Garden Structures

The UK’s Best Garden Fence Paint for a Stunning Finish

fence being painted green with a brush
Written by Dean Wilson

From bold colours to impressive coverage, there are multiple ways in which a good brand of paint can make all the difference to your garden fence. Whether you’re looking to give an old fence a new lease of life with a coat or two, or want to get that new project started, now is the time to get cracking!

If you’ve got garden fence painting on your to-do list this season, we’ve chosen the most suitable paints to achieve a consistently great finish no matter your budget. In this article, we talk you through the different brands, why they’re recommended and give tips on how to get the most out of the painting task itself.

Are you looking for new fence paint right now and, scratching your head at all the different options? We’ve considered multiple elements for you to help make the process a breeze: capacity, coverage, colours and of course, price too. By the end of our guide, you’ll be ready with paintbrushes at hand to take on the task with ease.

Our #1 Top Pick
Ronseal 5L One Coat Life - Quick Dry Garden Shed & Fence Paints 5 Litres - All Colours! (Harvest Gold)
Value Pick
Cuprinol LMFCRB6L 6 Litre Less Mess Fence Care - Rustic Brown
Also Consider...
Ronseal RSLFLPPSA5L 5 Litre Fence Life Plus Paint - Sage
Size
5 Litres
6 Litres
5 Litres
Coverage
30M²
48M²
28M²
Colour Range
6 Colours
3 Colours
9 Colours
Price
£9.95
£14.99
from £8.82
Our #1 Top Pick
Ronseal 5L One Coat Life - Quick Dry Garden Shed & Fence Paints 5 Litres - All Colours! (Harvest Gold)
Size
5 Litres
Coverage
30M²
Colour Range
6 Colours
Price
£9.95
Value Pick
Cuprinol LMFCRB6L 6 Litre Less Mess Fence Care - Rustic Brown
Size
6 Litres
Coverage
48M²
Colour Range
3 Colours
Price
£14.99
Also Consider...
Ronseal RSLFLPPSA5L 5 Litre Fence Life Plus Paint - Sage
Size
5 Litres
Coverage
28M²
Colour Range
9 Colours
Price
from £8.82

Last update on 2019-10-17 / Affiliate links / Images / Pricing from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Pick: Ronseal One Coat Fence Life

Top-quality coverage and colour every time in just one coat!

Our top pick is Ronseal Quick Dry fence & shed paint which provides a great choice of matt colours that dry in just 1-2 hours. This mid-priced paint has excellent coverage and not only will it colour your fence – but protect it too.

Requiring just one coat of paint, this product is fantastic for getting a job done quickly and covers an impressive 6m² per litre, giving you plenty of value for money.

Due to added waxes in the paint, your fence or shed will be protected from rain and more. Maintaining its colour for up to 2 years, this product is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use and rough sawn wood – making it extremely versatile. With a low VOC level, it won’t cause irritation unlike other similar products either.

Use this paint in a brushing or spraying motion and see immediate results without having to wait hours for surfaces to dry. All in all, this product will prevent the wood from greying and add a great finishing touch to any garden fence. Available in a range of colours, we highly recommend this product all round.

Pros

  • Great matt finish in a range of diverse colours.
  • Quick-drying within 1-2 hours.
  • Excellent coverage in one coat to make painting an easy task.
  • Great value for money due to the quality of paint.

Cons

  • Only available in one size.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Value Pick: Cuprinol Less Mess Fence Care

Great paint that won’t break the bank with good coverage…

If you’re looking for a quick fix to spruce up your garden fence that won’t break the bank this is it. Our value pick is Cuprinol Less Mess Fence Care paint which provides a quality finish at a low price.

With a reliable reputation, many choose to use this product as their annual paint of choice for outdoor fencing. Easy to apply and causing no mess or fuss, this paint will help you get the job done relatively quickly – taking 2-4 hours to dry. Formulated to protect sawn wood, the product can be applied using a brush, roller or even a sprayer.

Culprinol’s Less Mess Fence Care covers up to 5m² per litre, making it good value for money and with minimal VOC’s, it’s completely safe to use around both pets and plants.

On a final note, be wary of colour choice when it comes to this product. While the product’s specifications are top quality, there have been some reports of colour mismatches. If you opt for the ‘Autumn Red’ option, expect a bold finish with an orange tone.

Pros

  • Low price (ideal if you need to complete a budget job).
  • Good coverage in one coat.
  • No mess for less fuss!

Cons

  • Limited choice of colours
  • Long drying time (2-4 hours)
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Ronseal Fence Life Plus

A value option available in a range of colours – will give a good finish after a few coats!

Another great value option, Ronseal’s Fence Life Plus paint is ideal if you’re looking to give your fence a makeover. Unlike similar products out there, this paint will require a few extra coats for decent coverage but nonetheless achieves a good finish after 3-4 coats.

If you’re looking for plenty of choices when it comes to colours, there are 9 variations from ‘sage’ to ‘willow’. You can either paint this product directly onto sawn wood using a brush or sprayer and it comes in a 5L capacity. Though this particular paint has shorter longevity when it comes to protection against the elements, it does claim to be UV and rain resistant.

This product has a thick formula which can be effectively applied to both rough and smooth wood whether it’s dry or damp. With a low VOC level, it’s safe to use around both animals and plants too. Taking 1 hour to dry, this paint will require at least a few coats but is a good option if you’re looking for a product to use annually.

Pros

  • Low price (ideal if you need to complete a budget job).
  • Good colour options are available.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Quick-drying within 1-2 hours.
  • Low odour making it safe for use around animals.
  • The versatile formula is suitable for rough or smooth wood.

Cons

  • Low to medium coverage requiring more coats.
  • Quick fix rather than long-term protection.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Cuprinol Ducksback

Wax enriched, this fence paint ticks boxes all round when it comes to quality.

A popular garden fence and shed paint, this wax enriched product makes rough and smooth wood waterproof just 1 hour after being applied. In a stunning range of colours, this product won’t drip or cause mess and is quick to dry too.

Easy to apply, Cuprinol’s Ducksback fence paint is high-quality and achieves consistent coverage all-round. While one coat of paint is sure to be enough, for a deeper finish it is advisable to use two. With a low VOC level, you won’t find any harsh odours when using this product, making it completely safe for use around animals too.

This fence paint is easy to clean and provides coverage of 4.8 m² per litre making it excellent value for money. Unlike other similar products, the colour choices with this paint come in a range of contemporary variations, giving you the freedom to make your garden stand out.

Pros

  • Wax enriched and water repellent.
  • Waterproof for up to 5 years.
  • Quick-drying within 1-2 hours.
  • Non-drip formula.
  • Showerproof in just 1 hour.

Cons

  • May require annual maintenance.
  • Only suitable for rough sawn timber.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

Cuprinol Garden Shades

Achieving a beautiful matt finish, this quick-dry paint will give your fence the makeover it deserves!

Cuprinol’s Garden Shades paint gives a long-lasting matt finish that is high in quality and can be brushed or sprayed onto a range of surfaces, inclusive of wood. With just 1 hour drying time, this product won’t cause any fuss and is easy to apply – covering up to 10m² per litre. This is impressive when compared to other fence paint coverage.

Thanks to its thicker formula, this paint isn’t going to need more than one coat and doesn’t take away from the natural wood grain when applied correctly. While this product has fewer colour options available, it gives a great rich finish, protecting your fence for up to 6 years. This paint will allow the natural grain of the wood to still be visible after painting. It boasts a low VOC level, making it safe to use and without any strong odours during application.

The paint can be used for a range of exterior wood surfaces from summerhouses to garden furniture. If you’re looking for a larger quantity of paint, consider buying two tubs rather than one as this paint is only available in a 2.5-litre capacity.

Pros

  • Easy to apply.
  • Excellent coverage with 1-2 coats.
  • Quick-drying within 1-2 hours.
  • 6-year protection and finish.

Cons

  • Smaller capacity at 2.5 litres.
Buy Now From Amazon UK

How To Paint A Garden Fence

Painting an outdoor fence isn’t always a task to look forward to. More often than not it involves quite a lot of mess and can leave you with a sore back too. Let’s take a look at how to do it the right way:

Step 1 – Look out for mould, algae, and mildew then treat where needed

Wood is susceptible to all kinds of issues unless you’re painting a new fence, you should look out for any signs of mould, algae and mildew. If spotted, you should definitely treat the timber with a mould and mildew cleaner prior to painting.

Step 2 – Prepare your surfaces for painting

Don’t go at it straight away with the brush or spray, rather take some time to clean up your fence or other wooden surfaces prior to painting. To do this, simply take a dry robust brush or broom and remove any dirt or debris by repeatedly brushing.

Step 3 – Cover any plants and vegetation with plastic sheeting

While many fence paints have low VOC levels, you’ll still want to ensure that your lovely garden plants are covered. Use plastic sheeting to protect them efficiently.

Step 4 – Sand down any surfaces if required

To ensure a better finish you may wish to sand down the surface of the fence you’ll be painting.

Step 5 – Use a primer before the paint of choice

It’s always recommended to use a high-quality primer product before painting a fence. Not only will this give a better finish, but it’ll also increase the longevity of the coverage itself, making it less likely to have to revisit the task a year down the line.

Step 6 – The painting

When you’re ready to paint your fence, you should use a large brush to apply the product to the panels and use a horizontal or vertical sweeping motion depending on the plane. Be sure to follow the direction of the timber grain for a smoother finish.

We’d always advise being liberal with the application of paint so that the product can penetrate the grain well enough. Though a lot of paint products are formulated to avoid drips and mess, be careful not to apply the product too thickly.

If you’d rather make the task easier for yourself or you have a track record of making a mess, you can always opt for the spray approach by buying a spray gun for the job.

Step 7 – Second coat (if required)

Once the first coat has dried, you’ll want to double-check that no area has been missed – whether you’ve used a spraying method or traditional painting. Apply a second coat, if needed and use a smaller brush to paint in between panels.

Step 8 – Remove plastic sheeting

Once you’re confident that all paint has completely dried you can remove the plastic sheeting that you’ve used to cover any vegetation and plants. Be careful not to do this before you’ve finished painting, as no matter what VOC levels the paint of your choice has, damage still can happen with plants.

Step 9 – Clean!

Don’t damage your paintbrushes by leaving them covered in product. Instead, be sure to use white spirit on any oil-based paints to clean them thoroughly and you’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to reinvest in a new set for future jobs. For non-oil-based paints, you can generally just give brushes a good rinse in some warm water.

And there you have it. Our complete guide to the best garden fence paints out there from impressive coverage to lower-end prices and rich colours. Each has its own pros and cons. No matter which option you go for be sure to follow our steps on how best to complete the task, for a great finish all round!

About the author

Dean Wilson

I'm an avid gardener and home DIY enthusiast from Yorkshire in the North of England. I'm passionate about helping our readers get out into their gardens - by making the most of the outdoors and ensuring they get the best possible deals on their gardening equipment. I also believe strongly in the preservation of our beautiful garden wildlife.

Leave a Comment