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How to paint gates and fences

Gates and fences are often in need of a paint job due to general weathering. Just like painting walls, it can do a lot to refresh a private or business property. It’s not an easy job, but if you follow this step-by-step process then you will not only be happy with the way it looks, but it will be a long-lasting paint job. Please note that this article will help you paint gates and fences that are not wooden, but wrought iron, metal and the like.

Paint gates and fences in 6 steps

1. Prepare

You know the saying: preparation is key! Before beginning any paint job, it is best to have a plan of action. Decide what gates and fences you will be painting, how much paint you will therefore need and what colour you would like to paint them. Then you need to buy the cleaning ingredients, primer, paint and sealant, as well as the equipment you need for the paint project like protective glasses and gloves, paintbrushes, a face mask, a bucket and whatever you will be using to scrub the gates and fences down. It’s also important to decide when you are going to work on this particular paint project and set aside enough time to complete it without leaving too much time between the different stages.

2. Remove

Don’t even think about getting your paintbrushes out yet. You will need to remove all the current paint, as well as rust, from the gates and fences otherwise they will not easily absorb primer and paint. There are a number of ways that you can remove paint and rust. Put on a pair of work gloves, protective gloves and glasses, and, depending on how much paint and rust you need to remove, use sandpaper, a wire brush or steel wool to remove all the paint and rust. This is going to take some elbow grease.

3. Clean

Once you’re confident that you have removed all the paint and rust, then it is advised that you use a clean cloth to wipe down the gates and fences with mineral spirits. Mineral spirits will help you remove any remaining paint, rust and residue. You also need to do whatever you can to remove any other dirt, oil and grime. Then it is necessary to get all those mineral spirits and cleaning ingredients off. Start off with a bucket of soapy water and try to get a sponge into all the hard-to-reach places. Then get a hose (a high-pressure one is best) to wash your gates and fences down. The goal you are working towards is to get the surface of your gates and fences as clean and smooth as possible to ensure your primer and paint sticks.

4. Prime

Don’t skip the priming step as primer will give the paint something to stick to and it will ensure a durable and long-lasting finish. Make sure you pick a primer that is specifically made for the material of your gates and fences, and apply it to a completely dry surface.

5. Paint

Once the primer has dried, after a day or two, you can begin painting. As with the primer, make sure you are using paint that is specifically made for the surface of your gates and fences. As you paint, avoid streaking and pooling, and make sure you don’t miss any spots. Apply at least two coats, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next.

6. Seal

Finally, it is fundamental to apply a sealant to protect your newly painted gates and fences. As with the primer and paint, choose a sealant made for the surface you are working with.

Now that you know how relatively easy it is to paint gates and fences, why not give it a go?

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