Fence Paint


Advice and Information on Fence Paint 

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Fence Paint Q&A
Fence Spayer or Just Brush?

As with anything, there are pro's and con's as to using a fence sprayer compared to a brush.
The main pro is obviously time - with most of the sprayers allowing you to complete a fence panel 10 times quicker than if using a brush - essentially under 4 minutes.  For me, where time is valuable this one positive out-weighs any negatives.  However, there is the additional cost of buying the sprayer and the 'special' fence paint that you do have to consider.  Fundamentally the sheer quantity of fence that you have to paint usually makes this decision for you.  If you have four or less fence panels that need painting, then the extra cost is not worth it - but over that and the fence sprayer becomes a viable option.

The fence sprayers on the market do seem to range in price - with all the manufacturers stating that you must use their brand of sprayer with their fence paint product - is this true?  Unfortunately yes - you can risk it by buying a cheaper alternative sprayer but in my experience with a significant variety of different makes you do get a better application and finish if you use the corresponding fence sprayer to the product (e.g. Ronseal Fencelife with the Ronseal fence sprayer).

The biggest concern over using sprayers is the potential to ruin yours or your neighbours propery.  This is essentially just a matter of common sense.  You do have to be aware that the sprayer does output a fine mist - especially when it has been fully 'pumped', but this is not a problem unless you have not prepared the surrounding areas first. 
Firstly, as with any painting regardless if using a brush or sprayer - all areas that you do not want to paint must be covered with tape or a dust sheet. 
Secondly, if it is a windy day and the neighbour has their washing out - do not consider using your sprayer unless you want a very close enemy. 
Thirdly, ensure that anything over the other side of the fence is also covered before beginning spraying as accident do happen when paiting the tops of the fence.

There are also arguments that the fence sprayers are more difficult to clean than brushes - but essentially all you need to do is rinse clean, warm water through the sprayer 5 or 6 times until the water expelled is clear.  Maybe a quick wipe over with a cloth and then just put it back in the shed. This is no more work than rinsing out a brush and tray. 

Another concern is that 'spraying wastes alot'.  This is only true when applying to smooth planed wood and is not significant.  It is also actually the opposite when applying to rough sawn wood (i.e. a new fence) if you look at the approximate coverage values for a 5L tin/bottle;

  • Brush: Smooth planed wood: 40m²
  • Brush: Rough sawn wood: 10-14m²
  • Spray: Smooth planed wood: 30-40m²
  • Spray: Rough sawn wood: 20m²

Conclusion - Use a fence sprayer if you have a reasonable size fence and want to save both time and effort.  Use a brush if you have a small fence and your budget is tight.