How To Paint A Corrugated Metal Fence

Are you perhaps planning to restore the beauty of your metal fence? Or are you simply wanting to amplify its visual appeal? Do not fret too much, we have done our research so that you can start painting your fence in no time!

There is a certain process you have to follow in order to properly paint your corrugated metal fences. Here are the steps:

  1. Identify if your corrugated metal fence has undergone galvanization
  2. Clean and sand the metal
  3. Prepare the area
  4. Use a primer (depending on the metal)
  5. Paint the enclosure (acrylic-based paint for non-galvanized metal) 
  6. Coat the fence with weatherproof metal sealants
  7. Let it dry

Painting your fence does not only add to its aesthetic appeal, but it is also essential in ensuring its longevity. In this article, we aim to identify the importance of applying paint, the required materials, and how to do it. If you wish to find out more, continue on reading!

Close-up of a brown metal profile fence. Corrugated surface - How To Paint A Corrugated Metal Fence

Significance of Painting Metal Fences

Brown metal profile fence with block posts. Incline construction. Corrugated surface.

Since metal fences are always exposed to extreme weather changes or harsh conditions - such as intense heat, rain, and cold - it is only logical to protect these materials from these elements.

All types of metal - steel, wrought iron, and aluminum - are subject to rust. Paint performs as a protective layer that offers metal surfaces protection against any form of corrosion and oxidation. Some materials also act as sealants.

With this being said, painting your metal fence adds to its durability and longevity. It is not only a form of stress reliever, but it is also a less expensive maintenance option since paint is specifically designed to guarantee any material to last longer.

Important Reminders

Before we begin with the undertaking, it is important to know that acrylic-based paint and primer are the most suitable option. Oil-based should not be used on galvanized metal fences because the paint will react with the zinc that is coated on the surface, resulting in it peeling off. 

Materials to Use:

  • Cleaning materials 
  • Weatherproof Sealant
  • Cardboard or Newspapers
  • Wire Brush or Electric Sander
  • Paintbrush
  • Primer
  • Paint (acrylic paint for non-galvanized metal)

Steps On How To Paint Corrugated Metal Fences

Close-up of a brown metal profile fence. Corrugated surface.

1. Identify if your corrugated metal fence has undergone galvanization

Spangled Pattern

The simplest but not so reliable way to find out if you own a galvanized metal fence is by looking at its physical appearance. Galvanized metal has spangled patterns all throughout its surface. Snowflakes and six-sided stars can be seen clearly; however, because of changes in the galvanization process, these markings became less visible.

Through Salt and Water

A tried method is by preparing a mixture of salt and water. Damp a cloth then wipe it on the surface of your fence. Allow the garment to sit and dry for 24 hours. Afterward, check the color of the fabric. Untreated metal will show signs of rust, while galvanized alloys will not permit rust to form. 

2. Clean and Sand the Metal

After identifying if your fence is untreated or not, you have to clean the entire surface of the metal of any mold, dirt, dust, and debris. Simply dampen a sponge or cloth in a mixture of dishwashing liquid and water. Thoroughly wash the area and rinse it. 

If you have painted your fence before, sand the metal using a wire brush or an electric sander to remove old paint and rust. You do not have to scrub all the parts, all you have to do is to smoothen the surface, and clear the area from any loose flakes, then gently wipe the exterior using a damp cloth.

3. Prepare the Area

The next step you have to do is to prepare the area. To avoid paint splashes on the ground, grass, plants, or any vegetation, you may cover the ground with cardboard or newspaper. Remember to use old clothes and protective gloves. 

4. Use a Primer

A primer is a preparatory coating that is applied and serves as a protective layer that prevents rust formation. It also bonds or adheres the paint to the metal. 

As a general rule, you must apply primer before painting any surface - this includes metal fences. Avoid using oil-based primer for galvanized corrugated fences. There are various kinds of primers for different kinds of metal enclosures. 

Check out Marine Metal Primer on Amazon.

Fast Dry Metal Primer

Fast dry metal primer can be used for wrought iron, steel, and any other ferrous metals that are exposed to damp, cold, and humid environments. They are suitable for gates, fences, and any outdoor structures.

Etching Primer

Etching primer is best used for galvanized and non-ferrous metals such as aluminum. It contains acid which is responsible for successfully binding the paint and metal together without any adverse chemical reactions.

5. Paint the Enclosure

Grey metal corrugated fence in front of a residential building. Texture of profiled metal.

Once the primer is dry, you can start painting your fence. Remember to use acrylic-based paints for untreated metal, and oil-based for galvanized structures. Depending on your preference, you may use a paintbrush or spray. 

Simply follow the layout or direction of the corrugated metal fence. If the corrugation is vertical, use up and down strokes, if it is horizontal, paint the surface from side to side. This ensures that all the areas are painted.

6. Coat the Fence with Weatherproof Metal Sealants

Once the metal is painted, apply weatherproof sealants to increase the durability of the material. Since a fence is always exposed to harsh weather conditions, applying sealants will protect it from the elements, discoloration, and corrosion. It prevents moisture from seeping into the steel or iron. 

What is Galvanization?

Galvanization is the process of hot-dipping and coating metal with zinc in order to protect them from rust or corrosion. Galvanized metal fences are more durable and will last longer. 

Because of the zinc, some paint materials will react with this element. You need to use applicable paints and primers to ensure they will adhere to the surface and to avoid peeling and flaking of the paint.

What are Other Ways to Protect Metal Fences?

A house with a metal corrugated roof and a gauve fence made from a brown metal profile.

Painting is not the only option. There are other various methods to protect your metal fences from damage and corrosion. 

Applying Metal Wax Sealants

Wax sealants can be applied to any metal structure because it also serves as a protective film that prevents water and oxygen from seeping into the metal. This however is not long lasting that is why you would have to re-apply it after one or two years. 

Use Weatherproof Sealants

Ever since weather sealants are the best rust-proofing material on the market. There are specific kinds of sealers that protect the metal from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, against the freeze-thaw cycle, and moisture that may cause it to corrode.

Red Oxide Primer

When applying red oxide primer, you would not have to apply paint but rather a topcoat. As the name implies, the color of this primer is red. This material is best suited for outdoor structures because it has impeccable resistance against harsh weather conditions.

In Closing

To preserve your metal fence and enhance its appearance, choose the right paint, and apply the necessary primers or protective coating to prolong its lifespan. 

If you have found this article informative, check out these other helpful topics: 

How To Paint A Fence Without It Going Through To The Other Side?

Should Metal Fence Posts Be Set On Concrete?