Our garden fence fell down last year. According to our lovely next door neighbours it had been installed over twenty years ago so it had a good innings. Over the last few months we’ve had a resident pheasant strolling through all our gardens who seems to enjoy limbering over the awkwardly positioned wooden slats. Well he might like it but I think it looks bloody awful, so one of our summer tasks is to replace all eight panels. Hmm, that sounds cheap doesn’t it?

As always, and much to James’ annoyance I often work back to front on these type of projects, and while he’s probably thinking about panels, posts and post caps, I’m thinking about the important stuff, like what colour to paint the fence.

In our first house we bought one of those paint sprayers and the results were catastrophic. There was more paint on the patio doors and grass than the fence so since then I’ve always used a super wide brush to lash on my stain. I utterly detest this job though. When we replaced the panels in our last courtyard it took way longer than I anticipated to paint just two fences. Eight is going to be a total whinge-fest.

Anyway on to the colour. First up the dark fences.

The Darks

After we featured Hannah’s amazing summer house on RMS several years ago I was gutted I didn’t paint my fences a similar off-black shade when we gave our old courtyard a makeover, so much so I went dark with Cuprinol Urban Slate when I painted my garden shed. Admittedly it looks nowhere near as good as Hannah’s garden room but it’ll do nicely.

The Lights

However I wonder whether with the shed being a darker shade the fences may look better in a contrasting shade. In the inspiration images I found all the light coloured garden fences, trellis and structures seem to have been painted in Farrow and Ball exterior paint. I would anticipate they may need more maintenance than a regular stain or dark garden paint.

Left To Their Own Devices

If you buy panels and trellis made from pressure treated timber, whose to say you have to even paint it? I actually really love the look of weather beaten silvered wood so maybe the easiest option is just to leave it open to the elements.

Tips For Painting Fences

  • If you do use one of those sprayers then protect EVERYTHING around it with plastic sheets
  • Read the instructions clearly. Some formulations develop a water resistant finish after 24 hours making applying a second coat a bit of a mare. If you’re not going to be able to give your fence two coats in one day then go back over a panel rather than progressing to the next
  • Try to paint on a temperate day. If it’s too hot (chance would be a fine thing) then the stain or paint may dry too quickly and go patchy. If it’s too windy you can end up with an uneven finish. If it’s wet then as you know that’s not helpful either.
  • Clean down the fence before applying any colour to remove any dirt, debris or mildew.
  • Anyone else replacing their fence panels? What kind of design are you going for and what colour do you think you’ll paint them?