When it comes to doing up the garden, there’s naturally so much to do to bring colour and life into it. Flowers, plants and the like are just the start, however, because fencing is just as important to complete the overall aesthetic for a garden. You might have immaculate flowerbeds, water features, bushes etc, but a shabby fence is going to bring everything down around it.
Thinking about it straightforwardly, a fence is the wall to your garden. Would you leave your interior walls unpainted? In much the same way, a well-painted garden fence is the background to a beautiful back yard and needs just as much careful thought put into it. But, of course, it has some different requirements to interior walls that need to be kept in mind.
Fences are exposed to the elements in a different way to the interior, naturally, and so ensuring a certain level of protection is essential. Rain, wind, sun, snow – your fence should be able to weather all of these and stay bold and bright at the end of it. Plus, if we’re honest with ourselves, that combination of conditions is pretty feasible for British gardens. Here’s our breakdown of the best choices you can make for your fence paint.
|Cuprinol Ducksback||5 years||6 m2 /l||4 hours||£££|
|UK Paints Water-Based Shed & Fence||4 years||15 m2 /l||2 hours||££|
|Dulux Weather Shield||10 years||16 m2 /l||2 hours||££|
|Johnstone’s Woodcare One Coat Shed & Fence||3 years||6 m2 /l||2 hours||£|
|Ronseal One Coat Fence Life||2 years||6 m2 /l||2 hours||£££|
The clue is very much in the name with the Ducksback from Cuprinol. A wax-enriched formula enhances the water-repellency of this paint to offer an almost-unrivalled level of weather protection. As well as enhanced waterproofing, the finish also offers frost-proofing, which should stand up to the rigours of a British winter.
Available in 5 different colours, the Ducksback gives you plenty of options in an easy to use formula. Each colour has a bold, matt finish to bring colour in without standing out too much. Showerproof in just one hour, this needs up to 3 coats roughly four hours apart, but pays the effort back in 5 years of protection. Application is also straightforward thanks to a non-drip formula, and is safe to use thanks to a low-odour formula that is safe to use around plants and pets.
- Excellent weather resistance
- Colour variety
- 5-year guarantee
- Safe to use
- Expensive choice
While not a common household brand name, UK Paints specialise in wholesale and supply many trade companies across the country, so have a quiet pedigree in this field. The nature of the company ensures that the paint is generally exceptional value, and this is no different. Offering a large amount of high-quality paint for a relatively cheap amount is a big tick here.
A water-based formula that dries quickly and is low-odour is ideal for the application of fence painting. The consistency of the paint also allows for it to have a fairly high coverage, and is also touch-dry in just a couple of hours. Additionally, it can be used over existing painted surfaces, and comes with excellent water and frost protection. It’ll also hold on to its colour for ages, reducing the amount you’ll need to repaint your fence with it.
- Great value
- Weather proof
- Limited colours
Available in a range of four different colours, the Weather Shield range from Dulux offers significant protection from the elements with the kind of quality synonymous with the brand. A mid-sheen satin finish is available, along with a gloss option, to fit neatly into your garden colour scheme however you’ve set it up.
Boasting a huge 10 years of guaranteed protection, the paint itself is both mould resistant as well as proofed against rain. It’s also touch dry in just a couple of hours, with the water-based formula ensuring quick drying and low odour levels. It also promises to hold onto its colour for a long time, saving you extra coats of paint down the line.
- Easy to clean
- Mould resistance
- 10 year protection
- Range of colours, finishes
- Thick paint
This specialist outdoor wood paint from household name Johnstone’s packs in all the quality you’d expect from the brand with an attractive and high-quality paint. A wax-enriched formula, available in four bold yet subtle shades, offers up great colour retention to complement your garden with water repellent so the finish doesn’t get washed out.
As the name suggests, this is designed to be a one-coat-and-done type paint, and coming in a massive 9-litre tub, represents excellent value to boot and should cover all but the largest gardens. Pair that with a 3-year guarantee, as well as a quick-drying formula, and it’s hard to go wrong.
- Great value
- Good lifespan
- Colour options
- Quick drying
- One coat application
This specialist outdoor wood paint from Ronseal promises great colour, protection and long life for your fence. Giving you a choice between five different colour options, all of which come in a smart and stylish matt opaque finish, there’s sure to be a shade that fits for you.
Relying on Ronseal’s well-established quality, the One Coat Fence Life provides a rainproof finish in just a couple of hours, and ultimately, around a couple of years’ protection after that. The paint is the right consistency to allow for non-drip application and has minimal odour, making it a very straightforward process to apply to your fences.
- Good value
- Quick drying
- Colour options
- Difficult to remove
Which Fence Paint To Go For?
Why paint your fence at all? Well, wood is prone to greying over time, which brings a certain drabness into the garden, which ought to be full of colour and life. Fence paint has more than just the colourful qualities however, and offers protection from the elements so that the wood doesn’t become damp and potentially rot. HEre’s our pick for the best buys for fence paint.
Best Fence Paint – Cuprinol’s Ducksback is a clear choice for the best paint to use on your fences. With unparalleled waterproofing and frost protection, a beautiful selection of woodland-esque shades to complement your garden, and 5 years of guaranteed protection, it’s a moderate investment that is completely worth it.
Best Value – Look no further than UK Paints Water-Based Shed & Fence for the best value. As suppliers to trade, you get the benefit of being able to buy in bulk sizes while still getting trade quality paint. It may be a bit more of an initial investment, but the trade-off between cost and the sheer amount of paint you get, there’s no question on the value.
Fence Paint FAQ
How to paint a fence
Firstly, prepare the fence area by covering, removing or tying back any plants, foliage and the like. Make sure the fence is also free from obstructions like nails, sand it down and liberally apply your paint, either by brush or spray, in long strokes once a primer has been applied.
What colour fence makes the garden look bigger?
In much the same way as interiors, lighter shades for fences will make the whole garden look bigger, by reflecting more light. This can be particularly effective in smaller gardens.
How to paint a fence with a roller
Once you’ve prepared the fence appropriately, using a roller is one way to make painting larger areas a bit easier. Paint with the direction of the fence panel; i.e. if the fence is made up of horizontal panels, use the roller horizontally. You may still need to use a brush to reach certain areas.
What’s the best fence paint?
The best fence paint is one that offers a great balance of weatherproofing and colour, as well as offering a long enough protection that you don’t need to top it up every year. You also want something that goes on evenly and relatively thickly; some will naturally be absorbed into the wood, but if the paint’s too think most of the colour will be absorbed and you may find youself doing multiple coats.
How to stop paint dripping through a fence panel
It is a risk that paint may seep through to the other side, meaning you inadvertently colour your neighbour’s fence as well as your own. As wood is porous, there are cracks where paint will trickle through, and the key to minimising/avoiding this is simply to be careful during painting. Make sure not to overload your brush or roller – it does mean that painting may take a little longer, but virtually eliminates seepage.