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The step by step guide to painting your fence


If you would like to paint your fence yourself, we have put together this step by step guide to ensure a good result. Painting a fence or trellis is very time consuming, is subject to varying weather conditions and can be notoriously difficult to achieve a quality smooth finish. Good preparation and the right tools are essential to success.

Alternatively, our painting service means all our products are prepared in an indoor paint shop with enclosed spray booths and temperature-controlled drying rooms. This allows the painted joinery to be prepared in the best possible conditions, ensuring the most attractive and durable finish.

All our painted joinery uses our specially formulated exterior paint system. First the timber is cleaned to ensure it’s free from dust. Then a special exterior primer/undercoat is applied, once this is fully dried, the panel is sprayed with the top coat in your chosen paint colour.

However, if you would like to paint your fence yourself, follow our simple guide below.

Things you will need


When painting your fence, you will need to decide on a colour and choose your paints carefully. Make sure all your paints are specially designed for exterior wood, this will mean it is tough, durable and can usually be wiped clean. We recommend using a primer before you paint, this will increase the lifespan of your wood meaning you won’t have to repaint them.

Brushes / spray equipment

We recommend a selection of good quality brushes if you are attempting to paint by hand. Trellis is extremely hard and time consuming to paint by brush so if you have a large amount of fencing to paint, it may be worth investing in a pump or power sprayer instead of doing it by hand, this will make the process quicker and leave your fence with a better finish. If you do decide to use a pump or sprayer, make sure the paint you’re using has been formulated for use in the specific tool. 

Working with the weather

It’s best to paint your fence in the summer on a day that is dry, warm and with little or no wind, so before setting out to paint your panels, make sure you check the weather forecast.

Surface preparation

Bare wood: Lightly sand the surface to improve the paint’s adhesion. Fill any holes or cracks with a suitable exterior filler. If there are any signs of damage or decay, these aspects should all be completely fixed before painting. After cleaning, repairing and drying of the timber, all areas should be rubbed down with P150 grit sandpaper until the surface is smooth.

Previously painted wood: If the old paint is in good condition, lightly sand the surface using P240g sandpaper. If your paint is flaking or cracked or if there are any signs of damage or decay, then they should all be completely fixed and eliminated before any painting.

How to apply your paint

Step 1

Make sure any plants and objects are removed or covered with plastic sheeting to avoid being splashed with paint.

Step 2

Apply a layer of primer to all panels and allow to dry completely for 16 hours minimum.

Step 3

Paint your fence with your chosen tool (brush, pump or sprayer). If using a brush, apply your strokes in the direction of the woodgrain.

Apply the paint evenly, making sure there’s enough to cover all the timber. Start at the top and work your way down, this way you can catch any drips.

If using a pump or sprayer, cover the entire fence evenly making sure you haven’t missed any areas.

Step 4

If required after allowing 4-12 hours for the paint to dry, apply a second coat of paint to the panels. Depending on the quality of the fence paint, your panels may only need one coat.

Step 5

Once your paint has completely dried, remove all plastic sheeting from any plants or objects.

Step 6

If you have used a brush to paint your panels then you will need to clean them to preserve them for future use. Use white spirit to clean your brushes if you have used an oil-based paint, and warm water for any other paint.

For further assistance on painting your fence or for any questions about our professional painting service, call us on 01255 688 361.

Remember, our professional paint shop team may be the ideal alternative to doing it yourself.

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