What to Know When Painting Your Fence
Fences serve an important function while also contributing to a home’s overall outward appearance. As such, these prominent exterior features deserve just as much attention and care as any other part of your property. If you’re considering investing in exterior home painting, then, consider the state of your fencing. But before you dive into this job, there are some important details to keep in mind when painting your fence.
Focus on the Forecast
Any and all exterior painting projects are subject to environmental conditions. Painting in the rain, on a windy day, and/or in extreme temperatures isn’t just a drag -- it’s counterintuitive, as the paint job won’t apply or dry properly. So, keep an eye on the upcoming weather before you even get started. Wait for a couple of clear, temperate days, and get an early start so you have plenty of daylight to work in.
Some Minor Landscaping Might Be in Order
Because fences are driven directly into the earth, grass, weeds, shrubbery, and other vegetation are likely to encroach on the base of your fence. If you haven’t stayed on top of this particular maintenance, you should clear away this growth so you have maximum access to your fence and can protect its foundation from pests, moisture, and other common threats.
Cleanliness is Key
Any surface you plan on painting or staining should be clean before receiving a new coat. The best way to clear away dirt, dust, debris, mold, and/or mildew is by properly pressure washing your fence. If you’re unable to purchase or rent a pressure washer, hire professionals to take care of this important step for you. Otherwise, you can attempt to clean your fence manually, but this will take an exorbitant amount of time and most likely won’t do as thorough of a job.
Look for Rot and Other Damage
As previously mentioned, fences (especially wooden ones) are vulnerable to many forms of damage. Rot is a common concern, as moisture from the ground can easily creep into your fence’s foundation and spread. Likewise, fungi and wood-boring pests can find plenty to feed on when it comes to your wooden fencing. Carefully examine your fence for signs of deterioration. If you notice structural decay, it’s imperative that you have your fence repaired before painting or staining it.
Cover Up Areas You Won’t Be Painting
If your fence is in good shape and/or you’ve had it fixed up, you can now begin preparing your work area for painting. You don’t want to get paint on your lawn, siding, or other nearby surfaces you don’t plan on painting at the moment. To avoid any contamination, cover these areas with drop cloths, tarps, plastic sheets or bags, etc., and secure them with weights and tape so they stay put.
Gather Quality Materials
It should go without saying, but you’ll want to invest in high-quality paint products if you want your fence to look its best and stay that way for a long time. Whether you decide to use exterior paint or wood deck stain, go for something that offers protection against moisture intrusion, UV radiation, pests, and fungi.
You May Want to Prime
Priming prior to painting is often a good idea, as it provides an extra layer of surface protection while helping the new coat adhere. If your fence is new and bare or its previous paint job has mostly worn away, priming is essential. However, if you’re applying a new coat over an older one that has simply faded a bit, priming might not be necessary. If you’re unsure, you can seek professional advice. Or, when in doubt, start with a coat of primer anyway.
Choose the Optimal Application Method
As with any exterior paint job, there are many ways to get the job done. For painting large areas of fencing, most exterior painting services recommend using a sprayer, which is efficient and delivers excellent coverage. That said, you can also apply your paint with a large-nap roller to cover these open areas. And it’s always wise to have some brushes on hand to cover those smaller, harder-to-reach locations.
Work Section By Section
Fences can vary in size quite a bit. If your fence is relatively small, you can apply a full coat pretty quickly. But for larger fences, it’s a good idea to work one section at a time. Doing so will ensure that you don’t neglect any smaller details and that you allow the proper dry times for each coat. Plus, breaking up the project this way can keep you motivated and give you a stronger sense of progression.
Ultimately, fence painting isn’t all that different from painting your deck or home exterior. But if you need help at any stage, the professional home painting services at Nash Painting are here for you. To learn more about us, our services, and our values, call us at 615-829-6858 today!