Sometimes we neglect the things to which we should be paying more attention. That's right, we're talking about our garden fences. Having a fence that is treated correctly will preserve it for years to come and will reduce maintenance costs.
Not only will it save you money in the long run (because without the proper treatment, fences will rot and need replacing), it’s also an activity that you and the family can do together. Well, if you have older kids and willing teenagers anyway. If they won't help, well it's an excuse to get out of the house for a good few hours.
It might not be the most exciting task, but instead of staring at a patchy panel, you can have a fence that looks brand new. We vote for the paint job!
Many different tools will help you achieve this and we'll talk about a few of them in this article. So, whether you're looking to paint, stain or treat your fence with a wax coating, we're certain we'll find the right paint and tools for you.
We've rounded up the best fence paint to use in your garden and also if you've got metal gates or fencing that you think might need a bit of touching up.
Don't forget, as with all paint jobs, to make the end result is the best it possibly can be, preparation is key. If you're painting a new wooden fence for the first time, you're in luck, you can go for any colour you so wish. However, if you're painting over a fence that has been left, colour matching or going a shade darker may be your only option.
Make sure you clean all fence panels the best you can, you can do this with a pressure washer, making sure you give each panel enough time to dry out. Then you may need to get rid of any rough or peeling bits of wood, either by sanding down or picking it off. This will ensure that you'll have your fence looking brand new and as good as it possibly can.
Painting a fence can sometimes be a nice quick job, but more often than not it's a long drawn out affair. However, when you see the results, you'll realise it's all worth it!
The top 3 best fence paints shortlist:
Editor's Pick: Water Based Shed and Fence Paint
Best affordable option: Ronseal 5L One Coat Life
Best pigment: Cuprinol Garden Shades Willow Exterior Paint
Shop the best fence paint
1. Water Based Shed and Fence Paint - Dark Grey - One Coat - 20 Litre
Editor's Pick:Boasted as a one-coat, water-based super paint, this bulk 20-litre option is great if you have lots of area to cover. It is tough, durable and above all, a fantastic colour. Key info:• Takes around one to two hours to dry• Secure and easy to open• Paint is very heavy, so be careful when you're moving the tin Review:"This paint is amazing - the texture is just right and covers so well. I was trying to cover an old fence that a previous tenant had put vandal grease on, and this covers it, no issues."
2. Ronseal 5L One Coat Life
Best affordable option:Rescue your fence with this quick-dry paint. It's easy to open and will look great with just one coat. Plus, it will even give good coverage on dark wooden panels.Key info:• Becomes rainproof within one to two hours• Should last a couple of years before it needs a touch-up• Will protect your wood from greying**Review: "**Easy to apply and thick enough for one application. Lovely warm colour, not too dark when dry."
3. Cuprinol 5 year ducksback
Best pigment:Are you looking to give your wooden fence the lick of paint that it deserves? Then this amazing treatment from Cuprinol 5 Year Ducksback range will help cover up any imperfections and will leave any panelling looking unbelievably good.Key info:• This paint offers protection for up to five years• It will take around two to four hours to dry• Perfect if you're looking for that matte finishReview: "People keep moaning it's orange, yes it is when you first apply it but when dry the colour mellows out, great value 9L pots."
4. Johnstones Woodcare One Coat Shed & Fence Paint
Best for fence protection:Merge your green space with your fence by introducing this lovely red cedar fence paint. It has lots of incredible features like being water-repelling and protecting the wood from the sun.Key info:• The paint has been wax enriched• It has a long-lasting colour which should last for three years• This paint can be used with a fence sprayerReview: "This is the second tub of paint I've bought and both times delivery was very quick and the packaging is excellent, I've never bought anything where the packaging was so good. I would recommend this paint, my fence looks magic and I would recommend this company."
5. Wilko Garden Colour City Slate Exterior Paint 2.5L
Recommended:Garden in need of a revamp? Then the Wilko range of garden colour paint is an awesome choice. Available in a wide range of colours we're particularly taken by this stylish slate. It's designed to be used on both planed and rough exterior wood but can also be used on masonry and primed metal. Key info:• This tin of paint holds 2.5l• The colour is night slate greyReview: "Lovely colour, easy to use, totally transformed my Summerhouse."
6. Cuprinol Garden Shades Willow Exterior Paint 1L
Best premium option:A slightly more premium coloured option, a tin of Cuprinol Garden Shades will provide an excellent finish on exterior wood and is available in an impressive number of shades. It's designed to show the wood grain underneath and protect the wood too.Key info:• This tin of paint holds 1l.• The colour is willow greenReview: "Love the colour, goes on very easily and makes my old gate look fantastic."
7. Swan household ® -COATINGS PAINT
Best metal fence paint:If you have a metal fence around your property and are looking to give it a new lease of life, then this fantastic paint will tick all of your boxes. Key info:• This tin of paint holds 180ml• The colour is iron gate black• It is tough and durable, so it can be used on metal gates and fencesReview: "Applied it to the garden gates. Just the job. The paint left it clean and smart looking."
Can you use fence paint on decking?
It is not advisable to use paint intended for your fence on the decking for the simple reason that fence paint is not designed to withstand foot traffic. Unfortunately, this means that the paint will wear quickly, with minimal durability.
Is it better to stain or paint a fence?
There are ups and downs with both painting and staining your fence.
Staining will give you a more natural finish and will enhance the look of an already beautiful wooden fence. Stain also requires less maintenance than paint but comes at a higher cost.
On the other hand, the paint sits on top of the fence and is best if you're looking to completely transform the colour and look of your fence. The painting will also give you the option of multiple bright colours that can give your garden a complete revamp. In terms of cost, paint is also more cost-efficient in the short term.
Can I paint my side of my neighbours fence?
No - legally, you'll have to ask the owner of the fence for permission before making any changes to it.
How do I paint a fence?
Is it your first time tackling painting a fence? DIY can be daunting if you don't know EXACTLY what you're doing. Make sure that you're fully prepared by watching this amazing step-by-step video from B&Q.
We especially love the tips on protective clothing and the importance of a protective sheet.
For more ideas and advice visit the B&Q website diy.com
Fence painting accessories
Harris 5-inch Seriously Good Shed & Fence Brush
Painting panel after panel can be an arm- and mind-numbingly boring process. Take some of the strain out with a proper brush like this one from Harris, which we've picked because it promises it won't leave bristle behind like this cheaper version.
• Comfortable handle
• No-Loss bristle tech
• Can be attached to a pole for reaching tricky spots
Review: "Quality piece of kit. Good to use and easy to clean. Will last for ages."
Wagner Fence & Decking Paint Sprayer
If you've got a lot of panels to cover or are just completely done with manual painting and want a better finish than you could manage with a brush, this Wagner sprayer can cover a 1.8x1.8 metre fence panel in less than two minutes. It doesn't even need fancy sprayer paint.
• Suitable for all solvent or water-based fence paint, oil, stain, varnish, wood preservatives and treatments
• Atomises the paint for a deep and even single coat
• Horizontal, vertical and detail nozzle settings
Review: "This is amazing! I once lost 2 days of my life painting a fence. Beyond me, why I didn’t purchase one of these. Easy to use, does the job in half the time - quicker! Nice finish. It takes a bit of practice to get the feel of it - you need a bit of rhythm to get the paint even. Dries well. Would absolutely buy again."
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Lily Anderson is a writer at Bauer Media, where she tests products for titles such as Heat, Closer, What’s the Best and Mother&Baby.
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