Should I paint over my worn out fencing or gate?

Outdoor maintenance can make your home more welcoming, and it can make a big difference to the value of your home and the surrounding properties. If you have a fence and a gate around your property, it’s important to maintain the structure so that it will last and add to value of your home.

So how do you take care of a metal or timber fence or gate when it gets old or worn out and begins to rust or flake?

worn rusted steel fence

Your first thought might be to give it a fresh paint job so that it looks new again on the outside. Painting over rust or wood rot, however, is a very temporary fix that may only last up to one season before the rust and flaking resurface. Painting will not solve the problem. If you notice rusting or flaking, the metal or timber under the paint has worn out. Not only will your fencing look unattractive on the outside, but it will no longer be providing a protective barrier to your property as the material will be easily breakable.

So the answer to the question ‘Should I paint over my worn out fence or gate?’ is generally ‘No’.

When it gets to this stage it’s important to replace the worn out material in question, rather than using a temporary fix to solve the problem. Over a few seasons of repainting you will end up spending a considerable amount anyway, so why not address the underlying problem right away and save in the longer-term?

Go with powdercoating

When replacing the fencing or gate we would recommend going with a powdercoated steel or aluminium option. Powdercoating is a method of treating and colouring metal that’s made to last for years, and particularly when paired with aluminium which is resistant to rust, the replacement fence and gate will be an extremely long-term investment.

What if I change my mind about my powdercoating colour?

Powdercoated fencing and gates are built to last so long that the reality is the reason you’ll want to update them won’t be because they’re worn out, but because you fancy a change of colour! So what happens if you want to change the paint colour on your powdercoated fencing?

Painting over a powdercoated fence is absolutely possible and doesn’t have to be challenging – just follow these tips:

Choose a well ventilated area

If your fence is already installed and you’re painting with a brush, you’re all set: your fence is already outdoors. But if you’ve chosen to spray paint you might prefer to take your fence apart and paint it in pieces to avoid getting spray paint on your lawn or the footpath. If this is the case leave the garage door open while you paint inside, or lay down sheets in the garden and do it out in the open.

Clean the surface prior to painting

The best way to clean powdercoated fences is with a basic all-purpose cleaner. You may gently use steel wool to remove grease or dirt that won’t come off. It may be easier to clean a section of the fence, and then paint that section before moving on to the next section so that the surface is freshly cleaned when paint is applied.

Is priming necessary?

No, another benefit of having a powdercoated metal fence or gate is that it does not require any priming to paint over it like a rusty metal fence would.

Paint with spray paint or a brush

Spray painting is usually the easiest way to paint a fence or gate, but it must be done outdoors or in an extremely well ventilated area. Spray paint looks like freshly powder coated steel or aluminium when it’s finished, and only requires the painter to follow the instructions on the can. Usually, brush painting is a second option when spray painting is not feasible, or when the area for painting is not as well ventilated, but it can also be used to create the look of a grain in the fence or gate. Make sure to choose paint that is safe for outdoor use.

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