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

Do you feel like your wood fence or outdoor furniture 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 and improve overall curb appeal.  

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 paint job correctly so that you won't have to redo it in a matter of weeks or months. 

Tool, Supplies & Safety Gear You'll Need

When you’re planning on using paint sprayers 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 Sprayers
    Of course, the first and most important piece of equipment is the 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 paint spraying it around on the wood fence or wood grain.
  • Paint
    Be sure to select the perfect color of paint spray 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 washing tool to remove dirt and debris, and previously painted fence stain from the fence. It’s the best way to achieve a flawless finish.

Other Suggested Tools & Equipment 

Safety and protection equipment such as a hat or spray sock to cover the head, safety goggles/ glasses.

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. 

Paint Spraying A Fence

Preparing The Fence

After you’ve gathered your supplies, there are several steps you must take to prep your fence and get ready to start 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 washer. Just like renting a paint sprayer, you can also rent a washer which will save you a lot of time and energy. 

Moisture in unseasoned wood can make paint adhesion difficult and also cause warping.

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 [1].

If you see some minor scratches and things like that, you can use the sander to get rid of them before you begin applying 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 [2]. 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. 

Primed Meta Fence

How To Easily Paint A Fence With A Sprayer

If you’ve never operated a 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 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 Paint Spraying 

Once you’ve filled the reservoir, place the cap back on, secure it in place, and then practice your paint spraying technique on a piece of cardboard. 

To begin, start a stroke movement with the paint spray gun before pulling the trigger. This will prevent the paint from building on the bare wood surface where it is applied. 

Continue the stroke after you release the trigger. Here are some ways you can practice paint spraying using your paint sprayer: 

  • Try various vertical and horizontal paint spraying movements. Try to get a consistent pattern of paint on the surface. You want a uniform look. 
  • Hold the paint 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 spraying.

Keep in mind that you may need to speed up or slow down to get consistent coverage. Here’s how to paint your wooden fence with a sprayer: 

  • Adjust the spray tip plugs 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 wooden 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 spray tip of the paint sprayer regularly to prevent the paint from drying or creating an uneven spray pattern. 
  • Move slowly enough to make sure you cover all the nooks, crannies and edges of the intricate cut work.
  • 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 the dried paint off 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 DIY 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 pressure wash them. 

It will make it that much easier for you to remove any traces of paint from the area surrounding the wooden fence. It's even possible to use a paint sprayer as a pressure washer. 

Once you’ve cleaned off the paint sprayer and the area around your garden 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 wagner paint sprayer should remain in great condition for years. 

Painting Fence with Spray Gun

Frequently Asked Spray-Painting Fence Questions 

How long does it take to spray paint a fence?  

It will typically take 3 days to complete the fence painting process. 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.

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.

When is the best time to spray paint the fence?  

The best time 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.


Painting a garden 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 paint brush or counter brush or roller. By the time you’ve finished working on the fence, you’ll love the way it looks!