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How to Properly Paint a Wood Fence

Cedar FenceFew sights in life are as uplifting and cheerful as freshly painted or stained cedar fencing. Beaverton and Portland homeowners can stain or paint fences to protect them from the elements. We’ve focused on how to stain wood fencing in previous posts, so today we’re providing tips on painting a wood fence installation.

Beaverton and Tigard homeowners should begin the fence painting process in the drizzly days of winter, when it’s too wet to work on a fence. This is the perfect time to choose a paint color and plan your project. Here are a few tips for selecting a paint color for an exterior fence:

  • Choose to stand out or blend in.  Neutral colors such as white and gray will blend in with surroundings and lend a clean look, while brighter colors like yellow or teal will draw attention to the fence. Blue-gray is a wonderful color for fences surrounded by landscaping; this color will complement the flora around a fencing installation. Washington and Oregon gardeners should also consider dark greens and grays as potential garden fence colors.
  • Consider your home’s style and color scheme. If your home’s exterior is a Victorian riot of colors, a bright fence will look right at home. However, a sleek modern home would be better served with a more neutral fence installation. Beaverton and Portland homeowners should consider how different tones will complement their homes’ exteriors.
  • Think about how each color will look as it fades. You probably won’t want to go through the ordeal of painting your fence every year, so consider how your fence color will look between fresh coats.

When it comes to painting a fence, there are a few preparatory steps you must take. These include:

  • Mowing the lawn and trimming away weeds around the bottom of the fence.
  • Removing debris and dirt from the fence. A nylon bristle brush will work for this purpose.
  • Thoroughly cleaning the fence, probably using a power washer. Use a cleaning solution of one part bleach and one part water to clean away mildew and mold.
  • Scraping off old paint. A sander may be the best tool for this job, especially if you are removing repainted layers.
  • Protecting hinges and other hardware with painter’s tape.
  • Laying down tarps to protect grass, sidewalks, etc.

These preliminary steps can be quite time-consuming, so you may choose to hire a contractor to handle the tough parts of the job, such as removing old paint from your cedar fencing. Beaverton and Hillsboro residents can call on us for help preparing and painting wood fences.

Once you’re ready to put on a fresh layer of paint, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid painting under direct sun. Dry conditions are a must – watch the weather forecast for a 48-hour dry period. Then, try to get your painting work done in the morning and evening, when the sun’s rays won’t be as intense. Direct, intense sun can cause paint to adhere improperly, decreasing protection.
  • Use two brushes: a 3- or 4-inch brush for larger sections, and a 1-inch brush for tight spots.
  • Work one section at a time. Painting a fence is a multi-day project; working in sections makes for higher quality work.
  • Focus on the top and the bottom of the fence, where moisture is more likely to settle in and cause damage.

Paint sticks best to dry cedar fencing; Beaverton and Portland homeowners should therefore wait to paint until the wood is thoroughly dry.

Painting a fence is backbreaking, patience-sapping work. If you’d rather kick back and enjoy your summer, let us paint your wood fence for you!

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