How to Strip Fence Paint

A white fence.
  • 3-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 80-105
What You'll Need
Face mask
Safety glasses
Chemical stripper
Wire brush
Damp cloth
Heat gun

Removing fence paint can be a rather difficult job if you do not use the proper tools and products. In addition, there is no guarantee that the fence will come back as new when stripping the paint depending on the condition of the fence. However, it is always recommended to first strip the old paint before repainting.

Step 1 - Clean the Fence

When stripping fence paint, it is important to start by first cleaning the fence. Use a piece of damp cloth to wipe off any loose rust or paint. Wipe thoroughly a couple of times until all the loose dirt is removed. If necessary, try also to grab the fence and shake it for a while to remove the remaining dirt.

Step 2 - Use a Wire Brush

After passing over the fence with a damp cloth, use the wire brush to reach any more difficult areas. Brush through the holes of the fence and the corners until you get these spots clean. Then pass again with a damp cloth to collect all the dirt.

Step 3 - Apply the Stripper

Once the fence is clean, use a paintbrush to apply the chemical stripper. Give the fence a couple of coatings and remember to make sure that every area of the fence is coated with the stripper. Wait for 15 minutes and you will see that the paint will start to loosen up. If necessary, give another coating of chemical stripper if you spot some areas which have not been reached.

Remember to wear a face mask , gloves and safety goggles while applying the chemical stripper, and keep any children or bystanders out of the area while using it.

Step 4 - Sand the Fence

When the chemical stripper takes its effect, use a piece of sandpaper to clear off the loose paint. Sand the fence until all the paint is removed and if some paint remains on the fence, apply a little more stripper to get rid of it. Make sure that you sand every single hole in the fence. Continue sanding until you are satisfied with the result.

Step 5 - Remove the Remaining Paint

Finally, grab the fence and shake thoroughly to remove the remaining paint fragments and then pass over it again with a damp cloth to clean it well. You can use a thin object such as a screwdriver with the cloth to reach the most difficult areas of the fence.

Step 6 - Use the Heat Gun

If you are not satisfied with the results, use a heat gun to remove the remaining paint. Pass over the fence with the heat gun and as the paint starts to bubbles up, use a putty knife to scrape it away. Remember to wear a pair of safety glasses and gloves to protect yourself and place an old wet cloth under the fence so that the paint will cool immediately when it falls on the ground.

Now all the paint on the fence should be stripped off. Remember that stripping the fence paint will not bring the fence back in perfect condition and if the fence is too old, it is recommended to change the fence rather than trying to fix it.