How many coats of paint should I do on my fence?
In Australia, the biggest ‘enemy’ of paint is heat both inside the pail and on the fence! Stock & Noble paint is designed where heat and exposure to the air begin the curing and drying process so it is important to keep the paint in a cool shady area during storage.
Once the paint is applied, direct sunlight day after day puts the durability and ability of the paint to bond to the expanding and contracting fence underneath. For a great-looking, long-lasting paint job you will need to apply a minimum of two coats. For cheaper paints that have fewer paint solids, you may need to do many coats. Some paints that are cheap and watery are sold as ‘penetrating’ which in our opinion is misleading. Stains penetrate the timber and colour it.
Paint is an exterior layer that bonds to the timber and provides a protective surface layer. The additional layer (2nd coat) of paint achieves a number of things but mainly it ensures a consistent solid layer of paint across the surface. If you apply only one coat of paint it is likely that there will be ‘thin’ spots that will struggle to hold up in the everyday weather. Once the ‘thin spot’ splits or let’s go from the fence below you have an open area where the paint can start to peel away and suddenly the beautiful fence looks tired and the peeling process will expand and continue along the fence until rectified. The key area’s to focus on are the tops of the rails and posts – it is important to have a minimum of 2 very well applied coats of paint in these areas. When rain or dew pools on top of the flat surfaces these droplets create mini magnifying glasses on top of the horse fence. When the sun comes out and shines through the droplets the heat light intensity is magnified putting additional stress on the paint layers. The droplets often end up being in the same place on the fence week in and week out. When building your new fence it is suggested to shape/slope the tops of the posts so that the water runs off to avoid this problem.
It is important to note that any paint is only going to bond to the fence as long as it is clean and free of dust, mould, flaking timber, oil etc. The rule of thumb is that your paint will only last as long as your preparation is good. The best paint on a poor surface will fail sooner than cheap paint on a well-prepared surface. Stock & Noble have a solid set of options when it comes to painting. We have low-cost basic paint for anyone wanting to give their fence a ‘lick and a promise. Our recommendation however is to use the Premium Forever Black and Forever White paint for clients wanting a beautiful long-lasting paint finish with no primer required. For clients who have galvanised steel fences, we have Steel Forever Black designed to paint straight on a clean galvanised surface without a primer.
All our paints are water-based for easy use and easy cleanup and minimal impact on the environment. Remember, do your preparation well, focus on the area’s where water might pool and apply at least two coats for the best long term results!
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