Kind of Paint to Use on a Wooden Fence


Wooden fences are aesthetically pleasing, offer a climbing surface for vines and provide much-needed privacy for backyard cookouts and pool parties. However, a wooden fence must be painted or otherwise finished, or it will quickly discolor and attain a rustic look that many homeowners find undesirable. There are several types of paint-on finish that can be used on a wooden fence, but care must be taken to select the appropriate paint and prepare the fence properly.


  • Choose an oil-based paint primer to base coat wooden fences that have previously been painted, after they have been carefully prepared by pressure washing. Oil-based paint primer will firmly bond to the old paint to ensure that the new paint doesn't peel. Outdoor paint primers that include a mildew-killing agent offer extra protection and are a good choice for wood fences.


  • Choose a durable, high-quality outdoor paint for the second, and possibly third, coat of paint on your wooden fence. If possible, select paint that has UV protection included. When selecting paint colors, remember that the paint will fade somewhat over time. You may want to select a slightly brighter shade.

Colored Stain

  • Plan to use a colored stain on your wooden fence to reduce maintenance. Select a high-quality, outdoor stain for the best results. Colored stain is available in a wide variety of colors. Simply apply several coats to deepen the color.

Paint Maintenance

  • Annually inspect the paint on your wooden fence. Clean the fence and remove peeling paint. Touch up areas that are peeling, or apply a fresh coat to the entire fence if the original paint has faded.

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