How to Paint A Garden Fence

If you’re wondering how to paint a garden fence, you’ve come to the right place. We have years of experience in paint and decorated and have painted more fences than had cooked dinners (literally).

If your fence is starting to look a bit worn down from the elements or your paint is starting to flake, it might be time for a new paint job. Follow our helpful steps below to ensure you get the best finish that actually lasts more than a summer!

Step 1: Decide how you’re going to paint the fence

Now you’ve bought the right paint, you’re going to want to decide how you’re going to paint the fence. There are many options when it comes to this including:

  • Using a brush
  • Using a roller
  • Choosing a conventional paint sprayer
  • Choosing an airless paint sprayer (these are expensive!)

There are benefits and drawbacks to all of them. For example, a brush will likely give you the best looking finish but this means you’ll need to put a lot of time and effort into it. A roller will speed the process up so this could be a good option. If you have a large fence it might be a good idea to opt for a decent paint sprayer.

Step 2: Choose the right paint

Choosing the best fence paint for the job is one of the most important decisions you can make when it comes to having a paint job that looks great and lasts a long time.

The four most important things to consider here are:

  1. How durable is the paint?
  2. How easy is the paint to apply?
  3. Which colours do the paint come in?
  4. Is the paint suitable for my chosen application method?

Step 3: Prepare your fence

This is the step that either minimises or maximises the durability of your paint. If you don’t prepare properly, expect to be repainting your fence in the near future as it simply won’t hold up.

With that in mind, there’s some basic steps you can take to make sure your paint lasts for up to 6 years including:

  • Using a wire brush to remove any dirt, debris, moss or fungi growth
  • Fixing or replacing any broken sections
  • Cleaning the fence surface with soap and water
  • Allowing it to thoroughly dry before applying the paint

Step 4: Choose the best day for it

Once your fence is ready to be painted on, you need to make sure it’s a “good day for it”. Applying paint in cold, wet conditions is a recipe for disaster so aim to paint your fence when the weather is nice.

Step 5: It’s time to start painting

Everything’s come together at this point and you’re ready to start painting your fence.

If you’re using a brush/roller

  1. Start on the top edge and paint the verticals
  2. Work from top to bottom, one panel at a time brushing with the grain of the wood
  3. Wait until the first coat is dried (according to instructions)
  4. Apply the second coat if required

If you’re using a paint sprayer

  1. Set up your paint sprayer according to manufacturer instructions
  2. Spray along the top of the fence with a shield to stop paint flying into your neighbours’ garden
  3. Spray along the bottom of the fence
  4. For the first coat, hold the paint sprayer roughly 30cm away from the fence and spray from up to down and back again at a consistent speed
  5. Overlap the previous spray pattern at about 30%
  6. Wait until the first coat is dried (according to instructions)
  7. If a second coat is required, repeat as above but make spray patterns that go from side to side

Step 6: Don’t forget to clean up!

Definitely the most boring part but don’t forget to clean any brushes or your paint sprayer immediately after use. By letting the paint linger for longer you increase the chances that you’ll never get the paint off and ruin perfectly good brushes.


Painting a fence isn’t too difficult if you follow the right techniques. Anyone is able to give it a go and it can be a very rewarding experience. If you’re interested in learning more DIY tips and tricks, head over to our DIY Guides section.