Garden fences: 12 frequently asked questions

In this article we will explore 12 frequently asked questions about garden fences so you can make an informed decision when planning your next project!
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As the name suggests, a garden fence is one that surrounds your garden. They are often used to prevent pets from entering and people from trespassing.

Although these fences can be found in many shapes, sizes and colours, there are some important things you should know before buying or installing a new one.

In this article we will explore 12 frequently asked questions about back and front garden fences so you can make an informed decision when planning your next project!

1. Can you paint a fence with a roller?

No, painting a fence with a roller will only result in an uneven finish. most fence panels or fence structures will have an uneven surface or gaps which are impossible to reach with a roller.

You could use a combination of a roller and a brush if you want to but rollers are not meant for painting rough wood.

2. How high can garden fences be? 

Garden fences can be as high as you want them to be.

Some people prefer fences that are low enough for children and pets to walk under, while others like a taller fence with space at the top so they can hang plants from it or even grow vegetables on the other side of the fence!

Normal back garden fences are six feet tall and front garden fences are four feet tall. You can usually go up to eight feet tall without any issues, but beyond that you will need to check planning permission.

If you’re going for a very tall fence, you’ll need to consult with your neighbours to avoid upsetting them.

3. Can you paint a garden fence in the rain?

Painting a garden fence in the rain is possible but it depends on the type of paint and how heavy the rain is. Heavy rain will make the paint run down and pool on the ground so it’s a good idea to wait for rain to subside before painting.

Some paint will not be effected by short showers or very light drizzle so if you need to, it can be applied in the rain.

To ensure you get the best finish you should avoid painting fences in the rain.

4. Can you paint a garden fence in the winter? 

Yes, you can paint a fence in winter, but there are several important factors to consider to ensure a successful outcome:

Temperature: The most critical factor is the temperature. Most paints require a minimum temperature to cure properly, typically around 35-50°F (1.7-10°C). Check the specifications of the paint you’re using. Also, avoid painting if the temperature is expected to drop below the minimum within a few hours of application.

Weather Conditions: Ideal painting conditions are dry and calm. Avoid painting if rain, snow, or high humidity is forecasted within 24 hours of your planned painting. Moisture can affect the paint’s ability to adhere and dry properly.

Type of Paint: Use paint formulated for lower temperatures. Some paints are specifically designed for cold weather applications.

Preparation: Ensure the fence is clean, dry, and free of ice or frost before painting. You may need to wait for a sunny or warmer day for proper preparation.

Drying Time: Cold weather can prolong the drying time of paint. Be prepared to allow extra time for the paint to dry between coats.

Working Comfort: Dress appropriately for the weather to ensure you’re comfortable while working.

Sunlight: Shorter days mean less daylight for outdoor work. Plan your painting project to take advantage of the available daylight.

By carefully considering these factors and planning accordingly, you can successfully paint a fence even in winter conditions.

5. Do I need to paint my fence?

Most wooden fences will come treated. This will preserve them for 1 – 2 years so after this they will need treating or painting

The best way to ensure that your garden fence stays looking great for years is to maintain it with a coat of paint.

It’s usually recommended you start painting fences in the summer when they are warm and dry, but there may be exceptions if you live an area where winters can get cold or rainy.

6. Can you paint garden fence posts?

Most garden fence posts can be painted however metal and concrete posts may not work as well with fence paint which is designed for wood. If you want to paint concrete fence posts , you’ll need to use a different type of paint.

If you want to make your posts more decorative, it’s worth considering painting or staining them so that they look their best all year round.

Some garden fences have woven wire panels on the front and these can be difficult to paint due to the texture and thickness of the panels. To get the best results we recommend using a spray gun and removing the panels if possible.

7. What is the best type of garden fence?

The answer to this depends on what you are using it for.

For example a woven wire fence may be the best choice if you want to keep animals out of your garden, but it won’t look as good!

Metal fences are lightweight and ideal for large gardens that need security and long lifespan above all else.

The fencing with the best balance of looks, security and durability is close board fence panels with concrete posts and base plates. The concrete posts should be buried at least three feet into the ground.

Wooden garden fences are a good choice if you want something that is attractive and eco-friendly but don’t forget to treat them regularly with paint or oil.

If you’re going for an informal look, wooden palisade fencing panels can add charm to your garden and make it look like a cottage garden.

There are also cheaper alternatives to garden fencing such as hedge planting, natural stone walls and pallet fencing.

8. Should I use concrete or wooden fence posts?

Both concrete and wooden fence posts have their advantages and disadvantages. Concrete posts are the most durable type of fence post so they’re perfect for areas where there a lot of wear and tear or to withstand tough weather conditions.

Wooden posts are often cheaper than other materials, but can rot if not treated regularly with paint or oil. You also need to consider how these will work with the fence panels when it comes to design.

Overall we recommend concrete posts because they will last a long time and the fence panels with their shorter lifespan can be replaced easily when they wear out.

Not all wooden and concrete fence posts are equal and for some projects wooden fence posts will be more suitable. See an in depth comparison of wooden and concrete fence posts.

9. Is a garden fence necessary?

Whether or not you need a garden fence largely depends on what your priorities are. Legally, you do not have to have a fence around the boundary of your property and there are many other options for creating a physical or visual barrier.

10. How do I maintain my garden fence?

The best way to maintain your garden fence is by keeping it clean and treating with a coat of paint. You should start painting in the summer when they are warm and dry, but there may be exceptions if you live an area where winters can get cold or rainy.

11. How often to you need to paint a garden fence?    

Fences will need painting or staining around every 2 years. Its a good idea to replace the fence panels every five to ten years.

You can also treat your garden fences with a look-good, feel-good product that contains UV and moisture protection for better performance. The best things about this type of treatment is you don’t need to wait until they are completely dry before painting or staining them so its perfect for areas that don’t have a lot of shade.

In areas that receive a lot of rain or snow it’s worth considering upgrading your garden fence to include waterproofing treatment if you want to protect against rot and mould.

12. How long should a wooden garden fence last?

A good quality wooden fence which is treated regularly will last between 10 and 15 years. Poor quality fences or fencing which is particularly exposed to the elements can last as little as 5 years.

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