How To Paint A Fence With A Sprayer (Easy DIY Guide)

Do you feel like your fence could use a fresh coating of paint? If so, you may have decided that you’d like to do it with a sprayer. The paint sprayer is a convenient tool worth using to provide maximum coverage while achieving a flawless finish.  

If spray painting is the approach you're taking, it's important to know how to paint a fence with a sprayer. The key is to do the job correctly so that you won't have to redo it in a matter of weeks or months. 

How To Paint a Fence With a Sprayer

What You’ll Need? (Tool, Supplies & Safety Gear) 

When you’re planning on using a sprayer to apply paint to your fence, there are certain must-have items to bring with you. Some of the essential tools, supplies, and safety gear worth having include: 

  • Paint Sprayer
    Of course, the first and most important piece of equipment is the paint sprayer, which you can purchase at any home improvement store.
  • Protective Gloves
    Be sure to have a pair of protective gloves to wear on your hands before you get started. You wouldn’t want to get paint all over them.
  • Face Mask
    Consider placing a protective face mask over your mouth and nose to prevent excess paint inhalation while you’re spraying it around on the fence.
  • Paint
    Be sure to select the perfect color of paint in a finish that you prefer for your fence.
  • Clear Plastic Sheeting or Canvas Tarp
    You’re going to use this to cover the ground so that you don’t get a bunch of paint on your flowers or grass.
  • Pressure Washer
    Before you apply the paint, it’s a good idea to use a pressure washer to remove dirt and debris from the fence. It’s the best way to achieve a flawless finish.

These are the most important items to have with you when you’re planning to paint a fence with a sprayer and would like to get the job done correctly. 

Preparing The Fence

After you’ve gathered your supplies, there are several steps you must take to prep your fence and get ready for the painting process.  

Clean The Fence 

It all begins with giving the fence a good cleaning. If you’re asking the question, “What do you clean the fence with before painting?” the answer is simple. You can clean it with soap and water while using a pressure washer. If you don’t have one, you can rent one for the day, and it’s worth it because it saves you a lot of time and energy. 

Sand The Fence 

In addition to washing the fence to get rid of the dirt, it’s a good idea to use a sanding machine to sand any imperfections that you might notice on your fence. If you see some minor scratches and things like that, you can use the sander to get rid of them before you begin applying your paint.  

Prime The Fence 

After cleaning and sanding the fence, the next step involves using a primer that will make the paint last longer and look better. Most primers are easy to apply and are worth using on the fence to ensure a precision paint job. Make sure that you use an exterior primer for long-lasting results. 

gray metal chain link fence

How To Paint A Fence With A Sprayer (DIY Guide) 

If you’ve never operated a paint sprayer before, you might not know where to begin. The good news is that it’s not as complicated as it looks or sounds.  

1. Fill Up The Paint Sprayer With Paint 

First, you want to know how to fill up the paint sprayer with paint and how much of the paint you will put in a paint sprayer because you don’t want to overflow it. Grab the reservoir of the sprayer, remove the lid, and fill it with paint to the top. Be sure to keep a close eye on how full it’s getting because you don’t want to deal with spillage.  

2. Practice Spraying 

Once you’ve filled the reservoir, place the cap back on, secure it in place, and then practice your spraying technique on a piece of cardboard. To begin, start a stroke movement with the spray gun before pulling the trigger. This will prevent the paint from building on the surface where it is applied. Continue the stroke after you release the trigger. Here are some ways you can practice using your paint sprayer: 

  • Try various vertical and horizontal spraying movements. Try to get a consistent pattern of paint on the surface. You want a uniform look. 
  • Hold the spray gun close to the surface to create a narrow spray pattern. 
  • Practice holding the spray gun farther away from the surface to create a wider spray pattern.  
  • Speed up or slow down to see which approach gives you the best coverage.  
  • Choose what you like best and what is easiest for you.  

Paint The Fence With Your Paint Sprayer 

Once you’ve got a good grasp on how to get a consistent pattern of paint on your cardboard, it’s time to start painting. Keep in mind that you may need to speed up or slow down to get consistent coverage. Here’s how to paint your fence with a sprayer: 

  • Adjust the tip of the sprayer for a vertical or horizontal pattern.  
  • Work from the top down and do any eaves and corners first.  
  • Spray straight toward the fence and avoid directing the spray at a steep angle.  
  • Avoid swinging your arm back and forth. Instead, move your arm carefully back and forth in a steady motion.  
  • Don’t flex your wrist, but keep the gun positioned.  
  • Wipe the tip of the paint sprayer regularly to prevent the paint from drying or creating an uneven spray pattern.  
  • Be safe when operating a paint sprayer. Never aim the sprayer at a person or animal.  

Cleaning Up 

When you’ve finished applying the paint and are ready to clean up, you’re going to need to disassemble the gun, removing the different pieces from one another before cleaning them individually with a solution designed specifically for this purpose.  

Because cleaning shrubs, bushes, and plants is a bit more of a challenge, it’s best to cover these things with the plastic material or canvas tarp so that it’s easier for you to clean up after this do-it-yourself project. However, if you didn’t think of that or didn’t have the materials needed to cover the bushes, plants, and shrubs, your best bet to clean them is to use a pressure washer. The pressure washer will make it that much easier for you to remove any traces of paint from the area surrounding the fence.  

Once you’ve cleaned off the paint sprayer and the area around your fence, the next step is to store your paint sprayer properly. If you have a large plastic storage bin, you can put it in there until you’re ready to use it again. The key is to keep it in a spot where it’s safe and secure and won’t be exposed to anything that could potentially damage it or cause it to break for good. If you take good care of it, the paint sprayer should remain in great condition for years. 


Frequently Asked Spray-Painting Fence Questions 

How long does it take to spray paint a fence?  

It will typically take three days to complete the fence painting process. You’re probably wondering why it would take so long, but you need to give the fence time to try between sessions. So, you can do the first coat and then wait about 12 hours to apply the second coat and so forth. Most fences will need roughly three coats of paint to look good. 


Can you paint over old fence paint?  

Yes, you can paint over old fence paint, but it’s important to consider the type of paint originally used and the type of paint that you will use on top of it. You should also make sure that you’re cleaning the fence, sanding it, and priming it before adding new paint to it. 


Can you stain a fence with a paint sprayer?  

Yes! You can stain a fence with a paint spray. It makes the staining process that much easier because you don’t have to worry about doing it by hand. Of course, you also have the option of using a roller, but most prefer using a sprayer because of its ease of use. 


When is the best time to spray paint the fence?  

It's best to begin painting the fence at the beginning of the day when it's early in the morning, and the sun is beginning to shine. If you start early, it gives more time for the fence to dry evenly over a period of the day while the sun is shining bright. However, you need to check the weather before you get started. You wouldn’t want to paint the fence on a day when rain or snow is in the forecast because it could ruin the paint job. 


Conclusion

Painting a fence with a sprayer is an easy way to apply the color that you want to have on your fence. It saves time and energy while providing a flawless finish that will leave your fence looking its best. Now that you know how to use a paint sprayer on a fence, consider following these simple steps instead of using a brush or roller. By the time you’ve finished working on the fence, you’ll love the way it looks! 


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