How to Prepare for Painting a Fence

What You'll Need
Water hose
Scraper or sand paper
Large piece of plastic or bad cloth
Paint brush or roller

Painting a fence is not something you can do in a matter of minutes, no matter how small the fence might before. Before you start the actual painting process, you must first prepare the fence and other materials for the actual job to be done. Regardless if the fence you are about to paint is made of metal or wood, you should following steps.

Step 1 – Remove Old Pieces of Loose Paint

This part can be done with the help of a pressure washer. Turn your water hose to high power for short periods of time. Long exposure of the wood to water can be counter-productive. Not only will it take ages to dry, but mold might start to form before you start the painting process.

Step 2 – Scrape Uneven Parts and Dirt Off

Despite your best efforts, some stubborn old paint might still be left on the fence. Now it is time to remove the remaining paint with sandpaper. Also make an effort to balance out any uneven parts and remove any dirt on the surface. Scraping is a long and laborious process. It requires lots of time, patience and effort. However, it is vital because otherwise the new paint will not adhere properly to the wood or metal. The job is done when the bare wood is exposed.

Step 3 – Put a Sheet of Plastic Beneath the Fence

The mess you will create whilst applying the primer or paint is inevitable. To avoid staining the tiling, slide a large sheet of plastic beneath the gate. Make sure that there is a length of approximately 3 feet on either side of the gate. When painting the bottom part of the gate with a roller, the roller might come in contact with the paving stones or tiles. The plastic need not be very thick. This process acts as a precautionary measure to prevent unnecessary scrubbing later.

Step 4 – Apply Primer to the Fence

Once the fence is smooth and has dried properly. You can start applying a primer. The purpose of the primer is to prevent mold from forming and to act as an adhesive for the paint. The conditions for the paint to stick properly in the long term are not ideal outside, especially due to rain, snow and other unfavorable weather. A primer also assures a smooth base for any topcoat (the paint you are about to use). It also helps to bring out the color of the paint you will apply.

As you may have noticed, the preparatory phase for painting a fence is much more difficult than the actual painting. However, despite being considered the dirty work, the preparation is essential to make sure that your fence will look as good as new once you have finished the job.