A DIY guide to painting the fence

SMART: Dark colours are on trend for exteriors and fences. Photo: DULUX.
SMART: Dark colours are on trend for exteriors and fences. Photo: DULUX.

Unpainted or weatherworn fences, retaining walls or wooden outdoor furniture pieces can ruin the look of even the most polished garden and outdoor living area.

A few coats of paint can rejuvenate your timber pieces and save you the expense of purchasing new products. And choosing the right colour for your timber fence or outdoor setting need not be arduous, says leading colour trend forecaster Andrea Lucena-Orr.

Andrea, Dulux’s colour expert, says there’s a trend towards darker colour schemes for exterior fences.

“Popular trim colours of past years have traditionally been the standard safe option for home owners. We are now seeing increases in darker schemes in the neutrals shades, earthy greens and deep greys, which create a lovely backdrop,” Andrea says.

“Darker colours are becoming increasingly popular with fences, which follows on from the popularity of darker exterior colour schemes for the home. Deeper colours can accentuate beautiful natural foliage colours, making your garden the key feature.”

Another trend is to feature brighter accent colours with exterior furniture and pool side walls, she says.

“Poolside retreats are casual and fun outdoor living spaces. Bright and playful colours can reflect the perfect poolside vibe. A hot pink wall, with furniture in a contrasting colour, set off with your favourite greenery, will quickly transform your poolside space into your tropical sanctuary,” Andrea says.

  • Fences painted in dark colours can create an amazing and striking contrast or the perfect camouflaged backdrop for plants and foliage to be the focus.
  • Try painting the fence a slightly darker or lighter shade of the colour of your exterior. This can help the overall theme of the home. Look for colour highlights from other elements of your house, such as window trims, brick colours, doors, shutters or stonework.
  • Working with ‘brighter colour’ tones for pool side walls and furniture can create a playful, fun and bold entertaining space. Balance the look by working with two colours in the same hue, by contrasting sheen levels and by surrounding the area with potted lush foliage. On trend colours include Dulux Rainmaker, Powered Gum, Mineral Green, Porpoise Place, Voyager, Western Myall, Cascade Cove and Baltica.

With the colour chosen, decision needs to be made on how you will paint. There are myriad products on the market to get the job done - from using a paint brush, roller or spray unit. Andrea says the Dulux RapidFinish spray system is easy to use and will give your fence, pool-side retreat or outdoor furniture a new lease of life in a flash. The paint range is tintable to more than 5000 colours, available in three sheen levels and is a spray-ready formula, which means there is no need for dilution for the sprayer.

Below is a step-by-step guide to complete your project. Things you will need:

  • • Dulux RapidFinish paint in your chosen colour(s) and spray system
  • • Brush/broom (hard bristle)
  • • Drop sheets
  • • Cloths
  • • Sanding paper/sanding block
  • • Wood filler (if required)
  • • Scraper

Step 1 – Dismantle, clean, brush and dust. Brush down the surface thoroughly. Scrub greyed timber with a stiff bristle brush to remove any dirt or dust. Allow to dry.

Step 2 – Scrape, sand and fill. Scrape and sand down any loose degraded wood. For previously painted items remove any loose or flaking paint. Fill any nail holes with a flexible, exterior-grade wood filler and sand to an even surface.

Step 3 – Cover and clear If painting a fence, clear the area by tying back any low hanging branches or plants. Lay drop sheets at the base of the fence or over the area where you intend to paint to protect paving, ground cover and grass areas from over spray.

Step 4 – Prep the sprayer. Fill the spray unit with the RapidFinish paint, and then connect to your power supply. Adjust the spray setting accordingly.

Step 5 – Spray away. Apply two generous coats of paint and up to three coats on all unpainted surfaces. Allow two hours drying time between each coat. Spray the surface in a vertical motion; starting at one end and working horizontally to the other.

Step 6 – Pack up and dispose responsibly. Once the painting is complete, disconnect the spray unit from the power supply. Remove the spray unit’s paint container and pour remaining paint back into its original container. Clean the container and suction tube with a brush and then fill with water or solvent. Reassemble and connect to the power supply and spray onto the drop sheet until all output is clear. Disconnect from the power supply, empty the paint container of any remaining water or solvent and then pack away.

Step 7 – Enjoy! Take pleasure in your newly painted fence or furniture piece.