What Is the Best Way to Paint a Horizontal Panel Fence?

Written by ryan lawrence
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You generally must address two considerations when painting a fence. The first has to do the life of the finish, and the second has to do with aesthetics. You can't just slap a coat of paint on a fence; if you do, you will see chipping and peeling relatively soon. If you are planning to paint a horizontal panel fence, you have the added concern of excessive drips and runs because these types of fences allow paint to pool between the panelling. The best way to paint a horizontal fence involves addressing both concerns.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pressure washer
  • Latex primer
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Nap cover
  • Roller frame
  • 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Exterior acrylic latex paint

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  1. 1

    Wash away dirt and sawdust using a pressure washer. Allow the horizontal panel fence to dry completely.

  2. 2

    Pour latex primer into a 5-gallon bucket, and snap a nap cover to a roller frame.

  3. 3

    Apply primer to the horizontal panel fence using the roller. Roll horizontally along the panelling. Paint the fence moving from top to bottom but only in a 3-foot-wide section. Then smooth the primer in that section while it is still wet using a 4-inch paintbrush. Continue painting the primer onto the fence in 3-foot-wide sections. Clean the brush with water. Allow the fence to dry for two hours.

  4. 4

    Apply paint in the same manner as you did the primer.

Tips and warnings

  • Pay special attention to the spaces between each panel because paint can pool there, which may lead to runs or drips. Run the brush along these areas to smooth any pooling paint.
  • Do not apply primer or paint vertically, as this will lead to runs and drips.
  • Never paint over a horizontal panel fence without priming it first; doing so will cause the paint to peel.

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