7 Fence Panel Painting Tips

Weathered fence with colorful bird houses attached
  • 2-50 hours
  • Beginner
  • 0-1,000
What You'll Need
Rag roller
Paint sprayer
Extendable paint handle
What You'll Need
Rag roller
Paint sprayer
Extendable paint handle

Painting fence panels can be a very relaxing pastime for one person and a time consuming drudge for another. Still, it is one of those jobs that has to be done. Here are some tips to make it easier.

1. Brushing the Fence

If the fence is not a huge length it makes sense to brush it down to get rid of surface dust. This dust not only absorbs the paint but blocks the brush or roller. Even a huge fence should have bird droppings washed or scraped off. A major benefit of cleaning the fence is you get to take a closer look at it. This will give you the chance to fix any loose boards or panels, and repair any breaks.

2. Roller

A rag roller has a good area of coverage and will speed you through the job. If you have a wheelbarrow you will be able to organize the roller tray so it is held firmly right where you want it. You can also carry as much spare paint for refills as you need – not to mention some refreshments.

3. Extendable Handle

paint roller in tray of white paint

To paint panels that are hard to get at you can use an extendable handle to give you some extra reach. This could save damaging plants or getting caught up in thorn bushes. The handle will also help you to paint behind plants and shrubs growing up against the fence. You can use a large flattened cardboard box slid behind the plants to pull the plants away from the fence while you paint behind them.

4. Sprayers

Paint sprayers can speed up the fence painting. It is always best to use the proper product for paint spraying fences. There are popular processes like thinning indoor paint so it will go through a sprayer, but these often mean the finish will not last so well. It might be obvious, but don’t spray into the wind! Open wood work or trellis should only be painted with a brush. Using a roller or sprayer can waste a lot of paint as it gets squeezed out by the trellis pattern.

5. Weather

It stands to reason that you would not paint your fence in a downpour, but it is just as fruitless to paint your fence in full sunlight. The heat of the sun will make the paint dry before it has had time to soak into the wood and add the protection you were hoping for.

6. Stain

wood fence

Do not rely on stains to protect the wood, unless it is labeled for outdoor use. Otherwise stain is simply a way of adding color to the wood without the protection you need.

7. Cut Ends

Pay special attention to the ends of the timber that makes up your fence. The ends are the most difficult to get at and yet they are the most vulnerable part of your fence. It is well worth the effort to go over the fence with a small brush to make sure the ends of every piece of timber are adequately covered.

Paint your fence properly and you won’t have to do it so often.