Painting and Decorating Made Easier!

Painting It: Fences and Gates

As an element of security, and privacy to your property, a fence can be a welcome addition in the design of your landscape. An important part of its function is the aesthetics and durability which make the fence interesting to see, and to hold up under various environmental conditions.


What type of fence is on your property? Do you tell yourself it’s an eyesore, or that it’s not important enough to warrant your attention? Or, is that fence an essential part of your garden or landscaping, where you want to give it the attention it deserves?


If you choose to make your fence an integral part of your property’s appeal, then you’re going to have to take the proper steps to maintain it the best that you can.


Here are my recommendations:


1. Whether the fence is constructed of wood, metal or plastic, each requires similar methods – also considered steps – of preparation before painting can begin.


A. Pressure washing. First Step; all surfaces. “Comprehensively” removes all unwanted debris; including dirt, rust stains, fungus, and molds.

B. Abrasive cleaning. Second Step. “Optional,” based on present smoothness and sheen of the surface. Ultra smooth surfaces benefit greatly by a sanding process.

C. Adhesion promoter. Third Step. “Optimum” chemical treatment for smooth surfaces which greatly enhances the bonding of paint finishes.

D. Standard latex and oil based multi surface primers. Fourth Step. ”The Closest Guarantee;” creates a durable bond between the fence material and the finish paint.

E. Specialized use primers. Only if required. “For Difficult Substrates:” Galvanized, Non-Ferrous metals use (acid wash primers, galvanizing primers, zinc primers, etc.)


2. Types of paint finishes which can be applied that promote durability and color retention.


A. Wood Fences

1. Use an exterior latex or oil based primer, followed by an exterior acrylic latex paint finish or an oil based finish.

2. Apply an exterior semitransparent or solid color stain.


B. Metal Fences

1. If necessary, apply the appropriate primer as described above.

2. For optimum durability, apply a 2 component urethane or lacquer.

3. For general appearance, apply an exterior oil based finish or an industrial direct to metal coating.


C. Plastic Fences

1. Normally, they are not painted, due the flexibility of the material.

 2. Consult a paint distributor for advice if you must undertake such a project.

 3. As a professional I would not recommend it. It may look good initially; yet after a short time, the paint may begin to peel.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Spray painting is the most effective method for painting any fence. It is efficient productive, cost effective and labor saving.


In closing, a fence for many is a major undertaking; maybe even daunting. Properly prepared and finish painted, your fence will look good and the finish will endure over time.


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End your old year with thanks! Begin your New Year with thanks, too!

Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”


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