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    How to paint a fence

    A guide to giving your fence a refreshed look

    Hannah | Oneflare

    A guide to giving your fence a refresh

     When a fence on your property is worn or has suffered from sun damage, repainting the materials can allow you to give it a facelift. Painting the fence can enhance its appearance and also extend its lifespan. There are a few steps to take when you plan to complete the project yourself instead of hiring a professional company.

    Types of paints or stains to use for different types of fence

     There are a variety of different types of paints and stains to use when repainting the fence. The type of paint or stain you select depends on the type of material used on your fence. 

    • Oil-based – If you’re learning how to paint a picket fence, this type of paint is ideal to use because it prevents rust or discolouration from occurring. If you’re learning how to paint a timber paling fence, oil-based paint is also the right choice.
    • Latex – When you want to learn how to paint a wooden fence, latex paint works well and has a self-priming compound.
    • Hybrid paints – Self-priming hybrid paints adhere easily to different types of materials and doesn’t crack, peel or blister. 

    Sprayer VS brush

    Here is a basic guide for beginners if you’ve been wondering how to paint a fence with a sprayer. Using a paint sprayer can be a great option because it allows you to be more thorough and reach small crevices that brushes can’t always reach. Sprayers are available in a variety of models and are easy to use. However, with a sprayer, you can’t stop painting or the sprayer can become clogged as the paint dries. When you add paint to the sprayer, you commit yourself to finish the project to avoid issues. It can also require a lot of trial and error to create an even coat with a sprayer to achieve professional results.

    Using a brush or roller can also be quick and easy. You can stop halfway through the project and complete it on another day. Rolling paint can also be a lot more affordable than using a sprayer. Using a brush is also a great option if you’re learning how to paint a colorbond fence for a smooth, even application.

    Spray painting a wooden fence \ Source: James Painting And Decorating

    Materials and tools

    • Paint sprayer, brushes, rollers – Depending on how you plan to apply the paint, you’ll need to gather brushers, rollers, and a sprayer to ensure the paint or stain is easy and efficient to apply
    • Primer – Applying primer to fence will make it easier for the paint or stain to be applied
    • Paint or stain of your choice – You’ll need to find a specific type of paint or stain to use to cover all the materials on the fence and update its appearance
    • Extension cord – Depending on the size of your project, an extension cord may be needed if you plan to use electrical tools to sand the fence or spray the fence
    • Clear plastic sheeting or drop sheet – A drop sheet is necessary to use on the ground to protect the surrounding area from paint that splatters or spills. The sheet should be large and thick enough to cover different surface areas and can be moved as you work your way to the end of the fence
    • Pressure washer – A pressure washer is necessary for removing all dirt and grime that is present on the different materials on the fence. This will allow the paint to go on smoother and will prevent any dirt from mixing with the paint once it’s applied

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    How to paint a fence

    1. Gather the right materials – You’ll need to collect all the materials you need for the job, whether you plan to purchase or rent some of the items. Lay everything out on the grass or patio to make it easy to find and access. You’ll also need to obtain protective gear to wear to avoid exposing yourself to the paint.
    2. Prepare for painting – Prep the area by loading up your sprayer or adding paint to the trays. Remove all the packaging from the products and assemble the pieces to ensure it’s ready to use
      1. Check the weather forecast – Look at the weather forecast for the coming week to determine the best day to start the project
      2. Pressure clean the fence – Start pressure washing the fence to remove all dirt, debris, and grime that is present to ensure you can apply the paint to a clean surface
      3. Sand the fence – if necessary to remove rust or splinters
    3. Paint – Start painting and create large, even streaks in the same direction. Allow the first coat to dry for several hours before applying the second coat of paint
    4. Clean up – Look for areas on the ground that may have paint splatters and use a wet rag to wipe it up
    Freshly painted picket fence / Source: Dimensional Colour Painting

    How often should you paint your fence?

    Your fence should be painted every two to three years to ensure it looks new and stays in good condition. There are a few main factors that influence how often you’ll need to repaint the materials. 

    • Climate – Climate is the main factor that influences how quickly the paint will wear off, especially if you live in a location with harsh weather conditions. You can expect to repaint it sooner if the structure is south-facing and has more exposure to the sun. 
    • Material – The type of fence material is another factor that determines how well it holds up outdoors. Wood fences often need to be painted more frequently because their stain can wear off quicker. The fence needs to be repainted once water no longer beads on the surface of the materials and absorbs into the wood. A rust-proofing coating that is on the materials can extend the life of the paint. This can allow you to only paint the fence every three years, especially if you live in a warmer climate that doesn’t experience a lot of rain or snow.

    How do you hire a painter?

     When you’re looking to hire a professional painter, you’ll need to research their licensing and qualifications. They should also offer a guarantee on all the work they perform to ensure your investment is protected. 

    Request at least three references to ensure you can speak to their former customers about the quality of work they perform. The painter should have a professional website and a physical address associated with their business.

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