Hire a Professional Decorator

Q&A: Fence Paint

Whilst fences typically last around 15 years due to the stresses of British weather, fence paint can ensure they remain looking great throughout their lifespan.

So what type of paint should you apply to fences? How long does fence paint typically last? And what sort of coverage can you expect per litre?

If you’re a beginner DIYer, it’s unlikely you’ll know the answers to these questions. That’s why we’ve decided to put together this helpful guide where we’ll answer some commonly asked questions.

We’ve also taken some submissions from our community of readers and answered them too for the experienced painters among us who have specific issues with their fence paint.

Ready to become an expert in all things fence paint? Then read on!

Which type of paint is best for fences?

Without sounding too basic here, using a paint that has been specifically formulated for use on fences will be the most ideal type. Brands such as Cuprinol, Johnstone’s and Ronseal all do great fence-specific paint and are worth a look. Paints will vary from water-based and solvent-based but always try to look for something that is wax-enriched for best results.

How long does fence paint last?

Depending on weather conditions and maintenance, fence paint can survive relatively untouched for up to 5 or 6 years. You can increase your paint’s lifespan by making sure your fence is free from moss and green algae. If your fence paint is starting to fade, it might be worth giving it a top up coat after 2 years or so.

What coverage can you expect from fence paint per litre?

Typically, fence paint is able to cover around 5-6m² per litre depending on the condition and nature of your fence. If the surface of your fence is quite porous then the coverage will be less. Likewise, if your fence surface is smooth, the paint will likely have more covering power.

I’m painting my fence soon and I have some rusty nail heads on show. How do I go about treating these?

You could use some rust remedy which will chemically change the rust back to solid metal again. To avoid them rusting again in the future, it might be worth knocking them in as far as they can go and filling them.

Can you paint a new fence?

Yes, you can paint new wood right away.

What’s a good grey fence paint?

Interestingly, I’ve mixed 2 tins of Silver Copse Ducksback with a tin of black masonry as I wanted it a bit darker and it was the best fence paint I’ve ever used.

Can you spray paint picket fences?

Economically it doesn’t make a lot of sense. If you were to spray paint a picket fence then you’d be losing half of your paint to thin air.

Is it worth painting a worn down fence?

It really depends on whether you can afford to buy a new fence. In the UK fences typically last around 15 years so painting them after that might be a bit of a waste. It’s a quick fix but within a year your paint is likely to start peeling off.

What’s the best tip for spraying a fence with a Graco Ultra Max?

I would go with the largest tip. If you’re going to be painting on a hot day, get some Cuprinol Ducksback, warm the paint up for a little bit in the sun and you’ll be able to spray directly from the tin.

Can you spray large fences with a cheap sprayer?

As long as you water the paint down to the appropriate level you should be fine. Cheaper models are more prone to blocking but if you get the consistency right then you shouldn’t have any issues no matter how large your fence is!

Any ideas on what to use to remove green mildew from fencing before spring painting?

You could try Hypo Red Label which is a strong bleach made for cattle sheds. Spray it over your fence then leave it do its thing for a week or so. Once you’ve waited long enough, I’d recommend using at least 3 coats to paint your fence.

Should you always spray when painting large fences?

It really depends on how much time you have and how motivated you are to use a brush and roller. Using a brush/roller on large fences can take a long time to complete as you’ll need to do multiple coats. A sprayer on the other hand might save you hours of work.

What’s the best way to prep a fence?

It all depends on the state and condition of the fence but for a standard fence giving it a wash and a sand down first should be enough to make sure your paint sticks to the surface properly.