How to Paint a Vinyl Fence

A white vinyl fence next to a newly-mowed yard.
What You'll Need
Epoxy-based exterior paint
Paint roller or sprayer
Mild detergent
Warm water
Wash cloth
Garden hose
Drying towel
Exterior primer
Latex gloves
Safety goggles
Dust mask
Plastic cling wrap

Although they are often installed as a maintenance-free option to wood, there may come a day when you wish to paint your vinyl fence. Since vinyl fencing is more durable than regular wood fencing, keep in mind that its longer warranty could become void if you paint it and damage its surface. However, if your fence has faded over the years or you have grown tired of the color, painting it can be as simple as staining wood.

Step 1 – Purchase Correct Materials

Vinyl fencing is a smooth surface that will not take regular latex or oil-based paints. You will need an epoxy-based paint that adheres to the vinyl. You will also need to make sure your painting tools are right for the job. Using the wrong brush or roller will cause uneven application, thus creating messy drips in the finish. Check the instructions on your product or ask your local DIY store about brushes and rollers that will work with your paint.

Step 2 – Prepare Fence

Even if you hose down your vinyl fence on a regular basis, there will still be a layer of dirt and grime that can prevent epoxy-based paint from adhering properly. Clean it off with a bucket of warm, soapy water before rinsing it off with the garden hose. Take the time to dry off your fence with a clean towel as this will remove any remaining residue that might affect paint adhesion. Let the fence dry before priming.

Step 3 – Cover with Primer

Priming your fence properly will ensure that your top coat does not crack or bubble prematurely. Use an exterior primer designed for vinyl products that it is also mold and mildew-resistant. Wearing latex gloves, use a brush to fill out tricky angles and a roller to cover the larger areas. A paint sprayer, if you have one or can buy one, will give you a more even finish and covers the same area in about half the time as a roller. However, remember to wear safety goggles and a dust mask if using a paint sprayer. Finally, allow the primer to dry before painting.

Step 4 – Apply Paint

Paint your vinyl fence using the same method as you did with the primer. If you are using the same paint sprayer, make sure you clean it thoroughly and allow it to dry so primer and water are not mixed with your top coat paint. Wrap brushes and rollers with plastic cling wrap instead of cleaning them between applying coats of paint. Also let the paint dry completely between coats and before applying a sealant.

Step 5 – Finish with Sealant

Protect your newly painted fence by applying a high-gloss sealant. A good sealant will protect the vinyl from the elements and keep the paint from cracking or fading quickly. Once your sealant dries, you will be able to enjoy the maintenance-free benefits that vinyl fencing offers for many years to come.