Masonry fences aren't as popular as wood fences or vinyl fences, but they may be…
If you want to change your wall color, you buy a can of paint. If you want a new siding color, you’re most likely going to paint it. Paint is a wonderful option for many surfaces, but it is not ideal for fencing. Let’s explore why paint isn’t good for fences, and what you might want to use instead.
Why Painting Your Fence Isn’t a Great Idea
Paint doesn’t absorb as well into wood as stain does. This means that paint has a harder time adhering to fencing and likely won’t last as long. Paint chips, peels and fades, even if it’s designed for outdoor use. This requires more maintenance than staining, which adds to a higher price tag overall.
Paint also takes away from the beauty of the wood grain. You may prefer the look of one solid color, but most homeowners like to see the natural details in their wood fences. Paint takes multiple coats to get a solid finish, but staining can look great after just one coat.
Both painting and staining can create a barrier to protect your wood fence, but the sealant over stain provides a more reliable safeguard. This is particularly beneficial for older fences that need a durable barrier to extend their lifespan.
But What If I Want a Colored Fence?
Fence stain isn’t limited to shades of brown. You can still achieve a red, blue, white, or any other color fence you want. The more coats you apply of stain, the more opaque it becomes. You still get the deep penetration that stain provides, but you can enjoy the color you expect from paint.
How to Choose Fence Paint (If You Must)
If you are set on painting your fence, make sure the paint is rated for wood and outdoor use. Do not use any interior paint on your fence. That is not made to withstand precipitation, heavy wind, UV rays, and other exposure that your outdoor fence will have.
The two main categories of paint are oil-based and water-based. Oil-based paint is usually more expensive and takes longer to dry, but it lasts much longer than water-based paint. If you use oil-based paint and decide to add a top-coat, make sure that is oil-based as well. Water-based sealant will not adhere well to oil-based paint.
If your fence is already painted, you may need to sand or strip it before adding the new paint to the top. You may also want to use primer to minimize the amount of paint layers needed to cover the wood. These extra steps could add years to the longevity of your painted fence.
How Often Should I Paint or Stain My Fence?
Most wood fences should be stained and sealed every 3-5 years. Paint could last that long, or it may start to chip within a year or two. You could use touch-up paint to cover these issues and prevent the need for all-new paint, but your new fence paint may not match the sun-faded color on the fencing.