Painting an Existing Wood Fence
If you have a wood fence it’s a beautiful thing but over time the elements wear it down and you may have even scratched it with a lawn mower or snow shovel. Either way eventually it needs to be repainted and as with most projects around the house this one is easy to do yourself and low cost.
Besides good weather, this is what you’ll need: paint, possibly primer, a good brush, a roller (choose the size depending on the fence), a roller extension, cleaning supplies (rubber gloves, a pale with soup and warm water, a couple of rags), sand paper, scraper, maybe a kneeling pad.
Now, before you start painting you have to make sure the fence is clean. Here are some suggestions:
• Remove any grass, shrubbery, seeds, and the like from the fence.
• Wash off dust, soil, or any other dirt like bird poop with warm water and a little detergent.
• If the fence touches any parts of the house you may want to separate the edges with painter’s tape.
• It’s a good idea to have some card board or thin sheets of wood handy to slip under the fence so you don’t get the brush dirty from the ground when painting the underneath. It will also help block any branches that may still be in the way.
While you are cleaning, inspect the fence for other problems:
• Is any paint chipping? If so you’ll need to do the following. Scrape off the old paint and sand the edges a little to smoothen them out. If the wood is bare you may need to add a little primer on the spot. If so, let the primer spots dry before moving on to the real paint.
• Loose planks? If you find parts of the fence are seriously beginning to wear you may need to nail them back or replace the piece.
• Termites: They show up when you least expect it. If you find signs of them replace those planks too.
Ok; you’ve made it to the real part of the job. Don’t worry if it took a while to get here. It’s better to have the fence ready and free of all other obstacles than have to stop painting in the middle because of one of the above issues.
1. Stir the paint to make sure its all one color and not clumpy
2. Pour your paint in the roller pan at the bottom.
3. Take your roller, dip it in the tray, and begin from the top down. Maybe use the brush for the top open grain. If you hit those spots first you can remove any dripping as you make your way down.
• NOTE: If your fence has a plank and then opening and then another plank (your standard white picket fence), it’s a good idea to do one plank at a time but do the fence in sections. For instant do a row of one frontal side with one edge and then come back and do the other when it’s dry. By doing this you prevent touching the opposite edge when the paint is still wet.
4. Use the brush for any touch ups. Hopefully you won’t need a second coat but if you do just follow the same steps.