How To Paint A Fence [Even If It Has Gaps]

Painting a fence can make it look new. It also helps the wood last longer. But if your fence has gaps, painting it can be tricky. This guide is here to help.

Whether you have a classic picket fence or a modern horizontal fence, gaps can make painting hard.

These gaps might be part of your fence's design. Or they could be from wear and tear. Either way, we've got the answers you need.

We'll talk about how to paint a fence with gaps. We'll tell you how to get it looking good without messing up your yard.

We'll cover two methods - a brush and a paint sprayer. Both have pros and cons. We'll help you pick the best one for your fence.

So, let's get started. We'll show you how to make your fence look great again. Even if it has gaps, with our help, your fence will look good in no time.

Painting a wooden garden fence, How To Paint A Fence That Has Gaps

Painting A Fence With Gaps

Young woman is painting a fence

Repainting your fence is an excellent DIY project for the weekend. Assemble everything you need for the job. A thorough job will leave you with a brand new-looking fence in no time and for less money.

In your arsenal, you should have, protective gear (gloves, eye goggles, masks) and tools (brushes or a paint sprayer, paint, cardboard boxes, or protective cling cover for the lawn).

Step One: Preparation

Preparation of the fence posts and pickets is unavoidable. Scrape off any flaking paint, algae, rust, or grease. Use a good scraper, wire brush, and putty knife.

Repair any loose pickets, leaning parts, and the gate if necessary. Remove and replace warped or rotten posts. Inspect the fence in general for any other issues.

Hose the whole fence down with some soapy water. Then thoroughly rinse it with clean water. Let the fence dry very well overnight.

Step Two: Prime And Paint

Ensure that the fence has dried thoroughly. Next, cover the ground with cardboard boxes or cling cover. Protect the grass, flowers, or shrubs near the fence from paint splashes.

Next, put the primer on the fence. Use a roller, brush, or paint sprayer and ensure that the fence is well coated. Let the primer dry before putting a layer of paint.

Have a look at the following tutorial as a visual explanation.

Is It Better To Use A PaintBrush Or Paint Sprayer

Painting a fence can be time-consuming. To make the work go faster, you could use a paint sprayer. Paint sprayers are easy to use, and you'll complete your job faster.

Check out this Wagner paint sprayer on Amazon

However, paint sprayers work best on fences without wide gaps. Use a paintbrush or a roller on a fence with wide gaps to avoid wasting a lot of paint. Choose the appropriate paintbrush for the fence you have.

Check out this paintbrush set on Amazon

How To Avoid Paint Seeping Through The Fence

Applying protective varnish on a wooden texture

Most wooden fences have holes in the pickets. To avoid paint seeping through to the other side of the fence, you should paint gently around the holes.

Moreover, don't use a fully loaded paintbrush. The excess paint will be dripping all over the place.

On the other hand, if you are using a paint sprayer, talk to your neighbor about covering the gaps from their own side of the fence. If this isn't an option, use a paintbrush instead of a paint sprayer.

How To Choose Paint For Your Fence

Your home should look harmonious inside and out. The fence can complete the look as a whole. Therefore, the right paint will make all the difference.

Start by choosing a color that goes with the exterior of your home. It makes your home look well-kept and appealing to passers-by.

The latest paints have a primer and a topcoat integrated into them. It makes the work easier and affordable for beginner DIYers.

Check out this exterior paint on Amazon

The Best Colors Of Paints For Wooden Fences

Picking the right color for your fence might seem daunting.

Whether you pick a bright, bold color or a neutral shade, it should be in sync with your garden and the house.

Lighter hues on fences make smaller gardens feel larger. Cream visually enlarges a garden, while dark green and navy blue look epic with a grounding effect.

Don't forget to also be creative with your fence!

Colorful fence with gaps in them

Staining Vs. Painting Fences

Several years back, homeowners had limited options when painting or staining their fences. These two give different results.

Yard Fence Before and After Solid Paint Stain Application.

Painted fences need to be repainted when the paint starts peeling off. The fact that paint is a layer put on the surface, it's bound to peel off due to weather changes. You will need to prepare your fence before painting it.

On the other hand, staining fences retain freshness longer because the stain seeps into the wood/material. There is a lot of preparation required to stain a fence.

A stained fence retains the natural look of the fence's material. However, a painted fence alters the natural look using colors and textures.

Man painting wood stain at timber plank in garden.

Tips On How To Stain A Fence

When you choose to stain your fence, it doesn't mean there will be less work. Whether to stain or paint your fence is a matter of choice. If you decide to stain your fence instead of painting it, you could use the following tips.

  • Make a thorough job of preparing the fence.
  • Put a protective covering on everything near the fence.
  • Use good quality brushes or spray guns.
  • Depending on the size of your fence, stain it in sections.
  • Use a good quality stain and let it dry well in between coats.
  • Be mindful of your neighbor if you share a fence.

If your neighborhood has particular requirements for the outlook of your facade, yard, and fence, put them into consideration.

Can You Paint On Green Algae On A Fence?

You can paint over it, but it won't go away! Mold, mildew, moss, wood rot, or algae will always find their way onto the surface of any paint. A homeowner should completely eradicate the fungi growing on the fence before applying any paint or primer to it.

The severity of the fungi will vary depending on your locality. However, use bleach or a product meant for this purpose. Remove completely damaged parts, and don't waste any paint on them.

Check out this algae remover on Amazon

Is It Alright To Paint One Side Of The Fence?

Yes, it is!. If you are sharing a fence as a boundary line with your neighbor, go ahead and paint your side of the fence. But if the fence is yours and it sits in your yard close to the boundary line, your neighbor cannot paint it!

Otherwise, if you have an independent fence, paint both sides. Don't be oblivious to boundary rights. Always maintain a distant and cordial relationship with your neighbor whenever possible. Friendly neighbors make such situations easy to handle.

How Do You Get Rid Of Gaps In A Fence?

The old weathered wooden green fence near residential homes

If you didn't intend for your fence to have gaps between the pickets or planks, you have to seal them for privacy. These gaps might have been caused by the wood shrinking or cracking due to the elements.

There are several ways to do it. You can use a sealant to seal any gaps or cracks in your fence. Or, you could use vinyl stripping and staple it in between to seal the small gaps in your fence. Apply a stain or paint to avoid the sealant or vinyl looking tacky.

Other gaps you might find on your fences are those at the bottom. These are mostly caused by erosion and the soil settling over time. You could remedy the situation by planting a garden or hedges, adding bricks or gravel, or building a cemented terrace.

Final Thoughts

When painting a fence with gaps, use a paintbrush to avoid painting stuff in your neighbor's yard. Protect grass, flowers, or hedges on your side by covering them too! Prep your fence for the best results.

Patience is key for this DIY project. If you prefer to use a stain, the procedure is more or less similar to painting. Unless you trust the weather forecaster 100%, revamp your fence during the warm season.

If you are looking for some more great posts, read the following:

How To Fill Gap Under A Fence [5 Effective Fillers]

Should A Fence Gate Open In Or Out?