5 Tips For Wood Fence Painting

Posted on: 28 June 2021

A wood fence requires periodic repainting or sealing so it doesn't rot or fall apart. If the fence is older and beginning to look discolored, paint is a better choice than staining or sealing. This is because paint will camouflage any small blemishes so that the fence looks new again.

1. Check for Rot

A rot check must be performed before any painting can begin. This is especially important if the old paint or seal is especially worn or if you live in a wet climate. You can test for rot yourself with a flat-headed screwdriver. Gently press the head of the screwdriver into each fencing board and rail. If it sinks in easily, then there is rot and that board must be replaced.

2. Replace Hardware

Over time nails and wood screws that hold pickets in place or attach to gates and posts can work out of the wood. This occurs due to natural temperature fluctuations that cause the wood to shrink and swell. Before painting, tighten any hardware that is in good condition. Replace any that is rusted, missing, or otherwise damaged.

3. Sand Thoroughly

Sanding is one of the keys to a long-lasting paint job. The entire fence should be sanded so that all the old paint is removed. Sanding also smooths out any rough or lightly damaged spots while creating an even surface to take the new paint. Don't sand the fence too smoothly, though. Paint adheres best when the boards are still a little rough and textured.

4. Use a Primer

A good primer acts as a weather seal on the wood. It also smooths out old stains so that dark spots don't show through the paint. This is especially important if you are painting the fence a lighter color. Every board and rail should be painted with one coat of primer. Use a latex primer formulated for use on outdoor wood for the best coverage and protection.

5. Paint and Seal

When choosing a paint, make sure it is a latex paint that is made for exterior use. Paint formulated specifically for wood fences and decks is the ideal choice. You can typically have these paints mixed in whatever color you desire, so it is easy to customize the look of the finished fence. Plan to apply at least two coats of paint, as this results in the best coverage and seal.

Contact a fence painting contractor if it is time to repaint your wooden fence.