Painting a wooden fence could be all you need to do to meet your garden’s aesthetic requirements or overcome the effects of prolonged weather exposure, such as wood rot or sun bleaching.


Removing old paint


Before you start painting a wooden fence, a little prior preparation can help you achieve much better results. Go over your wall with a hard wire brush and give it a light rinse with water to get rid of any large pieces of loose debris. Afterwards, sand it down with 100 grit sandpaper to give it a smoother surface for the primer. This will also remove any excess paint. Make sure the fence is clean and dry before you apply the initial layer.


Removing wood rot and sun bleach


Over time wooden fences can become damaged by wood rot, which is a fungus caused by prolonged moisture. Sun bleaching is another problem which is caused by excessive sunlight and heat exposure. This can fade old paint and crack the wood. Before you start treating these problems, make sure your fence is completely dry. If the weather isn’t very good, bring it inside and leave it in a room with an indoor heating system.


If your fence has these problems, use a paintable exterior caulk to fill in any cracks and improve the woods ability to repel water. Dependent on the manufacture of the caulk, you may need to wait until the sealant has set before you sand the surface. Wood filler can be used to smooth out the damaged areas and restore its appearance.


Apply a layer of primer


Applying an undercoat of wood primer will provide a much better foundation for your surface paint, and help prevent future flaking. Primer can stop wood knots from showing up on the painted surface and increase water resistance, which will reduce the chance of future wood rot damage.


Applying the paint


Depending on your budget there are several methods of applying paint to wooden fences. A paint sprayer offers increased surface coverage, which can save you time; however applying the paint in thin layers from a constant distance of 12 inch’s is something that needs to be practiced. Painting with a brush in a horizontal motion can help achieve an even finish and prevent paint smears and splatter. Several layers may be needed depending on the paint manufacturer.


Waiting for good weather conditions can aid in assessing the coverage of paint applied. Sufficient lighting during the day gives you an opportunity to see your previous strokes or sprayed areas. Undertaking work during minimal winds can cause foreign objects to get stuck in the paint, which can result in an uneven finish.


About the Author


Kieran McVeigh runs his own gardening company in the south of Cornwall. He is currently working on both residential and commercial properties.

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