withstand the elements. Plus, it’s nice to look at! Now it is important to maintain the fence so that it stays fresh for several years.
9. Clean and polish continuously
Your fence is exposed to wind, heat, cold and moisture. This can lead to damage to the wood and to attacks by mold and algae. Look after mold, dirt and algae with a gentle brush and detergent or gentle detergent.
10. Inspect the fence every year
Get into the habit of doing a major inspection of your fence once a year. For example, look for loose slats or planks and repair the slightly larger damages you discover. Such a check does not take many minutes.
Summary – Panting fences
Is it time to paint the fence? With the right preparations, the right tools and the right materials, you get the best conditions for a result that you can be satisfied with. Hopefully you will benefit from our tips when you plan and carry out your painting.