Summer DIY - How to paint a fence

  • 3 min read

Summer is almost over, but there might still be some opportunities to get a few key outdoor projects done before winter settles in. One big job that’s sure to raise your curb appeal and change the whole look and feel of your place is giving the fence a fresh coat of paint or stain. So we created a DIY guide with all you need to know.

Before you can start to swing the paint brush there is some important prep work to be done that will guarantee your paint job to look better and last longer.


Depending on whether your fence has been previously painted or this will be it’s first paint job the prep work varies a little bit.

Working with older painted fences the first step is to check to quality of the paint. Is it racking or peeling? Is most of the paint still firmly on? If the old paint is peeling in many areas and cracking badly, the old paint should be removed with a scraper and sandpaper before continuing with the general cleaning of then fence.


Once all old paint is sanded down, grab a dry brush with hard bristles to brush of and dried on dirt, spider webs etc before moving on to the fence washing. To thoroughly wash the fence a mould and moss killer/ remover product should be used and applied to the fence. Soak the fence well and leave on before rinsing it off.

After the mould treatment has been washed off the fence should be left to dry. Finally mix up a timber wash solution and scrub the fence with a hard bristle brush to really clean off any left over grime and dirt still hanging on. Once finished, rinse well and leave the fence to fully dry.

The better the clean up is done, the longer the fence and the paint job will last.


Finish the Prep work by taping off areas where the fence is close to the house, gates or areas you want to keep paint free. If painting close to the driveway or paving stones, put down a drop sheet to protect the ground from accidental paint splatters.

Open and stir your paint thoroughly (if you are using an oil-based paint, tip the sealed can upside down before turning it back over and opening it. This way the oil will have already started to mix and stirring will be a bit quicker.



Tip 1: If there was a lot of mould present and the fence is going to be painted NOT stained, a Zinsser Primer Sealer can be applied before the two top coats to keep the mould from breaking back through.


Georgia from Moochstyle painting her Christchurch fence using Haydn's Leeda Brush

Apply the Primer or 1st Top Coat with a rough roller/ mini roller and small paint brush (under 50mm). Use the paint brush to get into the valleys and do all the cutting in jobs before switching over to the roller to get the main panels coated.

Tip 2: If you have a large area to cover, work in small sections to ensure the paint dries evenly. Plan the painting steps in advance and check the weather forecast to ensure there is enough rain free time for the paint to be applied and dry fully. Otherwise rain could partially wash of or alter the appearance of your paint job.  Also leave a few hours in the afternoon for the last paint of the day to dry before the sun goes down.

Use Brush Baggies for Rollers and Brushes that are not in use, and during breaks to keep the paint from drying in and ruining the brush.

Wait for the first coat to be fully dried before repeating the process for the second coat.

Note: The first coat often requires a lot more stain/ paint then the second coat.


Once all coats are done, remove the painter’s tape and drop cloth and wash out the painting tools (use turpentine with oil-based paints and stains).




- Limited tonal range

+ More colour options

- More expensive as more Stain is often needed to finish the job

- More frequent touch ups

+ Stain often lasts longer as it soaks deeper into the wood

+ Usually cheaper

+ Less chipping & peeling as stain absorbs over time





Available from all leading paint and hardware stores.
Can’t find it? Ask Haydn to direct you to your closest stockist.