How to Spray a Fence

Updated November 21, 2016

If you own a wooden fence, you need to keep up with basic maintenance, as wooden fences succumb much more to the elements than do chain link or vinyl fences. One way to keep your fence looking nice is to apply a good-quality stain or paint. A hand-held deck or fence sprayer can make this chore a lot easier. You may actually spend more time preparing the fence and surrounding areas than you will actually spraying it.

Clean the fence and the area around the fence before applying stain or paint. Pull any weeds around the base of the fence and remove any dirt on the fence itself. You don't want to spray over any dirt or mould. Remove the dirt by using a garden hose or pressure washer to remove all of the grime. Allow the fence to dry completely before spraying it.

Drape plastic sheeting or tarps over any plants or objects near the fence that cannot be moved. Place a dropcloth or newspaper at the base of the fence to prevent you from spraying the grass beneath.

Lean cardboard sheets against the backside of the fence to prevent over spray from coating anything on the other side.

Put on safety glasses, long trousers, a hat and dust mask to protect you from back-spray from sudden gusts of wind.

Pour the stain or paint into your sprayer, close the lid and pump the sprayer until you cannot pump it further.

Start at one end of the fence line and work your way down. Hold the nozzle 10 to 12 inches from the top of fence. Depress the trigger on the sprayer and lower the nozzle down the length of the fence. Refrain from holding the sprayer in one place, as you will dispense too much product in one area.

Continue moving the sprayer down to the bottom of the fence board until you reach the bottom. Lift the sprayer nozzle back up once you reach the bottom and work your way back to the top. Be sure to spray the edges of the boards, especially if there is space between each picket. Move to the next picket when you have finished and continue down the fence line. Spray each picket from top to bottom, then back up.

Pump the sprayer several times if you notice the air pressure dropping while spraying. Do not let the air pressure get too low or the paint will not spray evenly and you may have to respray some areas.

Allow the first side of the fence to dry completely.

Move the cardboard sheets from the other side of the fence behind the side you sprayed. Place all of the plastic sheeting and tarps in the appropriate spots on the other side of the fence. Refill the sprayer and begin spraying the other side of the fence just as you did the first side.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose or pressure washer
  • Rake (if needed)
  • Deck or fence sprayer
  • Stain or paint
  • Safety glasses
  • Long trousers
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Dust mask
  • Plastic sheeting or tarps
  • Cardboard sheets
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