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Painting a Fence: Tricks of the Trade

One of the jobs I will find myself doing soon is painting the fence. It’s truly the job nobody wants, but it has to be done to maintain the life of the fence. Here are some simple tricks of the trade that will help in your next fence painting project.

If your fence is not yet constructed, it’s always easier to prime and paint the boards before you build the structure. Plus, the wood is now completely protected from various infiltrators, like moister, mold, and insects. As you build the new structure, it’s important to make sure the bottom of the fence remains off the ground. If wood is touching the ground on a permanent basis, it will begin to rot.

Years later, when your new fence is old and in need of a good paint job, here’s how to revamp it.

  • First, clean the fence from top to bottom.
  • Remove or scrape off old paint and then run a warm cloth over all of the boards, clearing debris and even bird droppings.
  • Start by painting only the front of each individual board, then take a smaller brush and paint the edge, always going with the grain of the wood.
  • Once that section is complete, turn around and do the same thing to back side of the boards and the other unpainted edges.
  • To properly paint the bottom section of the fence, place newspaper or thin plywood underneath, so your brush isn’t picking up dirt.

If large bushes are growing next to the fence, use some ½ inch plywood as a barrier between the bush and the fence; this is really handy when dealing with thorny rose bushes. A complete guide to DIY fence painting can be found at this link: http://doityourself.com/stry/paintfencing

Staining a fence uses roughly the same principles as painting. However, it’s very important to sand the boards if you’re working with untreated slats. This allows the protective coating to get into the wood fibers and solidify them. You can also buy pre-stained fencing if you know a stained fence is the way to go. Cedar wood is an option. This type of fencing provides a natural look, doesn’t warp like pine and contains oils that repel insects. For additional questions about fences, check out this link for answers. http://78fence.com/FAQ/

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