How to Paint a Cedar Fence

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Pressure washer
Scrub brush
Tape measure

Many people have a cedar fence around their house that could use some sprucing up. One way to do this is to apply new paint to it. A simple paint job can make a big difference in the appearance of your cedar fence. Here are the basics of how to successfully paint a cedar fence.

Step 1 - Measure the Fence

Start out by getting your tape measure and getting some approximate measurements of the cedar fence. You can multiply the length times the width to get the square footage of the fence you will be painting. This way, you will know how much paint to buy when you go to the store. It is always a good idea to get a little bit extra paint as well. That way, if you ever need to do some touching up, you will not have to try to match the color.

Step 2 - Clean the Fence

Before you can actually start painting, you should clean your fence. Unless it is a brand-new fence, it is going to have some residue and unsightly build up on it. In many cases, you will want to use a pressure washer for this job. When you use the pressure washer, you are going to want to put detergent in the area that soaks up water for the pressure washer. By using detergent, you are going to be able to break up some of that build up easier. For particularly stubborn areas, you may need to get a scrub brush and clean part of the fence by hand. After you wash the fence, you are going to want to let it dry for a few hours before you start painting.

Step 3 - Prime the Fence

With a cedar fence, you are going to have to prime the surface before you can start painting. Cedar has natural oils in it that come out periodically. If you do not use a primer and seal these oils into the wood, they are going to come out through the paint and your job will not look good. You need to go to the store and purchase a primer that is designed for this purpose. Make sure that you check with someone at the paint store to make sure that you are purchasing the right type of primer to go over cedar. This is going to be the key to success with this type of job. Once you have the right primer, you can start applying it to the cedar fence. Use a paintbrush to apply it to the fence. After you apply a coat, let it dry thoroughly before moving forward.

Step 4 - Paint

Now that you have primed the fence with the correct primer, you can start painting. Use your paintbrush or a paint roller and apply the paint all over the fence. You will most likely want to do two coats just to make sure everything looks good. At that point, you can let it dry.