How To Paint A Wooden Fence

When my family and I moved into our new house a couple of years ago, we couldn’t be happier. The interior looked great, the rooms were amazing, and our large backyard had a beautifully made fence encasing it.

But as time went by, and the weather and mother nature began taking its toll, we noticed our fence started to look pretty dingy. This is nothing we didn’t expect, though, and I was ready to embark on a DIY paint project to restore our fence.

And I found that it wasn’t hard at all! All I needed was a couple of tools, a bit of elbow grease, and some free time.

In this article, I’ll be explaining the best way to paint a fence with detailed steps. By following these steps I was able to make our fence look brand new and completely revitalize the backyard. So read on to learn more.


How To Paint A Wooden Fence

How To Paint A Wooden Fence – The Fastest & Easiest Way

What Tools Do I Need?

You don’t need a lot when painting a wooden fence, in fact, I only needed four things, but I also found that having a couple of other items at your disposal helps a lot (but it isn’t exactly required).

What You’ll Need To Paint A Wood Fence:

  • Paint Sprayer
  • Your choice of paint
  • Extension cord
  • Mixing Bucket & Stir Stick (If needed)
  • Clear plastic sheet (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Paint Thinner (If needed)

Now that you have the tools, it’s time to look at things step by step.

The Steps To Painting A Fence

Step 1: Prep The Fence And Your Painting Area

Before you even start painting, you have to make sure both the fence and the area you’ll be painting in are ready. To start, you can begin cleaning the fence. This means giving it a good wipe down so that the paint will adhere to the surface. If you have sandpaper on hand, you can also give the surface a light sanding to really make the paint stick.

Once your fence is clean, you have to prepare the area where you’ll be painting. When using paint sprayers, it’s best to avoid getting paint where it isn’t needed. So make sure to put plastic sheets on the surrounding areas and vegetation, that way, cleanup will be easier as well.

If you have everything prepped and have the extension cord for your paint sprayer ready as well, you can start painting.

Step 2: Prepping The Paint And Paint Sprayer

Once your fence is ready to be painted, it’s time to take out your sprayer. Before anything, make sure to read the manual of your paint sprayer. This will let you know how to use it, set it up, and what paints can be used with it.

With most entry-level paint sprayers, you’ll have to thin your paints before spraying. So make sure you have your mixing bucket and stir stick to get your paint ready for spraying. Some sprayers come with a viscosity cup accessory that will help you determine if your paint is ready.

Step 3: Get To Painting!

This is the step that will require the most work. If you have a handheld paint sprayer, all you’ll have to do is load the paint reservoir with your paint, stand 8-12 inches away from your fence, and get to spraying.

This can be tricky, especially if you haven’t worked with sprayers before. The goal when spraying is to make sure you’re getting an even amount of paint over the surfaces. To do this right, first, you have to set the direction you want to be spraying. Most sprayers will give you horizontal and vertical options.

Once you’ve figured out the direction you’ll be spraying, try to take things a bit slowly. The best way to get a smooth finish with paint sprayers is by spraying thin and even coats. Thick coats might result in some paint running down the fence, giving you more work to do.

I found that two thin and even coats were enough to get the look I wanted on the fence. And once you get into a rhythm, the job will run quickly and smoothly. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a good time.

And that was about it for the painting part. But one nice thing to remember and keep in your head while doing this is that you shouldn’t leave your sprayer idle and loaded for more than 30 minutes. This can result in some paint drying up inside the reservoir and clogging everything up.

I learned this the hard way when I decided to take too long of a break between coats. If that happens to you, all you have to do is take off the nozzle and clean it. Your sprayer will work like a charm after that.

Step 4: Clean Up!

This is the last step in your paint project. No DIY job is done until you have cleaned everything up. Start by cleaning out the sprayer. All you have to do is take everything apart and follow the proper directions to do that.

Once that is done, all you have to do is clean out the paint. If you used water-based paint, simply load the sprayer with warm soapy water and wash out the paint. If you decided to use oil-based paint, all you have to do is load the sprayer with the right mineral spirits and do the same. Once that is done, simply wait for everything to dry and put the sprayer back together.

After cleaning out the sprayer, you have to clean up the area where you painted to fully finish the job. If you had plastic sheets to protect your yard, then simply take them out and store them until you need to paint again.

And that’s about all you’ll need to know about painting a wooden fence. It’s really simple and easy, and it can also save you some of the trouble and the cost of hiring a team to do the job for you.

The job is especially easy if you have a paint sprayer, which is why I would highly recommend getting one. But if you already have one and all your materials are ready, then all that’s left to do is to get spraying!