How To Paint A Wooden Fence? Always Repair And Prep Before Painting

It seems like a simple question but there are many ways to go about painting a wooden fence. It all depends on the type of wood and the age of your fence panels.

How To Paint or Stain Your Fence
How To Paint or Stain Your Fence

If your fence is old then it might need some TLC before you give it the final paint. Slats might be missing or the struts could have rotten over the years.

The more work you put in before the actual painting will make a huge difference to the final result.

Preparing Your Wooden Fence for Painting

To make your fence look good after you have painted it here are some tips to get you started:

  • Repair your panels with pins/nails never use screws because they will split the wood
  • Reposition your panels and pin them in the correct position
  • Replace any rotten timber, rotten timber will crumble when pinched

Do I Need to Prime Fence Before Painting?

You do not need to prime fence panels or posts because the stain used to paint fences needs to soak deep.

For the stain to work correctly it must soak deep into the timber to protect it from rain, wind and moisture retention.

If you are using colourful paint then you might want to prime the fence before you apply the final colour you have chosen.

  • Do not Prime fence panels if you’re using a stain
  • General wood paint can be painted directly but would benefit from a prime to help seal
  • The majority of fence paint will not require your prime
  • Another coat of stain or wood paint will surface as a prime layer

Best Paint to use on my Wooden Fence?

We have found that a good fence stain or fence paint designed for fences such as Cuprinol Garden Shades works best.

Fence stains are cheaper but will require many coats over a 10-year lifespan. Cuprinol Garden Shades is the king of fence paints and lasts for many years.

  • Fence stains need to be topped up each year
  • Cuprinol Garden Shades lasts for many years and comes in many colours

Fastest Way to Paint a Fence?

The fastest way to paint a fence is to use a brush and a sprayer.

Use the brush to paint the outside of the fence panels and then follow up with the sprayer to cover the panels and struts!

Sprayers are messy so be sure to use a brush across the top, bottom and sides of your fence panels.

  • Paint edges for less mess
  • Use a sprayer to fill in the panels


This is the quickest and more professional way to paint a fence. Do not use a sprayer to paint edges because you’re going to make a mess!

Cover the floor with sheets because fence stains will kill grass and shrubs at an alarming rate.

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