How to Paint a Garden Fence

Nothing is more charming than a well-tended garden. An old, neglected garden fence can draw eyes away from all your beautiful plants, flowers or vegetables. Luckily, with a few coats of paint and a little elbow grease you can have that old garden fence looking as good as new in no time. While white and green are two of the most popular colour choices for garden fences, when it comes to choosing a colour for your fence you are only limited by your imagination. Just make sure to choose a high-quality exterior paint that has been specially-formulated for exterior use.

Inspect your garden fence for damage. Replace any rotted or warped wooden fence boards and use a hammer to pound in raised nails.

Sand your garden fence before painting to remove any chipping paint and smooth splintery boards. Use an electric or manual hand sander, depending on the size of the fence.

Apply a generous coat of a water-repellent wood preservative to all surfaces of your garden fence. Brush the preservative onto your fence using broad, even brush strokes. Wait five to seven days before proceeding to Step 4.

Prime your fence with one coat of an oil-based exterior primer. Apply the primer using broad, even strokes and allow the primer to dry completely before continuing to Step 5.

Brush two coats of an acrylic latex exterior paint onto your garden fence using broad, even strokes. Allow the paint to dry completely between coats.


Lay down a sheet of plastic on either side of your garden fence to catch unsightly paint drips.


Most painting products are known to contain hazardous chemicals. Always use proper safety precautions when working with chemical products like preservatives, primers and paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Replacement boards (if necessary)
  • Nails (if necessary)
  • Hammer
  • Electric or manual hand sander
  • Water-repellent wood preservative
  • 3 inch paintbrush
  • Oil-based exterior primer
  • Acrylic latex exterior paint
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About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.