How To Prepare Your Cedar Fence To Be Painted

If you have a cedar fence, you actually have a lot of flexibility when it comes to colors and styles. The majority of homeowners will like the rich, reddish-brown natural color of cedar. However, many people want their fence painted a solid color so that it will match with the colors on outside of their home, so it is very common for homeowners to repaint their cedar fences. Painting a fence is obviously not that difficult, but it isn't necessarily a matter of just using a paintbrush to spread product onto the fence.

Don't Take Fence Painting Too Lightly

While Tom Sawyer might have made fence painting seem simple and enjoyable, most people who have done realize that it can actually be quite time-consuming work. Furthermore, in order for your new paint job to be permanent, you need to properly prepare the wood before you even break out the painting supplies.

Create a Consistent Texture

The key to preparing your fences to make sure that the wood has a consistent texture. You don't have to sand off all of the existing finish on the wood, and you don't need to sand the wood until it is super smooth like hardwood. You just need to try to make sure that it is uniform and consistently rough.

The texture has a big impact on how the paint will dry in the end. The paint will look uneven from spot to spot if the surface underneath is also inconsistent. The biggest problem is that your old wood might start to flake as the wood grains start to slightly peel up in different places. Just lightly sanding over the entire surface will remove all of the loose wood grains and splinters and make it far more consistent and ready for the paint.

Use a Spray Gun

Another helpful tip for painting an exterior cedar fence is to actually rent a spray gun instead of using brushes or rollers. Spray guns will speed up the process but also enable you to penetrate the pores of the wood more deeply for complete coverage. If you have never used a pneumatic paint spray gun before, this is a perfect project to learn on; that is, painting an exterior fence is pretty simple and there's a lot more room for error. Overspray isn't as consequential. Getting a little paint on your soil isn't going to be the end of the world, but you will still need to wear a mask.

If you have more questions about the care and maintenance of your cedar fence, visit sites like