How to Remove Fence Paint in Easy Steps

How to Remove Fence Paint

Last Updated on July 6, 2021

Paint forms a coat on the surfaces of different fences, protecting wood from various weather conditions. While paint effectively preserves the wooden structure of timber panels, it might start to flake off or peel from the surface after a certain period.

You can easily repaint a fence and restore it to its previous state. However, you have to remove the previous coating before applying new paint on the wood panels. In this post, we are going to guide you through removing fence paint.

Step by Step Guide When Removing Fence Paint

As mentioned, it is easy to eliminate fence paint. If it is your first time, follow the steps below, and you are good to go!

Step 1: Wear Protective Clothing and Gear

Before you begin this DIY procedure, you have to wear protective clothing and gear such as gloves, face masks, and goggles. Also, ensure that any household members are far away from the area where you are working to don’t breathe in any fumes or are hit by small paint splinters.

Step 2: Wash the Fence Surface

Start by getting rid of the grime and dirt particles that may be on the timber surface. A pressure washer can wash the fence’s surface and remove any dirt or moss that may be on the wooden planks.

Our advice is to select a low-pressure setting when pressure washing your fence not to damage the wood.

Step 3: Let It Dry

Once you finish washing the wood panels, let the fence dry. This usually takes between 24-48 hours. You don’t want to start working on wet wooden panels, as it can be quite cumbersome, and some parts of the wood might chip off.

Step 4: Methods for Scraping off the Paint

Once dry, it’s time to remove the painting layer. To do this, you can use a scrubbing brush and a paint scraper. Target some of the hard-to-reach areas first, then give yourself a break on an easier section. In this way, you won’t exhaust yourself too quickly.

Paint Strippers

While paint scrapers and scrubbing brushes can aid you in removing paints from wooden surfaces, such tools may not be effective in removing wood oils from timber surfaces and fencing.

For stripping wood oils, you may require a paint stripper, which is a solution that contains multiple elements to break down the paint’s coating, thereby effectively stripping off any residual paint. When you buy a paint stripper, double-check to ensure that it is effective at stripping the paint off your fences. If the information on what paint it can be used on is not on the product’s packaging, you should find this information posted on the brand’s website or in an online discussion forum.

Once you’ve chosen your product, our advice is to conduct a touch test to get more insight into the amount of time that the stripper needs takes to break down the paint. Apply the chemical on a certain spot, then wait until you start seeing results or the allocated time is up.

Afterward, start rubbing off the coating and see how loose the paint is. If it’s not loose and doesn’t come off fairly easily, you may have to let the solution work on the paints longer.

Once you’ve established how long you need to wait, you can apply the rest of the stripping chemical on the timber panels. Make sure that you also apply it to the hard-to-reach spots.

Finally, you may find that a single application is not enough to break down the coats of paint and that you need multiple coats and attempts to strip the fencing clean.

Step 5: Scrub off the Paint

To fully get rid of the old paint once it’s broken down, use sandpaper to scrub off the coats of paint from the timber panels. If you come across a spot giving you a hard time, apply some stripper on that spot. The additional coat of the solution and the scrubbing will remove the paints until you are satisfied with the job.

Step 6: Remove Paint Particles

Some paint particles may still be left on different parts of the fencing boards after you finish scrubbing the timber.

Often, these can be removed through gently tapping or swaying the fence. In this way, most of the loosened bits will fall away from your fencing.

New Colors, New Life

With the right tools and products, stripping paint can be a very satisfactory process. You can remove the worn-out paint from your entire fence or just from a small area when it needs a touch-up.

Once all the paint is removed, you can repaint the fence with new paint to increase its lifespan, as the fresh coat will protect the wood from the elements. If you don’t want any paint anymore, you could also stain your fence, giving your fencing a lighter or darker colour, depending on your purchase’s stain.

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