How to Refinish Your Wood Fence

Wooden fences need to be refinished every few years. This project is more than just a cosmetic upgrade. When you repaint your wooden fence with a proper product, you are sealing the wood, protecting it from the elements and preventing decay. Wooden fences left untreated will look very old in no time. But, refinishing your fence will take a little bit of prep work and patching. This article explains the process of refinishing an exterior wood fence.


This project will take a lot of prep work. In total, you will probably commit more time to preparing and patching the wood than painting it. If you do the proper prep work, your paint job will be much more permanent. First, you will need to sand the surface. An exterior fence does not need to be perfectly smooth. In face, most wood fence slats are sold with quite a rough texture. You can maintain the rough finish of the wood, but sanding will help even out the texture. The point of sanding is to make the surface uniformly smooth. The paint will absorb differently into wood with varying roughness. It can alter the tint of the paint once it dries. If you want to sand off your old stain and apply a completely new stain, you will need to sand it all off. This is much more time consuming that just lightly sanding before repainting the fence the exact same color.

Any large holes or cracks in the fence should be patched before any new paint is applied. Always use a wood putty or patch that is intended for exterior use. You might need to get the sander back out after patching large holes.

Painting the Fence

Painting your fence is easy, whether you use a spray gun or just traditional brushes and rollers. Using a spray gun outside does produce a lot of over spray, so it might not be a good idea if there is a wall or building too close. There is a wide array of exterior wood fences to choose from. In general, the most expensive paints are thicker and more protective. They add a thick, protective layer to the fence slats. However, you can use more affordable paints, especially if you are willing to refinish your fence more often.

Wood is a great fence material, but it does need to be cared for. If you are willing to undertake this refinishing process, you will be able to use and enjoy a functional fence for many years. If you're looking for replacing or upgrading your fence, consider contacting a local professional, such as Lindsey Fence Co., to discuss what you're looking for in a fence.