How to Paint a Fence With a Roller & Brush

How to Paint a Fence With a Roller & Brush

Time to spruce up your garden fence? Whether your wooden fence is old and in need of some TLC or you simply want a change of colour, a fresh lick of paint can completely transform your outdoor space. Painting a fence not only does wonders for the appearance of your garden, but the right paint will also help extend the lifespan of the wood by protecting it from rot, UV rays and weather damage.

Here at Build & Plumb, we’ve created a simple five-step guide on how to paint a fence with a roller and brush. It’s a relatively simple task that’s suitable for DIYers, but we’ve included all you need to know before you start.

The best time to paint a fence 

If you can, save this job until summer. Warm weather will help the paint to dry, and you’re less likely to encounter the issue of rain. The last thing you want after painting it is streak marks!

If the job can’t wait until then, be sure to check the weather forecast and only paint in dry weather with a temperature above 5 degrees – anything lower and your paint will take a long time to dry properly. If you’ve had rain recently, make sure your wooden fence is completely dry before starting.

Which paint to use

You need to use specialist wood primer and paint when painting a garden fence. Don’t skip the primer, as this is important for protecting the wood, and ultimately extending the lifespan of your fence.

Choose wood paint specifically designed for exterior use, as it will offer the protection and durability your fence will need to withstand all weather conditions. Ronseal Outdoor Garden Paint comes in a variety of colours that will not only brighten up your garden but provide your wood with excellent waterproofing and added protection.

How to Paint a Fence With a Roller & Brush

How to paint a fence

The quickest way to paint a fence is with a power sprayer. If you want to know how to paint a fence fast, that’s your best option – especially if you have a lot of fencing to get done. However, if you don’t have a great deal of wood to paint and want to avoid the added expense of purchasing a power sprayer, a trusty paint roller and brush will do the trick too. 

These manual methods may take a little longer but work just as well. We recommend you use a mid-sized roller and two different paint brushes; one large one for big strokes and a smaller one to get into the gaps and hard to reach areas.

How to paint a fence with a roller and brush

Step 1: Prep and protect

Before you start painting, you need to ensure nothing will cause an obstruction. Remove any loose nails that may be sticking out, and sand down any areas that are particularly coarse or splintered to make the job as neat as possible. If there are any cobwebs, dirt or debris on your fence, wipe these away too so you have a clean surface to work on. 

If your fence is behind a flower bed or you’re concerned about getting paint on the lawn, lie a paint sheet down to catch any drips.

Step 2: Apply your primer and wait to dry

Before painting, you need to apply your primer first. This doesn’t have to be too neat; just ensure you have an even layer over all your fencing. You then need to wait for this to be completely dry before painting over it. Times may vary, so be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions before applying your paint.

Step 3: Appy the paint

Once your primer is dry, you can start to paint! Taking your roller, or a large paintbrush, start at the top of your fence panel and work down, as this will mean you can catch any drips without them ruining your work.

Take note of the direction of the wood grain and be sure to paint in the same direction. This will help the paint soak in and give the overall finish a better appearance. 

Step 4: Paint in between the panels and posts

A paint roller is great for covering large areas, but you’ll need a paintbrush for the more awkward nooks and crannies, such as in between the slats and under the fence post cap.

Step 5: Wait to dry

When you’re finished, check you haven’t missed any areas and then leave your handiwork to dry. When it’s dry, you’ll be able to assess if it requires another layer.


Painting a fence can be a time-consuming task, particularly if you have a lot of fences to cover. However, this method of combining a roller and brush is the best way to paint a fence quickly if you don’t have one to hand!

Now you know how to paint a fence with a roller and brush like a pro, you can refresh your fence any time you need to. Remember to check that your wood paint is suitable for outdoor use and includes added protection to keep your fence looking its best for years to come. Browse all our wood protection and paints here at Build & Plumb for our full range of options.

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