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How to: paint a fence or gate

Are you looking to give your wooden fence a fresh look? Or perhaps you're thinking it's high time to give your metal fence better rust protection. In that case, you've come to the right place.

"How to prepare a wooden fence for staining or a metal fence for painting? How to apply wood stain to a fence? What paint do you need for a metal gate? And how do you make sure your paint job does not only look great but is also weatherproof?"

We will gladly tell you how to do it, step by step, with the best tips and the right products.

Staining a wooden fence

Step 1: Preparation

Start by cleaning the wooden garden fence to remove dirt, dust and any green deposits. Use warm water with a mild cleaner or a special cleaner for outdoor wood. For green deposits, you can use a specialised product like Algimouss AlgiAlgues.

Then lightly sand the surface. This not only ensures that you get rid of any unevenness but also helps the stain adhere to the surface better. Don't forget to de-dust the wood after sanding.

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Xyladecor Krachtreiniger voor alle Buitenhout
Content: 2,5 l
From €23.45 
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Algimouss Algialgues
Content: 5 l
Variants from €16.45 
From €48.45 
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Progold Sandpaper
Grit: Grit 80 | Quantity: 1 piece
From €0.95 
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ProGold Dusting Brush Half Moon
Quantity: 1 piece
From €7.75 
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Step 2: Applying the wood stain to your fence

Apply the stain to your wooden garden fence with a flat brush or a roller. If you are handy with a paint sprayer, you can also spray it. The best direction to work in is along the length of the boards.

Usually, you will need to apply two to three coats of stain to ensure that the wood is protected well enough. Consider the amount of coverage or darkness you want as well as the specific recommendations for the product you are using. Any doubts? Then, feel free to ask our experts for advice

Finally, make sure that each coat is completely dry before you apply the next one. Also, try to time your work so that you avoid having the hot sun on your fence immediately after application, for example.


Which stain colour do I choose for my fence?

There are countless possibilities! Many transparent stains are standard available in a range of common wood colours. Choose the colour that most closely matches the wood of your garden fence for a natural look, or go for a slightly darker shade if you want more depth and contrast. 
Colourless transparent stains also exist, but it's best to opt for a tinted one. This is because the strength of the stain mainly comes from the pigments added to it. 
In addition, you can also use an opaque stain if you're aiming for a non-wood colour. Green and black are popular colours for a fence, but you can have the stain mixed in just about any colour you like. 

How often should you stain a fence?

On average, exterior wood that has been stained or impregnated requires re-treatment after about three to four years. Of course, a lot of factors play a role in this as well: what kind of wood is it, how harshly the fence is affected by the weather, but also the quality of the product you used. With professional brands like Sigma, Sikkens or Trimetal, you'll have things covered for a long time (see what we did there). And... there is even a stain that is said to be maintenance-free for up to 12 years.

Lowest price!
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Sikkens Cetol Hls Plus
Colour (Sikkens Cetol): 006 - Light oak | Content: 1 l
Variants from €26.95 
From €29.95 
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Sigma WoodProtect 2in1 Classic Satin
Select your colour: Colourless | Content: 1 l
From €27.45 
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Xyladecor Tuinhoutbeits Waterproof - Rustic Oak
Colour (Xyladecor): Rustic Oak | Content: 5 l
From €46.95 
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Trimetal Silvanol Lo
Select your colour: Mix colours | Content: 2,5 l
Variants from €39.95 
From €93.95 
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Sigma Woodprotect 2In1 Matt
Select your colour: Colourless | Content: 2,5 l
Variants from €27.45 
From €67.45 
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Xyladecor Natuurlijk Zilvergrijs - Bark-Grey
Colour (Xyladecor): Bark-Grey | Content: 2,5 l
Variants from €26.95 
From €57.45 
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Jotun Demidekk Ultimate Täckfarg
Select your colour: Mix colours | Content: 3 l
Variants from €60.95 
From €157.45 

Checklist

  • Clean the fence

  • Sand the wood for the best preparation

  • Apply 2 to 3 coats of stain

  • Respect drying times

  • Enjoy your freshly painted fence ☀️

Useful tools

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Xyladecor Spray & Brush
Quantity: 1 piece
From €44.45 
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ProGold Flat Brush 7530 Classic
Size: 3" / 7,5 cm
Variants from €3.95 
From €12.35 
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Progold Paint Bucket
Content: 12 l
Variants from €2.85 
From €5.35 
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Need help?


If some of the steps aren't entirely clear to you, or if you are in a specific situation that isn't covered by our how-to guide, then our experts will be happy to help.


Contact us

Painting a metal fence or gate

Step 1: Preparation

Inspect the fence to see if there is a lot of rust or other damage, for example. Then treat it - if necessary - with a rust converter or rust-preventing primer. If the fence has been painted before and you see any flaking paint, remove that too. If the paint comes off easily, you can just peel it off. If it's more of a challenge, there is always paint remover to do the job. 

Next, clean and degrease the surface thoroughly to make sure the paint will adhere well.

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Hammerite Roestomvormer
Content: 250 ml
From €25.45 
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Hammerite Roest Verwijderaar
Content: 225 ml
From €16.45 
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Hammerite Nr. 1 Antiroest Primer
Content: 250 ml
From €9.95 
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Progold Sandpaper
Grit: Grit 150 | Quantity: 1 piece
From €0.95 
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Vista Lakwèg F1 Turbo Snelafbijtmiddel
Content: 1 l
From €23.45 
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Step 2: Applying primer for metal fences

You only need this step if you want to work with a special adhesion primer or multi primer, combined with an adapted topcoat. If you use a one-pot system, e.g. Trimetal Steloxine Decor Satin or Brillant, or Hammerite Ultima, you can skip this part and jump straight to the last step.

Adhesion primers are specifically designed for metal (or other surfaces to which paint can't adhere easily, such as PVC). So the name says it all: it helps to improve the adhesion of the lacquer. It also helps ensure a smoother end result. 

Apply two to three coats of primer using a brush and/or roller. That may seem like a lot, but it is important to follow this recommendation in order to achieve sufficient outdoor rust protection. Again, it is certainly not a bad idea to check the technical specifications of the product you are using, or ask for advice.

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Sigma Multiprimer
Select your colour: Mix colours | Content: 1 l
Variants from €39.45 
From €47.95 
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Sigma Multiprimer Aqua
Select your colour: Mix colours | Content: 1 l
Variants from €19.45 
From €44.95 
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Trimetal Permacryl Multiprimer
Select your colour: Mix colours | Content: 1 l
Variants from €17.45 
From €37.45 

Step 3: Painting your metal fence or gate

Now it's time to top off your coat of multi-primer with an appropriate lacquer. Or, if you chose a one-pot system, you can start painting now 😊

For best results, apply several thin layers of paint with your one-pot system, letting each layer dry completely before applying the next. If you are working with a regular lacquer on top of an adhesion primer, applying one more layer will suffice. 

Choose a paint that is suitable for outdoors to ensure durable results and optimal resistance to weathering.

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Sigma Sigmetal Neofer Decor Semi-Gloss
Select your colour: Black | Content: 1 l
Variants from €24.95 
From €54.95 
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Levis Expert Ferro Decor
Colour (Levis): Dark Green | Content: 2,5 l
Variants from €22.45 
From €95.95 
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Hammerite Ultima
Colour (Hammerite Ultima): Black | Gloss level: High gloss | Content: 0,75 l
Variants from €13.45 
From €34.95 
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Tintrio Reviews with ekomi.nl
Trimetal Steloxine Decor Satin
Select your colour: Mix colours | Content: 2,5 l
Variants from €21.95 
From €107.45